Those of you that know me or have worked with me probably know that I actually I stay awake at night thinking about how to create value for our clients. A couple of events in the past week have made me think about his more then ever. In the course of doing business I often hear agents with other firms refer to the buyers and sellers they are working with as customers not clients. These are two distinct terms and are not interchangeable. Webster's defines a client as "one that is in the protection of another" a customer is defined as "one that purchases a commodity or service". I think it is obvious why we always refer to the people we represent in our real estate transactions as clients!
Last week I attended a chamber of commerce breakfast meeting where various business topics were addressed. Mark Grimm a local author, business owner, and Guilderland town board member made a point that really stuck with me. Just about every business has a list of platitudes like "customer service is number one", "we give 110%", "we put our customer's needs first", on and on. I have to admit in the past I have been somewhat guilty of this. Mark's point was -What does this really mean? Show me what it means, don't just tell me how you treat clients! Hmmmm how do I show you what it means to be a Clancy Real Estate client? Let me give it a shot.
The next day, Saturday 2/6/10, at about 6:00pm I received a call from a neighbor on a home I have listed for sale in the City of Albany. The owners were out of town and the neighbor noticed unusual black smoke coming out of the chimney. Concerned, I hopped in my car and drove the 30 minutes from my home to the house. Once inside I found a malfunctioning boiler. I was able to reach the owner and arrange for the boiler company to make repairs that finally wrapped up around midnight. The incident made me think further about Mark's comments on client services. What does it really mean to be a Clancy Client?
It means you will be treated like a life long friend. It means we care. It means that if you are an out of state investor client and your boiler breaks I will be there on New Year's day with my kerosene heater to save your pipes until we can get it repaired (done that).
It means that if your basement floods two days after closing in a freak storm I will be there with my submersible pump until we dry it out (Been there).
It means that if you are an elderly widow and I show up to list your house and realize the best deal for you is to keep the home I will tell you. I will also stay for 2 hours and help you put your screens in! (got my suit dirty but stopped the bugs!) .
It means that if I represent you as a buyer and we do the walk through and find the driveway has not been plowed I will be late for the closing so I can shovel your driveway so you don't have to worry about it (My back was gone for a week!) Almost forgot on this sale I carried an old air conditioner from the third floor as the seller had not removed it and my buyer wanted it out. That is probably what did my back in not the shoveling!
It means that if we are about to close and you want to show your mom the house you bought we will gladly show up on a Sunday to let you in! We will also share in your joy of showing off your new home!
It means that we won't play the games people play and send you to a home inspector that will go easy on the home you are buying. We would rather lose the sale and keep a client, then have you buy a home with problems!
It means that if you have kids and have a house warming or Birthday party I will personally bring the famous commercial grade Clancy Real Estate bounce house to your home and set it up for an afternoon free of charge! Nothing makes us happier then making a childs day!
It means that if you aren't happy with anything we have done in a transaction let us know and we will make it right or you don't pay us! It also means that if we don't become friends and feel like family, I think we have failed in our mission. Put simply, it means that our relationship is about you not us.
I hope I showed you what our client service is about! Call us anytime or stop by. We always have coffee on for you!
Your Friend in the business,
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