Today, Friday 9/23, was the first day of Autumn, a front moved in last night to Austin, Texas and brought with it a slight breeze from the North to cool us off and made this morning just fantastic, with a cup of coffee of course. To add to the great day we just closed another real estate note deal here at The Texas Note Company. The transaction was pretty cut and dry, small note about $80K, and we were able to get it done rather quickly. After I went through my morning ritual of getting the kids to school and performing my Hill Elementary Dillo Dad duties of assisting with the morning school drop off, I traveled down to South Austin to meet the seller and have him sign a few documents to finalize the paperwork. On the way to his house I had the windows down and some good classic rock on the radio, couldn't of been a better morning.
The seller and his wife are in their 60s and they are packing up and moving to Northern Minnesota, where they can be closer to friends and family and he can enjoy fishing the Walleyed Pike. If he told me once he told me several times that by this time next week he was going to be on a lake in Northern Minnesota fishing and he was rather excited about it. The seller was originally from Minnesota and was headed home after spending his career in the armed forces and traveling around the world. It was delightful to visit with him and talk a little bit about fishing and playing hockey, he was asked to play professionally but chose the armed forces. I couldn't have chose a nice person to do business with. One of those folks that is just soft spoken and loves life. He appreciated the fact that I had every thing in order for him to sign and a check for his note.
The interesting part of the trip and the reason for the article, was when I arrived at the seller's house there was a real estate agent in the driveway frantically searching her car for a key to the seller's house so she could put in a lock box. When I came in the driveway I said "Top of The Morning to Ya" like any happy Scotch Irish man would, she looked at me like I has three Irish heads as she yelled at someone on her cell phone. When I got to the door she again informed me in a loud tone, that no one was home, just as my seller answered the door. He opened the door with a big smile and said Robert "Top of The Morning to Ya", we were on the same page; happy to be there and happy to see one another. It was at that time that our realtor in the driveway came running to the door to tell my seller " I don't have a key for the lock box" she was just frantic and pushy. The seller calmly said "have a cup of coffee with us I will get you another key"; nothing was going to phase my seller this morning, the Walleye Pike in Northern Minnesota were calling him! Of course before he could finish his sentence, the real estate agent was back on her cell phone turning away yelling into her phone. A little later the seller's wife retrieved another key for their agent and she was on her way like a bull in a china shop.
After we finish up our business and a cup of coffee with the seller I headed back to my office. I couldn't help but think about the behavior of the real estate agent. Unfriendly non communicative to her customer. I remember thinking she is someone I would never want to be my agent. That first impression was a negative one for me, and I know from my seller's comment he wasn't overly pleased. This agent was doing her best to get the job done for our mutual client, she was just having a moment that was less than stellar for all parties around her. It would have been better if should would have finished her search and yelling before she came into her custmor's driveway. Her behavior made me realize that we all have those moments and if possible it is better to keep those moments out of the eyes of customers. I thought to myself what are the traits characteristics customer/consumers want from a professional real estate agent or for that matter a professional note broker.
Everyone has there own style and each customer has his or her own style as well. In some instances the different styles get along well, in other not so well. A good professional should be able to answer a customers question right on the spot. What separate the professional from his/her competition? Here is what I look for in a professional or try to be to my customers:
- Good Communicator
- Honesty and Integrity
- Excellent negotiator
- Responsive to customer's request - Answer email or phone message in timely manner
In any practice as well as the practice of life I believe that everybody wants a person or professional to be honest and trustworthy. A good professional should also be a good communicator and set expectations of when certain items should occur and if they don't then reestablish the expectation. A professional who is courteous illustrates signs of respect and gratitude toward those he works and works for. Of course when you sell a note or are selling a home you want Top Dollar, an excellent negotiator will get that price for you most every time. Responsiveness, nothing is worse than being left out in the dark. Again communication is key if a customer or colleague expects to hear from you then a good professional will respond. Friendly, I have read this statement on many different articles and it is true; "I have never met anyone who wished to do business with someone who was NOT Friendly." regardless of the profession. Friendly makes the job easier and fun. Analytics, you want a professional that can run and understand the numbers and weigh the options to a T, that is very important. I have seen many deals go south because the analytics were wrong.
And have fun and enjoy life. Like this morning, having a cup of coffee talking about the Walleyed Pike in Northern Minnesota made me and my customer feel good, the day continues. Life is to short not to stop and have a cup of coffee. The climb we face each day often will go unnoticed sometimes we need to stop and check out the view, it is pretty awesome.