I spoke to a gentleman at a wedding recently who lives in Germany and found out that in Bavaria they are paying $9.00 a gallon for gas. While living in Michigan these days often feels like living in the mountains (my newly planted geraniums survived the threat of frost last evening; I'm not as confident about the sweet potato vines) and $4.07 is less than $9.00 it is still a significant hit to business and personal expenses. So I am pondering how I reduce, absorb or share the additional expenses.
Last week I had an appointment and when I rang the doorbell and two barking dogs joined in the alert, there was no answer. Fortunately for me I have only been stood up (talking business here) 3 or 4 times to the best of my recollection in the last 7 years I have been involved in real estate and home staging and 2 of these events occurred within the last year. With gas prices reaching an all time high how do I/we prevent further situations like this from occurring and how do we gently remind the general public that courtesy counts and we professionally and personally do not want to contribute to global warming and increased costs by driving unnecessary miles when a simple phone call or e-mail would have done the trick. Yes everyone needs to continue to confirm appointments in advance, but that doesn't always do the trick.
I know of a few people that will charge to go out for the first appointment. I am not one of them but the thought has crossed my mind and will probably get stronger if gas prices continue to climb. I also wonder if I should increase mileage costs, but in Michigan it is still an uphill battle to get proposals and bids accepted and many stagers are discounting to get jobs (sad but true.) My heart goes out to Realtors® that have turned into taxi drivers showing 40+ homes to buyers. Internet searches will certainly gain in importance as gas prices increase.
Fear of rambling reminds me to close this blog. First and foremost I think it is time to remind everyone of common courtesy. We need to treat each other as we would want to be treated. If someone suddenly regrets setting an appointment or if they are unsure, call and cancel in advance. We are business professionals who have faced this before. On the receiving end of a cancellation, we need to make the prospect comfortable and not grill them too much. They might want to reschedule at another time and how you gracefully handle the situation may impact future opportunities and relationships. An emergency might have come up and they didn't reach you on time and then were too embarrassed. I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt. Another opportunity will come along and a friendly smile to greet you on the opposite side of the door.