When you are trying out a new product or service the first inclination if you do not know someone who has used this kind of service or product before is to look on line. What does "the public" say in their reviews ? Sometimes the comments are glowing...the experience sterling and it appears you could not make a mistake by trying that product or service.
Maybe as a regular part of your practice, at closing, you ask your Seller or Buyer to submit an evaluation of your service to various sources for all the world to see that you have indeed gone above and beyond the "usual and customary" services provided ...and have yet another very pleased client with the quality of service you provided .
We believe, that people only take the time to comment when emotions run high...they are very pleased or very displeased. You rarely see anything in any comment section that says..."job was done satisfactorily." It doesn't make for good reading...doesn't really tell anyone, anything..and the client really has no strong emotional reason to comment. We have all had the experience when someone raves about ...that restaurant...that service..this product and when you try it...YICKS...not at all the same experience.
Well...I sure did "Digress"...we had Buyers who bought a beautiful home and it was their first home...great neighborhood and wonderful features, well maintained...they loved it. Our winter last year was brutal and they came home to find a pipe had frozen and burst in the wall. The once spotless colonial had water throughout two floors...ceilings falling down...walls soaked, hardwood flooring buckling under puddles. They did not know what to do first and called us...David, the "mechanical Hanson" made a house call and contacted their 24/7 emergency insurance number. David turned off the water to the house and our Buyers relocated to a Hotel until enough work could be done for them to return. The Insurance company dispatched a suggested restoration company. Apparently, the Insurance Claims person had not researched the company beyond the glowing reviews online and had no reason to expect anything other than first rate service....and that was not the case...
We would call the Buyers every couple weeks and they would say that things were "progressing." All the drywall in many rooms had to removed, new electrical service..the furnace replaced...and the list continued...but in less than a timely manner. The restoration company was well aware of what the Homeowners didn't know...the Homeowners were not. "Stories" began to surface as the weeks became months of inconvenience. "It would take weeks to have the city inspect the work. White is a popular color for a sink, they are on backorder everywhere. The cost of moving a floor to ceiling bookcase across a room was $600."
After months of trying to deal with this catastrophe on their own, they asked us if we could take over dealing with the restoration company...they now knew what they didn't know...realistic time frames, permits and inspections, the order things needed to be done and by whom.....and we had them write the company a letter indicating that we were their representatives. Needless to say...the "Restoration company" was not pleased...the lies had to stop and the work continue ...or in some cases start...in a timely and more efficient manner. We were unfortunately, bound to the company because the homeowners had signed a contract...but the timetables were quickly changed and the work completed.
Letters have been sent to the insurance company making sure that no homeowner is ever subjected to this kind of treatment again using this company who had no ethics...took advantage of what the homeowners didn't know...and inflated insurance paid costs as much as 300%.
Difficult times sometimes don't allow for lengthy research...and "Restoration companies"...we have no learned of others as well...use this state to take advantage of homeowners. As Agents we have a lot of resources...individual trades people ....and have now added reliable restoration companies that may have the huge task of drying out and replacing walls and flooring...Just in case !
We know many of the members of Active Rain are PRO active when it comes to helping your clients. Research this important area...talk to people who have been "serviced" by restoration companies so that if disaster strikes...you can recommend companies with confidence best suited to do the work efficiently, honestly and professionally.
This has been a professional services reminder post brought to you by Sally K. & David L. Hanson,Broker Associates with EXP Realty, LLC, honored to be of service for all things real estate in southeastern Wisconsin.