How about a little more CS and a little less BS? (Share the Love)

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

How about a little more CS and a little less BS?

Real estate is a people business. It's also a sales business. It can be easy to get so caught up in the sales business that the people business just becomes a means to end. Hence, volume of sales, sales price, production awards, commissions and name recognition become the prize and happy satisfied customers become an afterthought. 

In the past few months, I had a client who was buying in my area. He had a home in the Atlanta area that needed to be sold. I reached out to Lynn Friedman who immediately jumped into action and had a highly qualified friend go by my client's home to meet him and discuss what it would take to get his home sold at the best possible price. That's great CS - customer service. 

That process continued until one day I received a text from a family member saying my client had decided to switch agents and go with an old friend who had swooped in and made an incredible offer to get my client's Atlanta home sold fast and at or above top dollar. This is where the BS (Buffalo Biscuits) comes in. Lynn's agent backed off and the BSer moved in. I talked to both Lynn and her friend and both stood ready to jump back in if things went awry. That's customer focused service.

During those uncertain days in Atlanta, things were progressing nicely in my market. The client looked at several homes and finally found the perfect home, and I mean it was as perfect as perfect gets. The house had everything, and more, of what the client wanted. The price was doable and the house was vacant and ready for his big move. The only hang up, the BSer in Atlanta turned out to be clouds with no rain, always promising but never delivering. He was a trying to sell my client's home to cash investors who would make low offers in hopes of getting a steal for a quick flip. Getting top dollar went out the window once he secured the client.

Finally, after a few low-ball offers and no hope for a serious offer, my client's family called a stop to the all promises and no delivery BSer in Atlanta and Lynn's crew picked up the ball and sold the house quickly. In this business, a customer's needs should come before the hope of a quick commission. The BSer in Atlanta didn't care about my client. Supposedly, he was an old friend, but who needs friends like that? He saw a path to a quick check and that's all that mattered. Lynn's crew saw a client with specific need and sought a path to meet that need at the very best option for the client. That's CS. We need more CS in this business and less BS. 

Comments (27)

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in German and Real Estate * M.A. ABR ASP

A resounding YES to We need more CS and less BS, Mike! I believe, it may just be a sign of the times that it appears to be the other way around on some days.. a hot "easy" market like the one we are in brings out the not-so-CS-savvy folks. 

I can only imagine how tough it must have been to make that call to Lynn. Thankfully, you picked a true professional, who stood at the ready and jumped in to save the day. 

Let's hope the client told everybody and their aunt about this example of BS and CS. 

Feb 22, 2021 11:58 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Andrea, and Lynn and her colleague were as professional throughout the process as if nothing had interferred. It was amazing.

Feb 22, 2021 12:37 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Buckhead - Midtown - Westside ... Love our City - Love our Clients! - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Mike -   Thanks for using us as the example for CS - always my goal!!!

That's why I immediately contacted Associate Broker Charles Hawthorne to work the Listing with me. Although near my niche area, the house was right inside his and therefore better for the Seller. Supposedly our goal - right?

You described what many experienced REALTORS encounter often - the smooth talker who wheedles the Client away. Both Charles and I knew the individual. Being who we are, we never said anything "bad-mouthing" the other agent even though, after watching his business practices for decades,  both of us knew his goal is always himself not the Client. Either the Seller would come to his own senses or he wouldn't. Charles let the Seller know we'd be willing should he want us back. 

So we just behaved like who we were - professionals who regularly deliver Client Service - staying available in hopes the Seller might see through the BS. Although it was almost two months later, he did see the light! Quite quickly, Charles got a great offer for the house and the Seller moved up to your area! All's well that ends well. Take care - Lynn

Feb 22, 2021 06:23 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

I was thrilled when the seller came around. It was obvious that the other agent only had one goal, a quick payday. I appreciate you all taking care of my client.

Feb 23, 2021 06:15 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

What a nice shout out for Lynn B. Friedman 

"In this business, a customer's needs should come before the hope of a quick commission"

Feb 22, 2021 06:46 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I like the theme of this post, Mike.  I sometimes shake my head at extreme self-promotion that is demonstrated in our profession.  I like your idea that Customer Service is more important.  And, in the end, delivering great CS is a form of promotion that multiplies via word of mouth.

Feb 22, 2021 08:34 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Yes it does, Myrl. 

Feb 23, 2021 06:16 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Mike, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Feb 22, 2021 08:35 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

We all see them in every area.  Usually, around here anyway, they don't last long.

Feb 23, 2021 01:14 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Excellent post about the value of excellent CS and the wastefulness of BS.

 

Feb 23, 2021 12:13 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Bs'ers don't last long. Nobody trusts them to tell the truth.  It's always in their best interests, not the client.

Feb 23, 2021 09:21 PM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

So very true! Sadly in this market here in central Ohio the BSers are getting those deals because of undercutting and they are selling because the market is so hot. But I know how to sell and how to give great CS...these BSers don't and when there's a market shift they'll go crawling back to whereever they came from.

Feb 24, 2021 05:36 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

You bet. Lynn is very dedicated & conscientious with clients. Wonder why the 'friend' thought that low ball offers were the way to go? Glad it turned out well in the end.

Feb 24, 2021 05:50 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Mike,t
Thanks for sharing. Why the heck would someone promise top dollar when they are working with cash buyers for flipping? That is an oxymoron.  Pure BS. I am so pleased to hear Lynn and her trusted peer were able to jump back in and help. Too bad so much time and energy were wasted. 

Feb 24, 2021 06:57 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD

Isn't that the truth, Carol. All clouds, no rain. 

Feb 24, 2021 07:45 AM
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Our clients are people who have real needs. Our hearts must be service-oriented to make it in this business.

Feb 24, 2021 09:41 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mike:

That's a great story - thankfully with a positive ending - to make your important points about customer service, vs. BS, in our business. It really IS all about the buyers and sellers and their needs.

Jeff

Feb 24, 2021 12:13 PM
CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

It is sad when "good friends" try to take advantage of a friendship.  It was good of Lynn to pick the ball back up.

Feb 24, 2021 01:08 PM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing this event. As we move through our day we sometimes do not realize that there are a lot of BS folks. The CS folks do not mix words, they normally lay out the facts. This is not what some want to hear, but in the end, the facts are what is needed. Here is to the CS all the time.

Feb 24, 2021 03:03 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Kindness does matter and you are Strengthened by your relationships for sure!

Feb 24, 2021 09:46 PM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL

Mike,

A "well-timed" post! Yes, today we have "the other types" of realtor out there, who passionately subscribe to the "It's all about me" business model. These people are more concerned with their website image, boasting about their purported success, all the while, "conning" unsuspecting potential buyers about their real estate sales credentials and stature among the area's population. Their business philosophy borders on the now famous P.T. Barnum quote, "there's a sucker born every minute". These type of people look at real estates sales, like playing the slot machines at a casino. It's simply an matter of running people through the real estate buyer's "turnstile" and shazam, "I've got me another."

People today, with increasing numbers, are more suspect with the "fast-talking" self-aclaimed real estate expert, who when one closely observes his behavior, appears to be "licking his chops" in anticipation of a quick sale. 

I always put the concerns and needs of my potential customer or client first. Real estate sales is a process. If one follows a consistent plan to achieve the needs of his customers and clients, the end result will take care of itself. I understand beforehand, I may not be able to assist every potential buyer or seller in reaching his objective. I do however, put forth my best efforts with presenting the specifics and what's doable, etcetera. I think I owe it to potential clients and customers alike, to share my knowledge and expertise regarding the realities and limitations, which often surface, during the buying or selling process.

In closing, "treat others as you wish to be treated".....it's a proven strategy!

Sharon

Feb 25, 2021 08:09 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Here's also a lesson in "don't burn bridges".  There have been so many times that clients have come back to me after others have "over promised". 

Feb 25, 2021 11:14 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Mike,

Some people try to sell their own greatness and others try to sell the client's house for the best price and the best conditions possible at that time. I vote for more CS.

Feb 28, 2021 09:07 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Love your analogy Mike!

Real estate is a people business. It's also a sales business. It can be easy to get so caught up in the sales business that the people business just becomes a means to end. Hence, volume of sales, sales price, production awards, commissions and name recognition become the prize and happy satisfied customers become an afterthought. 

Feb 28, 2021 06:04 PM

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