Real Estate Investing Basics

The Value of Quality Customer Service

11 Articles Written

Recently I needed to get some work done on my car, so I headed to the local repair shop to get it serviced.  Upon entering, I was greeted by a half-nod from the ‘manager’ while he continued to chat on the phone.  I waited patiently, as those of you who have known me for a while know that I have the patience of a saint (for better or for worse, although lately it certainly seems to be a detriment).  This phone chit chat went on for a few minutes, with little other acknowledgment that there was a paying customer (me) waiting.  Eventually he got off the phone to ask “Yeah, what can I do you for”.   Being laid back is one thing, but he was pushing it.  So after I explained to him what I needed to get done, he flat out said “No, what you need is…”.  By this point, I thank him and drove to a reputable shop 45 minutes away.  Do I like going out of my way?  No at all, but as a consumer I want expect good customer service and I will gladly call on businesses that provide a higher level of professionalism.

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Why am I writing about this on a real estate investment site?  Well, sometimes we forget that a customer/client is more than just a number or merely a lead, they are a person who has come to have certain expectations and will seek out professionals who can deliver.  With more and more information becoming available online, today’s savvy consumers are not driven by price or product quality issues (they have already researched which is best for them) but rather by the level of professionalism provided.

So I ask of myself (and invite you to do the same):  Am I listening to my client’s wants and needs or am I putting my own first (“I know he said he wants that house, but I could make more money by selling him this one”)?  Am I effectively responding to his/her concerns or just sweeping them under the rug (“She said she was worried about flooding on the basement, but I’m pretty sure it’s never going to happen”)? Am I proactively addressing issues before they become problems (“Kill the monster when he is little or should I just hope for the best”)?  Am I clearly establishing what falls within each party’s scopes (“Well, he could have called the inspector”)?  Am I the kind of professional with whom I would want to deal if I was the client?

I know this is a far cry from a real estate data analysis, but I hope that in a small way it served somebody somewhere.  Next week, an in-depth analysis of news affecting the real estate market.

    Julie Broad
    Replied almost 10 years ago
    Alex this is such an important point for landlords to remember. So often we feel negative feelings towards tenants yet they are our customers. If we stop treating them like they are a pain in the butt we have to put up with and start treating them like the valued clients they should be a lot of the challenges we face with tenants can be eliminated.
    Replied almost 10 years ago
    Aloha Julie, Thanks for the comment. I completely agree, so often we forget that the people we deal with are customers, regardless of what aspect of RE we are involved in, that we lose sight of the human factor. Appreciate the feedback.
    Robert Bacal
    Replied almost 10 years ago
    I think the key really is balance no matter what industry. To me customer service nirvana is when your needs and the customers needs are met in a win-win fashion. I suspect at times we listen to much to customer service advocates who think customer service is free, and want all they can get from businesses. Anything that is out of balance doesnt sustain. If the unbalance is too far to the customer, you go out of business, if too far to the business, you lose the customers.