April 25, 2010

Customer Service can make or break a business

Sunday 25th April 2010 10am - Anzac Day "lest we forget"

I was reminded yesterday of how people can make or break a business. I was at a rather large well known stationary shop and was making my usual high dollar amount purchase (due to the nature of my business). It was around 4.30pm and there was a very long line up of other customers like myself waiting to be served with one cash register opened. Staff were behind three other registers however they 'were counting the money and closing the registers' and avoiding eye contact with anyone. Other customers were getting quite annoyed, whilst I must admit I wasn't, I chose to just enjoy a few moments of quiet reflection.

All of a sudden there was a break away, a staff member had chosen to again upon the register! The gentleman in front of me with a small child almost ran to be served first, and then I 'slowly' joined him. I asked the staff member if she was opening to serve the customers, or something like that in a very friendly like manner. Well, this lady might as well have been a two year old about the throw the terrible two's tamper tantrum! She huffed, puffed and rolled her eyes. I felt my temper rise very quickly! I found myself saying "I am very sorry for being a customer and putting you out". I actually don't think I said this in a nasty, catty way; it was almost sincere with a touch of sarcasm though I must admit. Seriously though, where was this attitude coming from and why? Hard to understand.

A couple of hours later at my favourite Alderley Thai restaurant, what a totally different experience (SIRI Thai, South Pine Road Alderley). The service is beyond perfect and is very kind, sincere and exactly what most of us want from service providers. A genuine approach with a great understanding of great customer service. How refreshing!

Here I am talking about a extraordinary business and an ordinary business; note how I have named the extraordinary one. Most people would also name the ordinary one and what do most people remember?

Until Next Time... Lest we Forget

Stacey Holt

April 12, 2010

the diverse roles of a real estate agent and property manager

12th April 2010 7am

I was reminded this past weeked of the amazing role that agents play in people's lives. I often think of the privileged role agents play for people; as agents we get to see the best and sometimes the worst of people. Thankfully more often we see the best. Not only do agents deal with property, they also deal with human emotions, financial issues and real life issues such as domestic violence, which is a very unfortunate part of society.

This past weekend, one of my advisory clients had a death of a tenant. These agents not only have to deal with the sad passing of a tenant (a person, a human being) but the death occurred at the property. The licensee and property managers now have to deal with the family of the person who passed, but also, their legal focus is to ensure that their landlord's best interests are protected.

I have long said that the role of a property manager is to 'maximise their clients income whilst managing minimising the risks'. However in this situation, it is more than 'technical process' for an agent; it is also emotional.

Real estate agents have long been stereotyped, very unfairly I must say. Every industry has its own 'bad eggs' - there are people who are poor accountants, lawyers, waitresses, car detailers etc (you get my point) - but for who knows what reason, most agents are not favoured. Why I ask? Majority of agents are exceptional people who are passionate about what they do.

Remember this next time you think of a real estate agent; how many professions have the possibility of doing all (listed below) in one day whilst at work;

* bank manager
* debt collector
* marriage counseller
* grief counseller
* lawyer
* builder
* interior designer
* inspector
* accountant
* negotiator
and the list goes on and on!

For all those agents out there, good on you! You are exceptional people who are underrated by some of the community.

Until next time..