For the past 5 days my 19 year old son has been a guest of Los Robles Regional Medical Center. Since he’s being released today, I can finally relax and reflect. Being that I am a Realtor, and a blogger, I like to look at things in terms of real estate, drawing parallels where they exist and this hospital experience is no different. For example, there’s the customer service angle. The nurses have been thorough and thoughtful, proactive and knowledgeable. How grateful am I as a nervous parent, that the staff is this way? Very. My confidence in them only increased as day one became day three etc. So too should your experience with your Realtor be. Market knowledge and area expertise are critical to a successful Realtor and to every real estate transaction. Contrast my experience with the doctors and nurses with that of the lady at the cafeteria. The other day she closed up early and although we were there in time, she did not want to reopen to serve us. Her focus was not on the customer at all but rather to her own wants and needs. Her insensitivity to her customer; her failure to understand what was important to me and the stresses I was under made my experience less than satisfactory. This is not at all dissimilar to what many home buyers and sellers feel when they are going through the real estate transaction process. A Realtor who fails to recognize where the stresses for a buyer or seller are, is not likely to win any customer satisfaction awards. One of the reasons Realtors are held in such poor regard by the public is that they are often perceived as not doing enough. Why is that? Odds are it has to do with (and I quote the prison warden in the movie Hud), “A failure to communicate.” My clients may not always like it when I tell the what’s happening (or not) during the process, but they consistently give me high marks on our customer satisfaction survey, because throughout the process, I keep them informed. Nothing frustrates a home buyer or seller more than a Realtor who doesn’t communicate.
Knowledge. How important do you think it was to me and my wife that the doctor, was able to figure out what was going on with my son, create an action plan to treat him and then implement it? Pretty darn important. How important is it for a homeowner to have a Realtor who is able to do the same when it comes to preparing a home for sale? Being able to help a seller declutter, paint or carpet and stage the home for sale is something every Realtor should do, but most do not. Regardless of the industry, we all want an expert giving us advice so that we can make the informed decisions.
In real estate we hear over and over again that the three most important words are location, location, location. I can tell you that the fact that we live just 10 minutes from the emergency room was pretty important the other night. I can also tell you that the new room in the new wing that my son was given, with the panoramic view of the nature preserve, didn’t suck either. It made the experience of sitting day in and day out at the hospital, a whole lot more pleasant. You see, location, location, location, really are the three most important words no matter the real estate in question.
As we leave the hospital today, it is obvious to me that communication, expertise, thoughtfulness and follow-through, are as important as ever. Whether we’re talking about medicine or real estate, or for that matter, just about any business where professional services are offered, customer service and industry expertise matters. However, unlike the hospital where you pretty much get what you get and can only hope the provider is capable, in real estate you have a choice. So do your research and to quote the old knight of the Templar at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “Choose wisely,” or else hope you are as lucky as we were in getting the great staff of Los Robles Regional Medical Center.