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Realty Reality: 'The $6,000 Egg' Is a Good Read for Agents

Written by on Monday, 04 January 2016 3:24 pm
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Think Customer Service For 2016

Happy 2016! As the New Year begins, for many it is the time for resolutions, plans, budgets, and strategies for making 2016 a successful business year. (For some, last month was the time for that; but let's not quibble.) If you are in the business-planning mode, please allow me to suggest that you devote a significant portion of that planning to the topic of customer service. Moreover -- thanks to a Christmas gift from real estate educator, Duane Gomer -- I have a delightful little book to recommend to you. It is The $6,000 Egg, written by Deb Duncan and Todd Duncan. (Published by Simple Truths, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. and, of course, available on Amazon.)

The subtitle of The $6,000 Egg is "The 10 New Golden Rules of Customer Service." This book is something that anybody who is in a service business could benefit from reading. And, if you don't think real estate is a service business, you might want to rethink your career path.

To be sure, many of the stories and examples in The $6,000 Egg come from retail, restaurant, or hospitality businesses, but the principles that are elucidated transcend the business of the particular stories.

For example, the story illustrating Golden Rule #5 ("Use Over-the-Top Communication to WOW the Customer") is taken from an experience of great service at a hotel. The service involved, among other things, communication between the hotel restaurant and the hotel valet service. The corollary "teaching moment" was this: "When there are multiple departments in an organization, how they communicate with one another can create a moment of magic for the customer. What can you do to make every handoff flawless and super memorable?" To a real estate salesperson, it really shouldn't matter whether escrow, title, mortgage financing, etc. are company affiliates or not. The point is that an agent should be doing all that he or she can to ensure that the client's experience with those entities ("departments", if you will) are positive, attentive, and geared to the client's personal situation. They should be part of a seamless effort to make a great experience for the customer.


http://6000dollaregg.com

It is my observation that real estate training tends to focus heavily on how to get customers or clients, but not so much on how to treat them. Perusing the Duncans' book will help to provide an antidote to that gap.

Even less does real estate training focus on how to treat one's clients after a sale has concluded. There are, to be sure, various follow-up programs provided by third parties, some of which offer excellent products. But, too often these may lack the personal touch that reinforces the customer's remembrance of you, not just your role. The Duncans say "Communicate consistently in very special ways, and your clients will love you and buy from you forever." They are right.

Finally, we note an emphasis on saying "thank you." Golden Rule #10 is "Make Saying Thank-You a Big-Time Event." The Duncans write, "The two most powerful words of influence in the service world are thank you. Too many businesses don't make the thank-you a big enough deal."

Thank-you gifts are nice, of course. But go out of your way to be original, personal, and sincere. Their "teaching moment" for this section is "What are the most impressive and indelible ways in which you can say thank you?" We would all benefit from any examples that readers might want to send to the comment section.

The Duncans write, "The most effective and inexpensive advertising is a happy customer who tells the world about you, your product, and your company." They are right again. Read The $6,000 Egg. Make a happy customer. Have a great year!

Bob Hunt is a director of the California Association of Realtors®. He is the author of Real Estate the Ethical Way. His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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  About the author, Bob Hunt

1 comment

  • Comment Link Marie Haydock Wednesday, 13 January 2016 6:43 pm posted by Marie Haydock

    I'll be picking up a copy of this book, Bob. Thanks for sharing.

    Seamless communication between groups/depts/etc. is so valuable, and when taken over the top can leave such an impression.

    For my birthday, my husband took me out to a very lovely restaurant in Seattle for dinner. It was a beautiful night and the best meal I've ever had. But what topped it off for him was that at the end of the evening, we got up to walk out of the restaurant. In the minute it took us to walk from our table to the front door the valet had already brought our car around to the front door and it was waiting for us. It was so smooth and subtle, and really topped off a wonderful evening. The wait staff was attentive to our every need and communicated seamlessly with the staff outside to make sure our needs were being met without our even asking. Now, how can we translate that into our client's real estate experience? It's exciting to consider how we can continue to be better.

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