Saturday, September 30, 2017

Service at the Speed of the Human Race™

The information superhighway was never intended for people to take a leisurely stroll. The internet was created, and exists for the rapid gathering of data. Service itself is just a byproduct. Truly, when it gets to decision time, people want to SLOW DOWN a bit. But, how do you do that or even hit an "off ramp" if everything is moving so fast?  

The concept of "Service at the Speed of the Human Race™", simply means gathering all pertinent information for our clients as quick as possible, explaining it to them in a way they understand, and then allowing them some time to decide how to proceed.  No teleporters or magic wands, just good client service. In fact, this has always been the model. But unfortunately, it's a point a lot of online platforms completely miss. At some point in the decision making process we must slow down, as bad information, out of sync priorities and miscommunication can upset an otherwise smooth process. If we are the professionals in our field, those who have knowledge and prior experience, and it does fall to US to tap those brakes.  Otherwise, our client stand to make a huge mistake, especially as it applies to real estate.

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It is a concept First Community Mortgage refers to as "the human mortgage approach" of doing business.  Though they have access to all the tools of an online-only bank, they realize the greatest advantage is in their people. More important, their people making face-to-face connections with clients. Mortgage seekers don't want to be forced in to the next step of the process because the site says it's prudent to do so.  Nor are they willing to be denied by an algorithm. They want to look a professional in the eye and get some advice. People want options. Yes, at a point there is the need for a little bit of hand holding. That is a service you cannot get from the internet.

I recall several years ago, a large discount department store was playing with the notion of expanding into real estate. They had kiosks set up in a few of its stores as a pilot program to see how many more magazines, cheap toys, shirts, flip-flops, and 2000 square foot homes they could sell. This was at a time when there were not as many real estate information outlets as there are now. The discount chain's concept was to provide fast and convenient data while customers were shopping otherwise. People did in fact look at home listings on the in-store computers, but when it became decision time, elected to seek the advice of a Realtor®. The project was abandoned.  

Recently, I worked with some clients to sell their home. Within the first 24 hours, we received four offers. Each was good. The clients selected potential buyer to work with and we were able to sell the property for about $10,000 MORE than we originally anticipated. All this happened without the use of such online services as Homelight, Zillow or Trulia. For the most part, the offers that came in were by word of mouth. As for the bump in price; I went "old school" and actually MEASURED the property thereby finding additional square footage that was not reflected on the tax record. Something that would not have been caught by a "Zestimate", but rather by little ol' me!   
In the 21st century, we want something and we want it now!  However, instant gratitude is for the most part, a fantasy. Gaining information today is no problem at all, but is it the RIGHT information? More important, is it the right information for that individual? The human mind can race at a sprint, but the heart still needs go the distance of a marathon. That is what is meant by Service at the Speed of the Human Race™.    

Blaine Little is a real estate instructor, business trainer and an agent with Reliant Realty in Murfreesboro, TN

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