Real Estate as a Career.

There are 3 serious questions you need to ask yourself.

1. Am I committed to having Real Estate be my career?

2. Do I believe in the company I work for?

3. Do I believe in myself?

 

I read a recent blog form 1000watt and there was one part of the post that stuck with me and made me want to expound on this statement.

Strive to be able to one day proudly say, “100% of our agents attend our company meetings, use our tools and get five-star reviews. And 100% of our past clients return to do business with us.”

This article talks about how many real estate agents today are creating a perception in the eyes of our customers that as a whole we lack professionalism, integrity, and accountability.

This is why the 3 questions are so important. If you see Real Estate as a career then there are things you are going to do.

Show up every day ready to exceed customers’ expectations. Understand and have a process for working with customers that gives predictable outcomes. Running your business like a business. Being proactive and not reactive. Seeking to solve problems for your customers regardless of the net dollar outcome. Selfless and humble. It is these traits that have proven to create the most rewarding business in real estate.

Do you believe in your company? Does your company provide you with tools that help you to differentiate the value proposition to your customers? Is there an environment that enhances your drive to be better? Are your surrounded by others with similar drive and professionalism? You would be surprised the impact being around other successful people will do to your own business.

The most important question of all however is "Do you believe in yourself?"
If you don't believe in yourself then the rest really doesn't matter. How are you getting your mind in a place on a daily basis to show up with a can do attitude? Looking past the hurdles and only seeing a path of success. It isn’t easy, but needed. Life can be brutal and create obstacles that at times can look like an un-passable mountain. If you question yourself then these mountains can stop you in your tracks. Often we underestimate the power of the mind. It controls our path 100%.

I would ask you to think about each of these questions and then listen to that little voice in your head. Really listen hard to what it says. If there is a negative thought that comes out then that will be the starting point for you to know where your work needs to begin.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related | Tagged , ,

It's official I'm switching cleaners!

So today was the straw that broke the camels back. You might have read my prior post on poor customer services? Well today my wife sends me the e-mail she received from her cleaners. Keep in mind this isn’t a one time e-mail, this is on going and is such a great value add. When you add value and are relevant, guess what? You are noticed and become highly visible. So guess who is going to be getting my cleaning business starting this week?

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 11:27 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services | Tagged , , ,

It’s official I’m switching cleaners!

So today was the straw that broke the camels back. You might have read my prior post on poor customer services? Well today my wife sends me the e-mail she received from her cleaners. Keep in mind this isn’t a one time e-mail, this is on going and is such a great value add. When you add value and are relevant, guess what? You are noticed and become highly visible. So guess who is going to be getting my cleaning business starting this week?

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 11:27 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services | Tagged , , ,

What is “Fabled Services”?

The last few days I’ve been teaching for Windermere in a class called Ninja Installation! The class is about life and business and the concept of, the more you give the more you receive. It also is about mastery and being extra ordinary, going above and beyond and getting people to say WOW!. By doing this you create amazing relationships and eventually come to have fabled (a legendary story of supernatural happenings) services.

Last night I get home form work and find a small hand addressed letter to my wife from her cleaners “Bakker’s Fine Dry Cleaning”.

To set the stage for this story. We don’t use the same cleaners. She switched to a different one because it is right next to the coffee shop that she loves. She just started going to this cleaners maybe 3 weeks ago. When she opens up the envelope there is a hand written note from the owner thanking her for her business, a 50% off coupon for her next visit, and a survey asking her to tell them how they are doing.

If you could have heard the excitement in her voice. I’m sure at some point in her day this story is going to be told by her, to her friends. Look i’m writing a blog about it today.

See it doesn’t take much but it takes something. There are so many times we have an opportunity to give fabled services but we let it slip through our fingers losing that opportunity. In todays world of services you have to have that “Wow Factor”! You can’t afford not too.

I know what you all are thinking? When am I switching dry cleaners? ūüôā Stay tuned!

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related | Tagged , , ,

What is "Fabled Services"?

The last few days I’ve been teaching for Windermere in a class called Ninja Installation! The class is about life and business and the concept of, the more you give the more you receive. It also is about mastery and being extra ordinary, going above and beyond and getting people to say WOW!. By doing this you create amazing relationships and eventually come to have fabled (a legendary story of supernatural happenings) services.

Last night I get home form work and find a small hand addressed letter to my wife from her cleaners “Bakker’s Fine Dry Cleaning”.

To set the stage for this story. We don’t use the same cleaners. She switched to a different one because it is right next to the coffee shop that she loves. She just started going to this cleaners maybe 3 weeks ago. When she opens up the envelope there is a hand written note from the owner thanking her for her business, a 50% off coupon for her next visit, and a survey asking her to tell them how they are doing.

If you could have heard the excitement in her voice. I’m sure at some point in her day this story is going to be told by her, to her friends. Look i’m writing a blog about it today.

See it doesn’t take much but it takes something. There are so many times we have an opportunity to give fabled services but we let it slip through our fingers losing that opportunity. In todays world of services you have to have that “Wow Factor”! You can’t afford not too.

I know what you all are thinking? When am I switching dry cleaners? ūüôā Stay tuned!

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related | Tagged , , ,

Things I learned from the Inman Connect in San Fransisco.

July 13th to the 15th I attended Inamn Connect in San Fransisco. I had a great time seeing a lot of new things. Also some not so new things, and then some things that didn’t impress me at all. The 3 things I came away with were..

1. The Real Estate Industry as a whole needs to work on our Customer Services. Today the customer demands a lot. ¬†Not that they haven’t in the past but their attention is being pulled in many different ways, and their options are many. ¬†As Brokers we live in an independent contractor world so keeping customer¬†services¬†consistent¬†can be a challenge at times.

Brokers I would take a close look at your client surveys and even a closer look at your agent’s as to what level of customer services they¬†perceive¬†they are providing and compare it to what the¬†customer’s¬†feels they are getting. Also what is the customer services level your agents feel they get from you. Yes I’m in the hot seat as well, what level of customer services do owners feel they get from¬†their¬†franchiser? We all need to make sure we are exceeding expectations.

2.Local, Local, Local! The information we are providing today to our customers needs to be hyper local, and packed with great content. The days of a static listing search websites  are becoming a thing of the past. Social Networking and Twitter are taking front staged backed by a content rich very local company blog. Here is good example of an office doing just that. Whidbey Island Windermere

3. Mobile! Mobile! Mobile! and yes Geo location.¬†Sites like foursquare, pegshot, Fwix, and others are really pushing the Global position concept. I-Pad is popular, and according to a Morgan Stanley report smart phone sales will surpass PC’s and laptops by 2012.

It was great to listen to speakers from inside and¬†outside¬†our industry, not sure why we keep having Craig Newmark talk. He is a bright guy and very interesting but every year he pretty much says the same thing. Would be nice to get some fresh¬†perspectives¬†next year. Love what you do Craig but it’s time for new material.

Great stuff from Microsoft Live Labs. Pivot, Seadragon, and Photsynth. Lots of new vendors with some very interesting concepts. Peep.ly is something worth taking a look at. If you attended please share what you got out of it.

Posted on July 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Interesting stuff, Real Estate Related | Tagged , , ,

Digital Interaction gets results.

So this is a good example of how sometimes sending an e-mail does help.

Today I received a notice on my American Express account that my payment was late. Normally I’m not a late pay guy and with this particular card I’ve have never had a problem. I have had this card for over 10 years and my record is spotless. So when I saw that my card was assessed a $39.00 late fee I was a bit taken back and very quickly assumed with a simple phone call this issue could be resolved quickly.

WRONG!

I spoke with a very friendly customer services rep who started off the conversation with this ” Hi Mr. Fanning how may I help you today? Making sure you are 100% satisfied with our services is my job!”

Ok so this should be easy. I stated how I was a loyal customer and never had a late pay and therefor could they reverse the late penalty? She put me on hold and came back and said according to the computer screen that was not possible. What? So I asked one more time and got the same answer.

I then asked to speak to a Manager. ¬†She placed me on hold then a very nice Manager came on with the same tag line and basically¬†repeated¬†to me what the customer Services Rep said. I was shocked. I think I said “is there someone there I can speak to that understands Customer Services?” She very kindly said that she was the end of the road and very sorry but the charge would stand.

Well I hung up and went to the site and found an e-mail address for customer Services. I very quickly in 30 words or less explained my situation in the e-mail and hit send.

Voila!

This is the mail I got back with in about 30 min.

Dear Michael Fanning,

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be of service to you.

I am concerned that you have had an unpleasant experience with American Express.

I also understand your concern regarding the late fee of $39.00 reflecting on your account.

You have been an excellent customer with us and I thank you for making payments on time.

As a gesture of respect to your relationship with American Express and our commitment for impeccable customer service, I have credited your Card account in the amount of $39.00 for the late fee that was assessed to your account. This credit will appear on an upcoming statement.

I hope my action meets with your approval, and I appreciate the opportunity to be of service.

We deeply regret that this experience has caused you to question your relationship with our company. You have been a valued Cardmember, and we appreciate your loyalty to American Express. We hope that you will afford us another opportunity to serve your Card needs.

Please do not hesitate to email us again should you require further assistance.

We value the relationship built with you since 2004 and we hope that you will continue to allow us to meet your Card needs in the future.

Have a nice and smiling day.
Sincerely,

Sheetal Aneja
Email Servicing Team
American Express Interactive Services

Way to go Sheetal. Thank you for keeping me as a customer.

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 11:42 am
Michael Fanning | Category: customer services, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Something to consider when buying a home…

Having lunch today with a friend and we got on the topic of customer service.  He was upset because over the weekend he was working with a very large bank that will remain nameless, trying to approve a business line of credit.  He was frustrated because he felt as if he was being treated like a number, just a small cog in this big banks red tape process, and no one seemed to really care about him

whatsoever. I asked him to tell me what he would deem to be amazing customer service.

The first thing he said was that he wanted to at least feel like they care. I said, ‚ÄúWell, how do you¬†measure¬†that? How do you know at any point they care?‚ÄĚ ¬†He said:

· when he feels like the relationship is genuine

· when the conversations is more about why he needs this line, vs. what the process is to get the line

· when there is daily communication, good or bad, about what is needed

· when questions are answered before they are asked

· when the person working for him is two steps in front of him making sure that any possible problems are  anticipated and dealt with together, keeping him in the loop

· when his questions are answered in a timely manner

At the end of the day, they know who he is and what he is about. They are now on his side making sure the services he is getting will end with a positive result. And no matter what it takes, the job will get done, and there are no surprises .

He said, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm not asking for a¬†miracle¬†I just what a loan!‚ÄĚ I laughed, but he had a point. ¬†So now I was¬†curious. I wanted to know what other people deem to be great customer service. ¬†What¬†better¬†place to go then to yelp.com and see what is being said.

Here are just a few I found.

‚ÄúShe doesn‚Äôt just know her way around houses, she is very well versed in real estate law, and can handle even the trickiest of transactions with grace and a genuinely vested interest in the happiness of both parties.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúHe worked wonders in negotiation and helped us land an amazing house. ¬†I fully recommend Kevin, he is a good soul that wants to see you happy in your new home!!‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúKimberlee is a one of a kind agent. ¬†She takes your real estate needs and expectations personally and ensures everything goes smoothly. ¬†Kimberlee gives a 150% to all her clients!‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI really can‚Äôt say enough good things about Desiree and also her assistant Jesse. ¬†Bottom line is that their attention to detail, expertise, friendly and amazing service have made a daunting process accessible and almost pleasurable. If you‚Äôve ever bought your first house you‚Äôll know it‚Äôs a roller coaster no matter who your agent is because of all the emotional attachments plus the seller, lender, inspection issues. ¬†Good agents practically become counselors ‚Äď helping you to manage your expectations and emotions and stay focused and on-track with what is really possible and achievable and Desiree really excelled at this.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThrough the whole process, even though she had other clients, we always felt like the top priority. They say that buying a house is stressful but we didn‚Äôt think so. Domenica even helped us find a great mortgage broker. The whole process was totally painless, she let us make decisions and was frank and honest when reality checks were needed.‚ÄĚ

As you can see, they all have a common theme, just like my friend wanted.  You! The customer wants to know that he or she is taken care of, that the company cares, that the company is professional at what we do. And that your stress is minimized because someone has your back. So the whole point to this post is this: As you demand quality services, seek out the professionals that have a proven track record, or come highly recommended. Find the individuals you connect with and then establish a relationship that is based on trust and great communication.  If you do this, I guarantee your customer service expectation will be exceeded.

Posted on March 2, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

There isn't an app for that!

As I was driving in today to work and listening to track 13 of the new Black Eye Peas CD called (Now Generation) it made me think about the world we live in today. ¬†We really have become a now generation. ¬†We want everything to be instant and without flaw and to have little face to face interaction. ¬†This week I was out on a walk with a friend of mine and we were looking at beautiful homes in Capitol hill. He said” hey how do I find out what these homes are selling for?” ¬†He pulled out his I phone and said” isn’t¬†there¬†a app for that?” I just laughed and said yeah there is a ton. ¬†He procedded to open one up and it wasn’t working to his satisfaction so he said “don’t they understand this frustrates me?” Again I laughed and¬†realized¬†that this has become the world in which we live in. ¬†As a company that prides itself on customer services and making sure we take care of our buyers and sellers to the best of our ability we have to better understand the now generation.

We can make all the wiz-bang applications that give information to hand held devices, and have websites that search with a fine tooth combs but what really matters at the end of the day is the quality of the Real Estate professional who¬†understands¬†the ins and out of this maze your are about to embark on with buying or selling a home. ¬†With the¬†litigious¬†society we live in and the complication of a real estate transactions today you need to know that the professional you decide¬†to¬†hire is prepared and skilled at guiding you through this process with little to no injury. ¬†And I have to tell you there isn’t a app for that!

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

There isn’t an app for that!

As I was driving in today to work and listening to track 13 of the new Black Eye Peas CD called (Now Generation) it made me think about the world we live in today. ¬†We really have become a now generation. ¬†We want everything to be instant and without flaw and to have little face to face interaction. ¬†This week I was out on a walk with a friend of mine and we were looking at beautiful homes in Capitol hill. He said” hey how do I find out what these homes are selling for?” ¬†He pulled out his I phone and said” isn’t¬†there¬†a app for that?” I just laughed and said yeah there is a ton. ¬†He procedded to open one up and it wasn’t working to his satisfaction so he said “don’t they understand this frustrates me?” Again I laughed and¬†realized¬†that this has become the world in which we live in. ¬†As a company that prides itself on customer services and making sure we take care of our buyers and sellers to the best of our ability we have to better understand the now generation.

We can make all the wiz-bang applications that give information to hand held devices, and have websites that search with a fine tooth combs but what really matters at the end of the day is the quality of the Real Estate professional who¬†understands¬†the ins and out of this maze your are about to embark on with buying or selling a home. ¬†With the¬†litigious¬†society we live in and the complication of a real estate transactions today you need to know that the professional you decide¬†to¬†hire is prepared and skilled at guiding you through this process with little to no injury. ¬†And I have to tell you there isn’t a app for that!

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Real Estate Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,