Luxury real estate is, undoubtedly, a service business that requires each of us as agents to strive for excellence. Excellence has always been a life mission for me. I understand perfection is not only unattainable, but for me it actually sounds pretty dull. Striving for excellence is a journey with twists and turns; failures and successes. Each moment molding and shaping you into more of what you are here to be and do.
At our company, excellence is one of our core values. There are so many people that exemplify excellence – since I’m a huge football fan, Vince Lombardi is someone I love quoting. Here’s one of my favorites: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
So, excellence – the quality of being outstanding or extremely good – is something we can all strive for. From every breath we breathe, every step we take and every act we commit.
Service, on the other hand, is the act of helping or doing work for someone. Serving our clients is something that is always in motion, never ending. There is no real beginning or end. Just as with excellence, it is a part of our existence (or at least it should be when you’re dealing with luxury real estate).
A true test of any real estate agent is whether the word “no” exists in their vocabulary when working with their clients. Many agents will quickly proclaim that they never tell their clients “no.” But watch for the hidden “no’s” in their actions. Here’s an example – dealing with a client who was leasing a beach home and the phone service was inconsistent. When I called the listing agent, they told me that it was a Landlord/Tenant issue (hidden “no”). While I agreed that the law only required the Landlord to have one operating line, I challenged the agent that surely there’s no way he could actually think that it was acceptable to represent a property knowing the phone lines had issues. (The phone company had confirmed there were similar issues with previous tenants.) That’s when I got a “yes” from that agent. Fortunately for our client, “no” doesn’t exist in our dictionary, so we got busy making it right for our client and accomplished what was necessary for her to have working phone lines (plural).
Moral of the story, that agent clearly does not believe in or possibly even understand service excellence. Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying – clearly there are situations, as agents, that are out of our control. But, if excellence and service are a part of your constitution, then “no” is simply not an option. Finding a solution is always your assignment.
Service excellence is not only a management philosophy; it can be a life philosophy. It’s what separates the average from great. The late Walt Disney said, “You can dream, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make that dream a reality.” In other words, service excellence doesn’t just happen, it requires action. This doesn’t mean just meeting customers’ expectations, but going above and beyond to exceed those expectations. Sounds cliché, but it can and does happen. With the right tools and a constant, focused attitude, agents can provide their clients with world-class customer service, thereby ensuring customer loyalty and retention. More importantly, the client has a great real estate experience.