Category Archives: Customer Service

Malibu Realtor Takes Virtual Tour to the Next Level

Check out this full on Hollywood production that a realtor in Malibu had produced for their $35 million listing.  The trailer is called “The Spider and The Fly”.

 

You can read more on this video and the home for sale at http://www.inman.com/news/2012/07/11/hollywood-director-shoots-trailer-malibu-home

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FMLS Joins the Photo Revolution

Over the past year FMLS (First Multiple Listing Service) has been updating it’s systems and moving to a new platform called Fusion.  For someone like me who loves technology, this has been great fun.  They have made everything simpler, smarter and way more effective.  The one thing that I thought was falling between the cracks was the photo management.  I literally spent an hour arranging my photos for a new listing once, which is absurd when you consider all of the different places we can upload photos, and how easy it can be.  Today I went in to upload some new spring photos for a listing of mine and what do you know?  It’s awesome!!

 

The new system lets you upload multiple photos at a time and arrange them instantly by dragging them in the order you prefer.  It also has cache names for the images like Master Bedroom, Front Yard, Living Room etc…

As I’m typing this it seems ancient to be saying how great these changes are, but I couldn’t be happier to see them finally arrive.  If photos sell houses, it needs to be easy to put them out there.

Way to go FMLS!

Is Providing Good REALTOR Showing Feedback Gone?

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
Image via Wikipedia

As a REALTOR, one of the customary courtesy’s of our business is to provide feedback after you show a house to your buyer.  The idea behind feedback is to provide both the owner (seller) and the listing agent with details of your showing, what you thought about the house as well as what your buyer thought about the house.  Typical responses could be that it’s priced well, or overpriced for the area, or beautifully decorated, just not the style for my buyer, or too big, too small, don’t like the bedroom configuration etc…  With this information, the seller and listing agent can work together to make the house better suit the needs of buyers in the market either by making changes to the house or potentially adjusting the price of the house.

I try to make it as easy as possible on the selling agent by sending them an email the day after they show the house.  I thank them, include information about the details of the house, and provide a link to the listing in case they need to see pictures to refresh their memory of the showing.

Here are two examples of my most recent feedback and my reason for writing this post:
1. “no interest
2. “we have decided to buy a townhouse

Wow, thanks a lot.  Clearly, neither of these provide any of the information requested nor do they answer the questions that both me and the seller are looking for.

Here is an example of better feedback:
1. “Nice home.  They loved how the kitchen and living area were open to each other.  Ultimately, they want something newer and are willing to give up a little on location to do it.  So this isn’t the house for them.  I thought the house showed well.”

If you are a REALTOR, please consider this the next time you are out showing property and be courteous when the listing agent requests your feedback.  Sellers go through a lot to prepare their house for every showing in hopes that the next buyer to walk through is going to be the one…  do us all the favor of showing your appreciation for what home sellers are going through.

thanks!

Carson Matthews
Associate Broker
Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty
www.CarsonMatthews.com

I’m a Sucker for Good Customer Service

When I was 16 years old I started working for Belk Department Stores in Macon Georgia.  At that time the Macon Mall was the largest shopping mall in the state and the parking lot reflected it.  In my head it was obvious that I should park in the closest parking spot to the front door, but I quickly learned that that was not going to work out.  It turns out that employees park in the most remote parking spaces available, and might even catch a bus from the car to the employee entrance.  Of course, the parking spaces are reserved for customers, the ones paying the bills and walking out of your store with shopping bags.

It doesn’t seem like much, but this was a huge lesson for me and one that has stuck with me until this day.  I can’t tell you how often I see an employee or even a manager walk out of their respective business and get into the car parked in the very first parking spot.  I am probably the only one in the world that cares, but it actually makes me mad.

I spent many years working for Belk, and customer service was the most consistent message over that time.  I remember my father giving me a book called “It’s Not My Department” by Peter Glen.  You have probably heard that quote when shopping in any store, and it’s so frustrating for someone to pass the buck and not go the extra mile to provide good customer service.  I’ve been known to give people a hard time if they reflect that image towards me because I know how important it is for the success of a company to have their best foot forward.  If the face of your company isn’t reflecting your mission statement, success is going to be hard to find.

The same goes for restaurants.  Martha always cringes when I ask the waiter for their recommendation.  I do this because I am a food snob and I want to take advantage of my time in a restaurant and experience the best that they have to offer.  Nine times out of ten I will go with my gut and not their recommendation which makes her even crazier, but it’s because they don’t do a good job convincing me.  I think that it’s part of a waiter’s customer service duty to sell you on a dish, not the most expensive one but the best one.  I always choose to go to the Capital Grille in Buckhead for my birthday dinners because they don’t mess around.  Their customer service is off the charts and the waiters know how good their food is and they ooze confidence.  They know the meats, they know the drinks that go with the meats, and at the end of your meal, you want to come back the next day to do it again.

The reason for this rant is tonight on my way home from showing some houses to a client I had to stop into Publix.  I typically shop at the Chastain Square location but I was on the west side of Buckhead and so I stopped at the West Paces Ferry store.  It was pouring down rain and a horrible time to grocery shop in general, but it had to be done.

I ran around the store drenched from the rain and grabbed what I needed, greeted along the way several times making sure I was able to find what I needed.  As I pulled into aisle 2 I started unloading my groceries.  A man kindly pushed me out of the way and started unloading my cart for me, which is pretty awesome but not needed.  As the cashier is ringing up the final items, I realize out loud that I had forgotten to get milk.  The guy that unloaded my groceries immediately started asking what kind of milk I wanted.  I kindly ignored him, and even told him not to worry about it because I could get it…just set my stuff aside and I’ll run get it and we can do a second transaction.  He would not have it at all.  It was his mission to get me that milk and so he did.  Minutes later he returned with my gallon of milk, I paid for it, turned around and the guy had two umbrellas, one for both of us.  He was all over great customer service, even in the rain.  He walked me to the car, helped me unload the groceries, and made sure I got in without getting wet.

For me, that’s what it’s all about.  Going beyond the call of duty, or outside your department to help out the customer goes such a long way.  I posted on Facebook about my experience tonight and the reaction was huge.  People love Publix because their service rocks!  One friend even posted about an employee running to another store while she was shopping to find an item she needed.  That’s crazy!!!

Way to go customer service, I am a big fan.

A Store’s Reaction to In-Store Product Review Research

Today I went into a local ‘tech’ store to get a new TV to replace ours that got zapped by a recent lighting storm.  I went in with my Galaxy Tablet so I could do some research on whatever model I found before making the purchase.  Before I could get it pulled up on CNET, a gentleman in slacks and a button down shirt approached me and proceeded to give me the full rundown on the TV I was looking at in addition to information on my other options.  Funny enough, he owned the same TV and had a fabulous personal review for me.

I inquired about the availability, told him I had other shopping to do, and he said he would track me down once he had the answers.  Minutes later a clerk in “standard” attire approached me and helped me through the rest of the process.  He was very nice and helpful, but noticeably at a different pay level and 20 years younger.

I couldn’t help but think throughout the process that they didn’t want me in there doing research on their products before making my purchase.  It makes total sense and from a retail standpoint, what could be worse?  Consumer comes in, picks out a product, scans it with their mobile device, realizes it’s cheaper down the street and proceeds to walk out of your store and buy it elsewhere.

I imagine this is on the minds of the powers that be within retail stores everywhere.  The approach taken today was spot on with me.  I’m a sucker for customer service and when treated right, you’ve got my business.