By Denise Lones M.I.R.M., CSP
What a week!
In the past few weeks, I have had the distinct pleasure — and pain! — of moving. I just recently found the home of my dreams. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was. You know times in your life-those special moments where you just know something is right for you. I felt that when I saw this house. It is the culmination of everything I’ve ever wanted and as soon as I stepped into it I knew it.
So I bought it, and this past couple of weeks I began the process of moving in.
I am so tired.
Moving is such an emotional experience. So much to organize. So much to do. And the stuff you find that you thought you had thrown out years ago!
Having moved before, I thought I was all prepared and ready to go. Everything was packed up three weeks before move date, by the time I was ready to move from my home I felt like I was living in a hotel, just one toothbrush and a couple of bath towels and everything else was perfectly organized and ready to go – so I thought. I had everything labeled. I had checklists. I had made all the necessary calls. Movers, phone service, electrical and heating-I thought I had anticipated everything.
But there was one big thing I forgot. And the story of what happened is a lesson in Four-Star Customer Service.
I hired a faux painter named Jodi Hendricks to plaster a couple of bathrooms and do a faux wall in my dining room. What I hired her to do is what she does best, but she went over-and-beyond my expectations.
She went into my new home prior to my moving into it because I wanted her to start on the painting work before I moved all of my furniture in.
When I showed up the day before the big move, there was another person with her.
“Hi, Denise”, Jodi said. “This is my friend. She’s helping to clean up your new house. I brought her along with me because with all the work you’ve had done, you have quite a lot of dust scattered around.”
I was stunned.
I was also horrified that I didn’t foresee that the dust and dirt that flares up during work creates a massive cleanup job. But it didn’t matter. Jodi took care of it for me.
Here they were-Jodi, her assistant Brenda, and the cleaner. Shining my floors. Getting all the dust out of the corners. Wiping. Polishing. Making my new home as beautiful as possible. And they were NOT just cleaning up dust they were cleaning toilets and sinks and baseboards – EVERYTHING!!!
Never has a tradesperson done such a wonderfully nice thing for me. I talk all the time about how Four-Star Customer Service is almost dead (except among the Best of the Best agents!), but then someone like Jodi comes along and reminds me there’s still life in it yet.
When it hits you, it literally sends butterflies to your stomach. During the course of Jodi working for me, not only did she pour her heart into her work, she looked at the big picture. She stepped back and didn’t say “This is the job I’m getting paid for, and I’m going to do no more.” Instead she said, “My client is inundated with things to do because she’s moving. That’s a huge task. The last thing she needs to be doing is cleaning. Heck, she even doesn’t need to be cooking.”
Which leads me to the second thing Jodi did for me that totally blew me away.
She brought me a giant pot of soup. Homemade soup. Enough for my entire family! Tell me please, do you know of a painter who not only takes the initiative to hire a cleaner but also makes soup for you?
I will long remember the incredible kindness, generosity, and sheer business sense of Jodi Hendricks of Hendricks Painting. If you ever need some great work done, Jodi will do it with flair and enthusiasm.
So, with all that said, have you thought lately about what your clients go through when they move? I was surprised how emotional it was. I thought my last time had prepared me, but the pain and headache of the actual process all hit me again-hard.
As a real estate agent, you see people going through this process every day. What an opportunity for you to make a startling impression on them! Instead of just hanging out back at the office while the move is happening, why not take that extra measure of Four-Star Customer Service and make it a truly memorable experience for them?
It’s the smallest details-like making a meal-that makes the biggest difference. How many real estate agents cook soup for people? I don’t know of one. This could be you.
People are fragile at this time. They’re experiencing not only the excitement and anticipation of their new home, but the sadness and the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to the old one.
Rule of thumb: Don’t drop by during the move just to say “hi.” This is the worst time to do so. Instead, drop by to bring soup. Or a tray of lasagna. Or at least a pizza.
Jodi Hendricks, thank you for all your hard work and for reminding me how important Four-Star Customer Service is. You’ve taught us all a very valuable lesson.
(Have the rest of you had an experience like this? )