My father always corrected verbal grammatical errors. Whether the perpetrator was one of his kids, a waitress, a teacher or colleague, a news reporter, or his boss; it didn’t matter. Each received the same verbal corrections. I’ve noticed that my daughter corrects verbal grammatical errors as well. It’s clearly something I’ve passed to her from my father because he passed away before she was born. I secretly love when she does it. People don’t judge her the way they would judge an adult for the same impolite reminder.
With all the texting shortcuts and emojis being used today, I feel an extra sense of responsibility for teaching children to speak and write properly. It’s not always easy or polite, but it’s crucial. Words are very important and meaningful to me. Communication is by far the most important skill to master in real estate.
When I started my own team, a great deal of thought was put into the tagline. I reviewed past client testimonials and thank you cards (yes, I keep them) to see what impressed them most about my service. I spoke with colleagues who referred business and I thought about the ideals I’d demand of my team members. I chose Honesty, Integrity, and Service that Cannot be Better. Let me tell you why I chose these words to describe the Hollish Hill Group.
On a recent webinar, agents discussed highlighting what sets one apart from other agents. There was a general consensus that honesty is something that the public assumes they are getting from their own agent so it was not necessary to say it in marketing materials. I didn’t agree.
When I say Honesty, I mean brutal honesty. Being brutally honest requires tact and diplomacy and it ranked at the top of qualities my past clients appreciated from me. I didn’t sell them on properties. Instead, I pointed out everything I noticed. One husband called and asked if I could take his wife back to see a property because I pointed out a lot of negatives, they really liked the home and wanted me to review the positives again. They bought the home. Perhaps critical would be a good word, but that sounds negative to me. I tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Teaching classes at my local real estate board, I’m often surprised by how many agents are reluctant to give their opinions or advice to their clients. I always reply with, “Why are they paying you?” I think clients pay for the amazing amount of experience and knowledge I’ve gained by making the selling and buying of real estate my full time focus and career. So when they ask me what I think a buyer should offer on a house, I give them my honest opinion. When a seller wants to know what price to list their home, I tell them my honest opinion. My clients ultimately make the decisions, but when they weigh their options they know they have my honest assessment for consideration.
Analyzing my own integrity feels odd so I prefer to say I like to sleep at night. Integrity is linked with honesty, strong principles and upstanding morals. It’s also defined as whole and undivided. I make my clients’ needs and wants my highest priority and fight with vigilance on their behalf. When it comes to representing my clients, I am undivided. Although the laws allow me to engage both a seller and a buyer in the same transaction, I do not. Just as I can not arm wrestle myself without predetermining a winner, the same is true for real estate. I know who I work for. My clients know my word is my word.
I follow the Code of Ethics spelled out by the National Association of REALTORS and available for all to read. The Preamble gives me pride and purpose. Take a minute to check it out now, or refer to it when you wonder why an agent is doing something and you are unsure of the reason. While I will fight like mad for my clients, I will not violate the Code of Ethics. Even if they ask me to. It’s not necessary.
Service that Cannot Be Better
My friends and family know that I have standards. If I am seated in a diner and not offered a drink within 2 minutes I leave because I know that the service will only continue to disappoint me. I’ve waited tables and tended bar. I know what good service looks like and feels like. It is about the person receiving the service getting their wants and needs met and even exceeded.
Though I considered “best service” or other positive adjectives to describe our service, I chose not to because my intent was not to say there aren’t other amazing professionals who also offer excellent service. The service my team and I deliver cannot be better. If you think of a way it could be better for you, I encourage you to tell me so we can adapt to meet and exceed your expectations.
At my initial meeting with buyers, sellers, or investors, I ask what is most important to them and what they fear most about the process. Then we deliver customized service that meets the client’s individual desires.