Last week you read some of the feedback from our clients who had experienced our Ultimate Service® when they bought or sold their home. It is obvious this service is a huge benefit to our clients. I was thinking the other day about Coldwell Banker Pinnacle’s Ultimate Service® and the fact that it is also a huge benefit to our sales reps, so I decided to get a REALTOR’S® PERSPECTIVE. I asked Joyce Hodgskiss and Ken Rossiter, sales reps from our Dundurn St. office to share a few comments on how Ultimate Service® has been a benefit and what it has done for their business.

They replied…

“As we discovered several years ago, there is no substitute for good service. Once we stopped worrying about how much money we were going to make and started focusing on the value that we deliver, our business really started to grow. By building value, using the Ultimate Service® platform, we are able to educate the seller/buyer about the Real Estate process, the Services that we provide, the value [benefits] of using a REALTOR® and all the while separating ourselves from the REALTOR® pack. Once you have established your own brand of Ultimate Service® the key is to work on the presentation until it is a part of you and what you do. Roll playing is still the best way to achieve this!

If we could give any advice to our fellow REALTORS® it would be: DO NOT compete on price (lowest commission rate), compete on value – the value YOU bring to the process. Only a small percentage of people will want the best price, most of the people want value. That is why companies like Apple and Starbucks are so successful. If the seller/buyer does not see the value, all they will want is the best price.”

I’d like to thank Joyce and Ken for their personal take on Ultimate Service® and how it  helped them be better REALTORS® as well as providing better service to their clients. If you’re a REALTOR® you need to ask yourself: Do your Buyers and Sellers see the value in what you do? Do you have the ability to compete in  today’s market place based on the value of your service?

Did you know that November 22nd is National Housing Day?

National Housing Day in Canada is an initiative of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The day is meant to recognize people and organizations who advance affordable housing in Canadian communities.

Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada explained it very clearly in recognition of last year’s observation.

“National Housing Day (Nov. 22nd), reminds Canadians to recognize and reflect on the issue of affordable housing. On this day, we are challenged to acknowledge that there is a real and urgent need for a solution – for a national housing policy as well as private and public partnerships that lead to capital investment and contribute to a stronger and more stable society.
Lack of affordable housing can take numerous negative tolls on individuals and the communities in which they live. It can cause increased stress, limited sense of belonging and overall feelings of insecurity. It can also negatively impact individuals’ education and career paths, and further perpetuate the cycle of poverty.”

This day is celebrated across Canada, with many events being held to increase the understanding of the need for affordable housing in all communities.

If you would like more information, please visit the CMHC website at


If you would like to volunteer to help at Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at


It’s Time To Brag!

I love to receive calls from our clients.  I know some managers cringe when they’re told they have a call waiting, and the person asked specifically for the manager, but I don’t.

Sure, at times I get calls from customers or clients with a problem or complaint regarding a sale or purchase of property, but sometimes they call to say what a great experience they had and I really enjoy those calls. I’ve commented before on our customer service guarantee, Ultimate Service, but now I want to show you some real life comments that client have written to us about our sales people.

By nature we are always willing to talk about poor service, but these people had such a great experience a with Coldwell Banker sales rep they wanted to share it!

“Service”, Trustworthy, honest, very satisfied on sale of my house.

Fast responses to questions – buying at the same time – quick to make appointments to see homes.  Knowledge, professional information packages – thorough research on neighbourhood.  Friendly caring service – rep made us feel that he was really working for our benefit.

Professional, efficient, personable and honest

Very professional!

The professionalism.  The selling procedure was explained to me in great detail.  My REALTOR® kept me ‘in the loop’ at all times.  Communication was excellent.

Your company has an excellent reputation and it is much deserved  My REALTOR® displayed professionalism, interest, caring and a desire to ‘get the job done’. Thank you!

I have great confidence in Judi’s service and ability whether I am vendor or purchaser.  She makes the sale happen even when I think the trail is cold.

She gave me constant moral support in the sale process and worked exceptionally hard for the buy side.

She cared!  Sue Hale is the sales representative everyone should be fortunate enough to have.

Effective, timely professional, knowledgeable, hard-working sales rep

We were most pleased with the professional and yet friendly manner that the agent had with us and with prospective purchasers and above all his integrity.  We felt totally safe placing our home in his hands.

Agent went out of his way to find the right home for us.  Nothing was too much trouble.  Excellent service!

No pressure, understood our needs, constant support during stressful times.

Nancy was professional, knowledgeable, reliable and her kindness made the process extremely easy.

Sal was a pleasure to work with buying our first home.  He was patient, attentive, and most of all professional.  I would certainly recommend him.

Bonnie was very friendly, informative and always available.  Made buying a home for the first time easy and stress free.

Rob is extremely pleasant to work with.  I truly appreciated the well executed MLS® presentation and his dedication shown in all the open houses.

Nancie is incredibly knowledgeable and took all the time we needed to help us understand process as first time buyers.  Incredible customer service and responded to our inquiries at all time of day.  Always made herself available. Knew/understood our wishes and found us an incredible home!

Joan provided us with very sound advice consistent with our needs.  As first time buyers we found her very helpful. She has a great personal touch! 

His honesty & commitment to satisfying all needs.  Very personable and easy to deal with.  Great experience!

Fast, efficient, pleasant.  Sales reps were always there to help!  Went above and beyond expectations.  Amazing!  Thank you.

Cathy Toriello is straight forward, honest and great to deal with.  She will be our sales rep for life!

Cathy was professional, diligent, knowledgeable and had our best interests at heart.


Reading these, you can see why I don’t worry when someone calls looking for the manager… odds are, it’s a good conversation waiting to happen.

I hope your buying or selling experience was as good as the ones described by our clients.  Let me know, I welcome input on your experiences with ‘customer service’.

Is your choice of brands living up to your expectations???

Everyday consumers make choices on which brand to use to fulfill certain needs in their
lives. Many brands evoke a particular feeling or emotion and people buy a
certain brand because it makes them feel a certain way. People will research
different brands looking for features or services that best suit their needs. They
will make their final decision based on who really listens and addresses all
their concerns and weren’t just being sold something. I think consumers are
most satisfied when they feel the person or company truly CARES about their

Last week Ann introduced our blog and spoke about Coldwell Banker Pinnacle’s Ultimate Service®.
I remember during my first interview with Ann she explained how the Coldwell
Banker brand has forged a tradition of INTEGRITY, EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, AND
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. It is a name people TRUST. With the Ultimate Service®
guarantee they ensure their clients’ best interests are above all else. I have never
heard of anyone guaranteeing their service in writing before. What a great way
to build trust.

Consumers are always saying REALTORS® don’t do anything for the money they earn. If I were
selling or buying a house and I interviewed a REALTOR® who listed exactly how
they planned on marketing my house to attract the right buyers and they were
willing to back up their plan with a written guarantee, I would definitely give
them a shot at it. I would have nothing to lose. After all, if they didn’t do
everything they said they would, I could fire them.

I have been with Coldwell Banker for 4 years now and have witnessed the power of this level
of commitment. To have this guarantee available to our clients differentiates
our sales representatives from the rest of the pack, because our sales reps do
what they say they will do and they GUARANTEE IT IN WRITING!

Some of you might say this is just a big sales pitch. Say what you will. That won’t change
the facts!

Remember, there are companies to fit all the different needs of the consumer. Do your research
because each company has its own characteristics and features. How you FEEL
when you work with the people of that company is all that matters. So whether
you are thinking of buying or selling one of the many homes in Hamilton, trying
to decide which Hamilton REALTOR® to use or maybe you want to be a REALTOR® you
owe it to yourself to check out Coldwell Banker Pinnacle and their Ultimate

Please feel free to share your different brand experiences, good or bad. It may help others
in their decision making process.

October 2011 Market Stats

Residential condominium market shines in October

(November 4, 2011 – Hamilton, Ontario) The real estate market in the Greater Hamilton, Burlington and outlying areas continued to show increases in listings, sales and average sale price when compared to the same month last year, according to Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) statistics released today by the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB).

The residential condominium market saw the largest gain with an 11.8 per cent increase in the number of sales when compared to October of last year. The same market also saw a 5.9 per cent increase in average sale price over the same month last year. The 199 condominium sales were better than the ten- year average of 194 sales for the month.

In the residential freehold market, sales were up less than one per cent over the same month last year and average sale price was up 5.1 per cent.

Listings were up over both last year and the 10-year average in all sectors.

See the full report October 2011 Market Stats

Are You Getting All You Paid For?

Are you getting all you paid for?  (do you feel like you’re getting ripped off?)

Sometimes when you have bought or sold something, you have the feeling that you did not get value for your dollar.  I know I have felt that way at times.  That’s why as a Manager at Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate, I try to make sure that the people we work with never feel that way.

Ultimate Service is not just a slogan.  It is a program that walks Buyers and Sellers through a 22 point checklist of actions that will be taken to help them reach their goals, whether buying or selling.  And the best part?  If we don’t do what we say, our clients can fire us!  When the program first came out, I know a lot of our reps were concerned that clients would be calling and cancelling contracts left, right and center.  I can tell you, I have released very few, because very few clients have ever asked.  Saying what you will do, and then doing it is a powerful message.  Our Customer Service ratings tell me that we are doing what we say consistently. Over 98% of our customers tell us they are satisfied with our service.

Are you guaranteed results in your buying and selling efforts?

To see testimonials about our sales representatives, or to get complete details, go to our Ultimate Service web page.

Do you have any experiences, good or bad that you want to share?