What it Means to Receive Ultimate Service®

We often talk about Ultimate Service®, but I think our clients describe it best.

I have included below remarks that clients have sent in to us after they have either bought or sold a property with one of our sales representatives. These are just a few of the comments that we receive on a regular basis. I believe they are great examples of what we mean when we talk about Ultimate Service® and what puts Coldwell Banker Pinnacle sales people a step above the rest. Have a read through, and see if you agree.

(Brad was) very thorough and helpful, especially during negotiation process. Always available to answer questions, and very knowledgeable at market prices in the area. An incredible amount of help with the sale of this house and the purchase of our new one!

Everything was handled very professionally. Judi was very helpful, and due to the unusual circumstances with the sale, went above and beyond the services she provided for our family.

Mrs. Toriello is a phenomenal, professional lady. I both loved and respected her honesty and her integrity, and how she always knew exactly what I wanted. Not only was she punctual, but she was early for everything! She would not rest until she found the perfect house for me, which she did! She was exceptionally knowledgeable, and made a seemingly daunting and overwhelming event seem effortless. I could not have asked for a more wonderful experience when purchasing my first home and the only person I have to thank for that is the incomparable Mrs Toriello.

Both Ellyn and Rod were confident and demonstrated a keen desire to ‘work for’ us. From the start it was evident they had us in mind and as a priority. Ellyn visited the house with the photographer and made the house look more appealing and larger by simple placements. We had two offers the first day of the sale. Ellyn and Rod are assets to Coldwell. Well done!

The “Personal” approach! Judi made us feel that we had her entire attention. Always had time to answer questions and if answers not at fingertips, always followed up to find the right information. Professional, thorough, focused on our needs, respectful of our wishes, but able to suggest effective choices to aid in our home search.

Carol is exceptional in all aspects of her job. Questions are answered promptly and with detail. We were always kept in the loop at every stage of the process. Carol is VERY professional and aggressive with respect to marketing, marketing materials, agents open house – all done promptly and therefore a very quick sale.

Ozie was extremely personable, respectful and trusting. He communicated with us openly, honestly and on a regular basis. We valued his opinion and suggestions. Even when he was on his holidays, he still answered emails – very diligent and committed to his customers.

Brad was a phenomenal realtor. I am in a wheelchair and deaf, buying my first home which had to be wheelchair accessible if possible. Brad ran all over town, looking at homes for me to cut down on the number of ones I had to go to, preserving my strength. When accessible homes become obviously not available and we turned to homes which could be renovated, I found one I loved. Brad even carried my light weight chair up into the house so I could view it. I bought it very soon after … He is fantastic, and taught a ‘newbie’ everything she needed to learn. He made buying a house not so scary.

I hope these notes, written by our clients help you appreciate why an Ultimate Service® REALTOR® is truly a cut above the norm.

Ultimate Service® – how do you apply it?

This week I have asked one of our newer sales representatives, Nikola Bucalo, to tell us what Ultimate Service® means to him and his clients.

‘You’re in the public relations business’ was one of the key phrases my dad, a veteran REALTOR®, would often say. The brilliance was hard to grasp when I first started, because I thought of PR as just the people we see and read about representing big companies in the news. The depth of it is balancing the delicate relations between clients, their influences (family, friends), the agent and brokerage involved on the other side of the transaction, their clients, and about nine other people (bank, inspector, lawyer, etc.) during the process, plus yourself. This fine art truly takes a lot of practice to master, and Coldwell Banker’s Ultimate Service® system lays the perfect groundwork.

Early on there is a choice. Tell them what they want to hear, (it’s not lying if they don’t ask) and get the sale, or be proactive and risk losing the sale/client. You can guess what the Ultimate Service® answer was, but they don’t tell you how tough it is with the nature of commission-only careers, especially at the start!

The solid support of a global brand like Coldwell Banker and the Ultimate Service® program has encouraged me to stay on the path to sustainability. It has allowed me to launch and maintain a system that provides quality, consistent, reliable help to my clients. I have learned that those you lose because you won’t tell them what they want to hear, are not going to respect honest work wherever they go and are not loyal clients anyway. There is no ‘short cut’, though there is a big difference between working hard and working smart. 

These are the 5 ways I apply the Ultimate Service® program:

1. Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.

2. Make sure you know what you’re talking about. Proactively research neighbourhoods, typical issues and any possible changes to the transactional process, and keep clients informed every step.

3. Become a master negotiator. This skill has become invaluable in saving and getting my clients real money.

4. Challenge clients to think about what is most important, what is behind the decision to buy or sell a home. It takes guts to ask questions that the vast majority will not risk asking because it can get very personal. My toughest hurdle, but most rewarding.

5. Clients must feel informed and comfortable asking ANY question at any time. I can’t tell you if this is the right house, the right buyer, or what it is worth to you, but I can make sure you have all the information necessary to make a confident decision.

I would like to thank Nik for sharing his insights to Coldwell Banker’s Ultimate Service®. It is quite obvious there are two winners, Nik’s clients as they reap the benefits of Nik’s hard work and Nik himself, as his success in real estate continues to grow.

 

 

So what’s the big deal about Ultimate Service?

Gary and I have blogged many times about Ultimate Service®, outlining what it is all about, and also highlighting some of our sales representatives that have been recognized as being exceptional service providers.  Maybe some of you are wondering why we make such a big thing about this.  Well, even if you don’t wonder, I am going to try to explain why I think Ultimate Service® makes Coldwell Banker and our sales force that much better than the rest.

We work in a profession where the average satisfaction rating is about 74%.  Our survey results over more than 15 years confirm that Coldwell Banker has a 98% customer satisfaction rating.  I think this is significant for a number of reasons. First, on every transaction that is completed by a rep from our company, we ask the consumer to tell us how that sales representative performed.  When we receive feedback that is not all positive, Gary or I make a phone call to find out what went wrong.  Consumers are always surprised that we actually read what they write, and care enough to follow up.  Only by finding out what went wrong, can we improve our service. Also, by having a written guarantee that accompanies a list of 22 performance guidelines, the consumer knows what to expect as a minimum level of service.  Our sales representatives are trained to provide more than just the basic 22 points, and our clients are appreciative of the level of service they receive.

Our real estate market offers a variety of levels of service, all at different price points.  Consumers sometimes ask ‘Why would I pay you __% commission when I can do it myself?”.  Buying and selling homes can at times look like it takes no effort or expertise.  Sometimes, that’s just because you are working with a professional, highly trained sales representative who knows exactly what they need to do to get the job done.  Our clients have told us many times that they did not know all that our sales rep was going to do to get their home sold.  Our Ultimate Service® guarantee helps our reps better explain why they can often help facilitate a sale that takes place quicker, nets the home owner more money in their pocket, and eliminates the everyday hassles of selling a home.

On the home buying side, Ultimate Service® ensures that the buyer will be made aware of all properties that meet their specific needs and wants.  Our reps search out properties that are not necessarily on our MLS® system to help buyers find that perfect property.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg, our reps are trained to be highly effective negotiators, assisting their clients in making the best possible purchase.  These are just examples of a couple skills our reps bring to the buying process.

These are just a few of the things that I believe make us better than the other service providers out there.  If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, take the time to talk to one of our reps. There is no obligation attached to hearing how we can help you make the right buying or selling decision

ARE YOU RECEIVING FULL REPRESENTATION AS A BUYER?

As REALTORS® we are always tooting our own horn about our superior negotiating skills, how we will negotiate in our client’s best interest, and how we will get the best price for our client whether they are a buyer or a seller.

Sometimes this is not the case. With today’s modern technology at our finger tips and the ability to e-mail documents to any location in seconds, many buyer representatives choose to e-mail or fax the offer to the listing rep to be presented to the seller. Or the listing representative will request the buyer’s rep to e-mail or fax the offer for presentation.

The question is: Should the buyer representative be present at the offer presentation? We could argue the pros and cons on this question until the cows come home.

Let me give you my take on the subject. When I explain to a potential buyer client what services I provide, I tell them that I will always try to negotiate the best possible purchase price for their new home. One of the ways I do this is by ensuring I am at the offer presentation. This gives me an opportunity to ask questions of the seller, and to make sure all parties are in agreement with the terms of the offer rather than just arbitrarily make changes and pass them along to the other party.

When I am present at the offer presentation I can read the body language of the seller which can give insight to such things as motivation, what concessions or terms are more important to the seller, or even if there is room to negotiate the price a little more. I certainly can’t do that over an e-mail or fax.

On the other hand, there may be occasions when it is prudent not to be present at the time of presentation. An example of this would be when the sellers are separating and there is a great deal of tension and animosity between the sellers. To add another character into the situation could be quite detrimental to the whole process as the seller’s emotions may be in a very fragile state.

Another situation where it may be necessary not to attend the offer presentation is when it is an estate sale and there is much disagreement between the executors of the estate. This situation is similar to the previous example as emotions may be running high and to add another person into the mix may be very disrupting.

There is also the situation when the buyer or seller is out of town and you have no choice but to do the transaction by e-mail or fax.

So when you are buying your next home make sure you ask your REALTOR® if he or she will be attending the offer presentation to negotiate in your best interests. And REALTORS®, remember, you can’t negotiate over a fax machine or an e-mail.