I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a full service Realtor. It doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to all agents so I thought I would outline what it means to me.
Buyer pulls up to a listing and I meet them there. The first thing I do is get my tire gauge out and check their tires for air pressure. Then I open the hood and check the fluid levels.
When my clients ride with me it is in my limo driven by Charles. They sit in the back and I serve them drinks from the mini bar. Not mojitos because I work in Minnesota but I do make a wicked snow shoe grog.
For my sellers, the folks who are paying the commission I need to go one step further. When I do open houses I arrive three hours early so I can wash all the windows, vacuum the carpets, dust and maybe do a few loads of laundry is they are behind on it.
During the warmers months I mow their lawns, weed the garden, water and fertilize. The level of service I give my clients sets me apart from the competition.
With each home I list I go in late in the day, turn down the beds and leave chocolate under each pillow. I of course make sure that no one in the home is allergic to chocolate and am prepared to leave mints or bubble gun if they are.
None of my competitors do any of these things yet they are still in business. Honestly I am baffled. They only give their client’s real estate services and nothing more.
When it comes to the idea of full service I think most of it is about meeting or exceeding our client’s expectations. I see agents who provide services that no one expects from an agent. The services are not really a good use of the agent’s time, and are sometimes out side the agent’s area of expertise and what their E & O carrier will pay for if they mess up.
One example that comes to mind is the agents who painted an entire basement because it needed painting and the sellers wouldn’t do it. I guess if it was that important and I had to I would pay a painter to do the job. To be honest I get kind of parental with my clients. I would have them do it and tell them that as long as they do as I say no one will get hurt.
I am a Realtor, not a painter darn it! I have never had a client who expected me to paint anything but I suppose if I offered they would let me paint and do other chores around their homes too. They would probably let me give them legal advice, financial advice and do a little estate planning too.
When it comes to full service, where do you draw the line?