Tim’s Two Cents: Is There a Lack of Depth in Business Relationships Today?

As many of you know, I am an avid golfer.  I was saddened to learn that Arnold Palmer, a person I have always admired,  had passed away at the age of 87 on September 25. I have always recognized who he was as a person more than the player and ambassador to the sport of golf that he was for so many years. I am not taking anything away from him and his awesome accomplishments in the golf arena.  Although I never met him in person, I have read articles and watched programs about him and his life.  He was a gentleman that took pride in making everyone feel significate and special.  He always looked people in the eye,  signed his autograph slowly so that it was legible and wrote hand written notes to many of his fans that reached out to him over the years.  He did so much for children, the game of golf and sports in general. He always wanted people to know how much they were appreciated. He was a man who put the time into developing depth in the relationships with those he connected with during his lifetime.

Like Arnold Palmer, I have always wanted each person who I touch with my life and business to feel special and recognized too.  I realize that in order to do that you have to have a passion for life and a strong desire to want to take the extra time each day to connect with people in a special, sincere way! I worry about my children, Blake & Lolly, and the world that they are growing into.  There is a movement away from close personal interaction with all of the technology advancements. I work each day with them to recognize people and to interact.   

I recently created a short video series, which we are placing on our web site video blog, that explains some of the different facets of my industry and more particularly how Kristine and I work and perceive the real estate business and our relationships with our clients and friends. 

Most people that you encounter in our industry are real estate agents (salespeople).  They work under the guidance of a broker.  Most are part time and average 3-5 transactions a year or are a team member working on some parts of their group’s transactions with others.  Kind of scary given the enormous responsibility we undertake with advising people regarding their largest asset! The majority of the transactional liability falls on the shoulders of their broker. 

I, on the other hand, have a lot more than just home sales on my plate! I am the broker/owner of my company with my family name on the shingle. I handle all of the responsibilities of owning a business, Skoglin Real Estate, and, additionally, actively handle all of the details of each transaction for my clients, both sellers and buyers.  I am responsible for all of the systems that make my business successful year after year and I am required to track and retaining records for our business communication with our clientele by the California Bureau of Real Estate. Our company structure is built around Kristine and me helping one another with our respective clients, not working together with the same client base. Therefore, strong, efficient systems are required and the more simple we keep things the better. We are the reputation of our company and take tremendous pride in the level of service that we provide and the depth of the relationships that we have built with our clients and referral partners over the years. 

The majority of our clients are referred to us or are repeat clients.  Many real estate professionals with 20 + years in the industry are figure heads for a team or company.  They may give a snazzy presentation to a would be buyer or seller, but then they hand the actual important work off to less experienced minions (thanks) in the office, once a new client is committed, to handle the rest of the “REAL” work.  

I used the analogy on stage in front of 3,000 real estate industry members at the San Diego Convention Center this past May and have also made the same analogy on The American Dream TV Show with Craig Sewing, that if I had a health issue and was referred to a particular doctor by a close friend who was then healthy after receiving care from a particular doctor, I would not be happy being passed down to someone else, especially someone with less experience. I would want the same level of care and expertise that my referring friend had in order to alleviate my health issue. People are referred to Kristine and me based on the experience that they have had with us and who we are as people.  They are not coming back to us or referring us based on what someone underneath our watch can do. 

One thing that people, especially other real estate agents, find hard to believe is that I do not use text messaging for any professional communication.  I have adapted to many changes from 1995 to today and gave text messaging a chance when it first became popular. I learn so much more from a face to face meeting or a phone conversation.  Additionally, it is easier to retain records of phone calls and emails and allows for a much more professional line of interaction. I take an appointment with someone very seriously and devote my full attention to those in front of me.  I find it rude that people think it is acceptable to be working on other things when someone has an appointment set aside with them.  

I am always flattered when someone wants to work with us or is referred to us.  I want to get to know who I am working with, not just get it over with and get paid!  Picking up the phone is a lost art for many. I enjoy talking with people on the phone as there is so much emotion that goes into home sale transactions than most people would think.  Our clients have so many questions that come up during our conversations that I would never discover sending quick, truncated messages to them to “Just do This or Just do That”.  

In conclusion, I define the best ways to communicate with me and my office from the start. We have a system, which I refer to as Skoogle Voice,  that forwards to the office when I am detained, finds me before/after hours and on weekends and retrieves text messages so we do not miss any interested party reaching out to us. Our primary goal is to have a live person answer the phone and provide assistance and guidance as often as possible.  

Like Arnold Palmer and his hand written notes to fans, I may put a little more time into a professional email than I would have into a text message, but I want to interact professionally, hope to avoid misunderstandings and connect with people in a deeper way.  Putting additional time into ways that add depth to any relationship in life will always produce deeper bonds and provide great fulfillment in the long run! 

If you have someone in your life that you have not spoken to in a while, I invite you to set a time to go see them or pick up the phone over the next few days and talk to them.  I know the conversation will be beneficial to both of you!

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