Time to go grocery shopping… where do you shop? More importantly, why? Is it because the store is close to your home? Is it because you know exactly where every item you purchase can be found in the maze of isles? Is it because you have a favorite cashier? Is it because they offer the best prices, coupons, etc.? Or is it because… well… that’s where you’ve “always” gone grocery shopping?
OK, what about a car repair? Is location important? How about price? I am willing to bet that most car owners will say that they want a highly trained, experienced, trustworthy, and skilled technician… even if it costs more or they have to drive slightly further for a repair. This is especially true if the car in need of repair is that of your spouse, parent, or child.
What about surgery? Many people travel across the country to receive medical care from those they believe – after considerable research – to be the best practitioner in their particular area of expertise. Cost, convenience, and familiarity may not even show up on their radar screen. Once again, this is especially true not just for ourselves but when identifying care for those we love.
So, how important is your business? Are you in this for the long haul and if so, with whom do you collaboratively partner? In this age of social media, relationship building can appear to be relegated to “likes”, “comments”, “re-tweets”, etc. But it is not!
Our industry is all about relationship building – whether with Realtors®, buyers, sellers, lenders, builders, and YES – even title & escrow. While the power of social media is undeniable, it will never replace the value of face-to-face, human interaction. Nothing builds trust like looking into someone eyes and listening to their voice.
A true relationship is not founded on a “What can you do for me?” mentality from either party. Companies that violate the law to offer “incentives” to establish a relationship (i.e., obtain business) may find themselves facing overwhelming fines – as well as fines imposed on the recipients of the incentives. No doubt, you’ve already heard of several companies receiving multi-million dollar judgments against them. And by the way, is this really a “relationship” anyway? Is it worth the risk to you financially or perhaps worse, your reputation?
Take your business life as seriously as your own life. Don’t get a heart transplant from a doctor offering you a kickback. Not only is it fraudulent but; one should wonder why that doctor is willing to compromise his livelihood just to obtain another patient.
I don’t expect comments and in fact, anticipate that this will ruffle some feathers. I’m quite fine with that because I’m very proud of my company’s integrity, ethical standards, conduct in the community, and outstanding service. Take this for what you will – I’m calling it as it is.
We are all in this together… and therefore, although a difficult conversation, we owe it one another to evaluate our “relationships”.