Tony Hsieh, the inspirational founder of Zappos, wrote a page-turner of a book, Delivering Happiness, that my team and I devoured this past year. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s fantastic. In the book, he tells a great story about the formative years of the company.
Tony Hsieh is sitting in his Las Vegas hotel suite trying to lure a luxury brand shoe executive to sell their product on line with him. As the hours pass, the assembled businessmen suddenly realize that it’s 11:00 and they’re hungry. Where they are staying remains a mystery because, when they call down to room service, they’re told that the kitchen has closed. Mr. Hsieh suddenly capitalizes on the opportunity that is presented to him. He tells Mr. Fancy Shoes to call Zappos’ customer service line and ask for the nearest pizzeria. The customer service rep cheerfully searches the internet and pulls up two or three options, the holdout executive is impressed, and Tony Hsieh takes one more step forward in growing his burgeoning empire.
Why do I tell you this? Because I want to be Tony Hsieh. I want our clients to enjoy great customer service. Sure, everyone says this, however, only those that commit to the idea and fund the fantasy will actually see the results. To that end, I’ve added a new responsibility to the team. Earlier this year, Mark Crandall became our Customer Concierge. In addition to the grander, larger, and more important tasks that he’s overseen, he will now be responsible for some of the less glamorous yet equally important tasks confronting our clients. You can’t accommodate a 2 o’clock showing of your house because you’re not able to get home to walk Cujo around the block? Not a problem. That’s what Mark is there to do. He’s recently secured estimates for landscapers and hired a team to do a spring cleanup of a home on behalf of out of town sellers. He’s had a dumpster delivered to another busy client’s house. In short, he’s there to make your life easier.
In addition to Mark’s new role, Jaclyn Bertola, our remarkably kind and talented listing coordinator, is no longer working part time. She’s now a full time member of the team. James Langton, our new superstar buyer’s agent, joined us this past fall and has proven to be as successful as we had hoped. Finally, we've hired the remarkable Marissa Pixley to act as our social media coordinator.
As a result of these efforts, I’m finding myself more and more capable of doing one and only one thing. I now have the unfettered ability to spend my entire day interacting with our customers. It may be a phone call or a one-on-one meeting. It may be negotiating an offer or helping to prepare a house for market. The back office details are being handled by the Executive Team freeing me up to work directly with our clients.
Hopefully, it’s become obvious that we’re trying to shake things up. Other than technology, not much has changed in the way that real estate is transacted. We’d like to change that and create a new paradigm- a new expectation that the public should have about real estate. We’re trying to think big and do some things that haven’t been tried before. Everybody in town talks about the service that Wegmans provides their customers. Everyone knows the incredible effort that Dixon Schwabl undertakes on behalf of their clients. My goal is to have Rochester talk about my team in the exact same way. Test us. Push us. Give us a chance to impress you and make this happen!!