Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations: Understanding What The Customer Wants. Old Style or Tech?

Understanding What The Customer Wants. Old Style or Tech?

some technology continues to workI think I'm like most people.  I hate having to schedule service appointments for my home.  While my first inclination is to want to fix everything myself when I can, I've passed that point in my life.  If it's not something I can do quickly and easily, I'm hiring a pro to come in and do it.  They've got the tools and the expertise to (usually) get it right the first time in a minimal amount of time.

And like most people, I think a large part of the reason I don't like having to book these appointments (besides the large chunk of money being detached from my wallet) is the inefficiency of the process.  It's borderline disrespectful to me as  customer because we get these large windows of time to expect the service call.  Half a morning or afternoon, and it could be anytime during that time frame for the initial appearance. 

I can't run my real estate business that way.  Can you imagine telling a seller thinking about selling their home and hiring us as their listing agent "We'll be there between noon and 4 p.m. Friday".   That would be a quick, "no thank you" and they'd be calling our competition.

But some local service people are catching on to the consumer's frustration and using technology to provide service that sets them apart. 

This week we needed some service on our HVAC system.  We tried a new company and they were more specific than most.  The appointment window was for just an hour slot, not the usual 3-4 hour "scheduling".  And they promised a 30 minute heads up before showing up.  Now that I can work with!  I can go about my normal day and then head home when I get the call.

And even more unusual in this case is the service company actually called 3 hours ahead of time and said the service person was available earlier than planned, what time could I be home?  45 minutes from now?  Perfect!  And that call was followed by a text with the name and photo of the service person AND a link for a tracking app so we could track just how many miles away the service van was!

Now that's using technology to take care of customer concerns!

As real estate agents, we have to be careful to truly LISTEN to what our customers want and adapt how we work to fit their needs.  In some cases, it's technology that helps. 

In other cases, it's the human touch that matters.  Some fundamentals work no matter what technology comes along.  Communicating quickly.  Taking care of questions and needs.  Doing what we need to do to earn their trust.


Ready to talk buying or selling a Cincinnati area home?  Call Bill of The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.

Serving Cincinnati area home buyers and sellers,

Liz and Bill aka BLiz


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Comment balloon 27 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • September 21 2017 11:20PM


BLiz- would that more service companies would follow their lead. I will say that Cort Furniture Rental does an excellent job when I'm expecting a delivery at a vacant home. While they do have a large window, they have my number and can text me from 30 minutes to an hour before coming out. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Like you, I like to do a lot of my own work around the house, for the same reasons you provide in this post.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 1 year ago

I find I can hone in on what clients need and want the old way instead of concentrating on some computer.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 1 year ago

I like service professionals that do that...call thirty minutes out to let you know they are on the way.  We all get that one appointment may be more involved than another.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Hey Bill

That's an issue that always bugs me, and now I ALWAYS ask if the vendor can call or text me when they are en route so I can meet them, either at my house or if it is a client matter I need to attend to. And more of them are doing this. Some of the windows for waiting, especially from the cable companies and others mean you have to stick around for a half day...and they MAY not even show. I understand things come up, and delays happen, but is that any way to run a business? We can't run our that way, as you point out!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 year ago

Oh, my, I get so frustrated by these long time windows as well. This week I was getting my chimney/wood stove cleaned, and they actually asked if I would be around all day. It so happened that I didn't have any official appointments so could be flexible, but I'm not hanging around the office all day long waiting. So I asked them to call me one hour before they were going to get there. Which they did, and that worked out. But I love the way this new company you used handled things. If they did a great job as well, they'd be my go-to- people.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 1 year ago

I feel the same way Liz and Bill Spear . Recently awaiting a furniture delivery from 7am to noon and they showed up at 1pm. Half a day wasted, no call ahead and no service. Then my couch was damaged. I am big on communication and service and like to tell my clients that to.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 1 year ago

Bliz I recently hired a new AC company to service some of our homes and I was absolutely amazed at their incredible customer service and promptness. Blew me away!!  They send texts, emails and call 30 minutes ahead of arriving. They have figured out how to stand out in a sea of ineptness in my area and they're my go to AC company now.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 1 year ago

Maybe buyers agents can text a seller 15 minutes before arriving and then text them when they are leaving.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) about 1 year ago

Your last statement is very true, it is a major thing to listen to what the client wants and then provide that so they feel listened too and appreciated.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) about 1 year ago

I have said the same thing too.  Can't imagine running my business the way many contractors do.  If I did, I would be out of business for sure.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) about 1 year ago

Hi Bill - There is a great lesson there. Availability is a critical characteristic of good client service - technology can make that easier on us, but first we have to care. Have a great weekend!

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 1 year ago

Wow - what a concept!  I hope more companies will adopt this.  But on another note, I've even had my buyers do this to me.  I once had a buyer tell me they would meet me at this house they wanted to see between 5 - 7 PM!  Yeah, I'd love to sit in my car outside of someone's house for 2 hours!

Posted by Francine Viola, Realtor, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) about 1 year ago

Don't meet at the house ..keep working at office and drive over, if they do show otherwise you did not waste time Francine Viola !

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 1 year ago

You found a company with great customer service; hope it catches on among others.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) about 1 year ago

IF you can bring the best of both worlds to the table, and deliver it consistently, you will have success.  You can not ignore either.  Technology is here to stay, but we still like dealing with nice people to help us.  Willing to do both for you: http://www.phmc.com/coreyvandenberg 

Posted by Corey Vandenberg (Platinum Home Mortgage) about 1 year ago

I think it's great when they can text to let you know when they're on the way!

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 1 year ago

Good morning Liz and Bill - the service people are a great example.  Listening to the customer is a differentiators for sure.  I have notice like you that people are using technology to say were you are in the queue and when the service professional is on the way.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 12 months ago

We live in a world of mixed attitudes. Service people and medical offices are often not considerate of other peoples time. Yet they expect prompt response to them.

I like that there are some who are considerate and I like the use of technology to work for both sides.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 12 months ago

Wonderful example of being keen to the type of service, perferred by each client, Bill.

Like you, I hate those 3-4 hour windows and think it's downright disrespectful! The ones who do the 30 minute texts with photos, I LOVE! The ones who do that here, ask if you prefer email or text alerts so, they can cover those who only 'do' email. 

Have a wonderful weekend, Bill!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 12 months ago

Agreed. Many industries would benefit from a timely system. Not only does it cut down on frustration, it cuts down on costs! Thank you for sharing!

Posted by Corey Martin, Real Estate and Management Solutions (Martin Presence Group) 12 months ago

If only all service people were as efficient, timely and service oriented as your AC guy was, just imagine how pleasant the entire experience would be. If only....

Posted by Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA, Providing the integrity and service you deserve. (Future Home Realty) 12 months ago

Liz, you are right. We need to go with whatever works best for our client!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) 12 months ago

Liz and Bill Spear "As real estate agents, we have to be careful to truly LISTEN to what our customers want and adapt how we work to fit their needs.  In some cases, it's technology that helps."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) 11 months ago

Good morning Bill and Liz. Great story. I agree with your premise and I hope to always have experiences like the last one. I do like the human touch too.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 11 months ago

Hi Liz and Bill Spear ,

Listen to the customer...so important in this day and age. Dispatchers can really take advantage of the tech world to help customers.

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 11 months ago

Great customer service is a must in our business. After all, we are in the service business, better our service is more likely we will get referrals. Sounds like you found a company that has adapted technology to make their customer service outstanding.

Posted by Michael Eisenberg, Bellingham Real Estate Guy (eXp Realty) 11 months ago