By Toby Boyce
It was a quiet Monday night until the cell phone rang. My mother-in-law was on the other end, and five hours later my wife and I arrived in Cleveland – via Bellevue – and the Cleveland Clinic as my father-in-law was admitted.
It would go without saying that we were scared, nervous, and extremely worried as we were settling in for what would be a four-day stay in a hotel that we were barely prepared to stay for a single day. We were not prepared for this situation – but the Cleveland Clinic was. They have dealt with this on a daily basis for hundreds – if not thousands – of patients that arrive on a daily basis to the premier health facility.
They were prepared for us to ask questions we didn’t even know we had. We knew the clinic’s reputation – that’s why we were there – for health care, but its total commitment to the patient and family care is where the correlation to real estate begins in this post.
The first night we were there, I was wondering around looking for some food. It was going on 11 p.m. and none of us had eaten since lunch. I was half-awake, half-aware, and totally-hungry as I stepped off the elevator at the first floor. I looked left, then to the right, and stopped. A gentleman pushing a broom stopped and smiled asking, “Can I help you?” He directed me to the all-night diner where I picked up food for the mother-in-law and headed back to the room.
But that was the beginning of my amazement. “How can I help you?” Five words, none more than two syllables and they changed the entire way I looked at the clinic experience.
I spent a lot of time “waiting” and “thinking” during those four days and I began to realize that I had gotten away from my core business principle. I was taking a high-intensity training course that was teaching me about how the business was about the numbers and keeping the business rolling by focusing on the contacts that will produce the most and allowing the others to slide on by in the current of life.
But, I was that low-end contact to this janitor and he took the time to assist me. So was the nurse, the food-service lady in the cafeteria, the red-coat information folks, the aide, and everyone else that I relied upon to assist us in getting around that week. In a conversation with one of the folks, I commented on my experience and his response floored me: “Every person is so proud to work here,” he replied. “We take pride in helping people while they are here.”
How are you treating the people in your life? More importantly how are the other people in your company, team, or office treating those same contacts? Are they showing the same compassion for that nervous first-time home buyer as you do? Do they smile when they answer the phone even though they know it is the cranky short-sale buyer’s agent that calls every day? If they are, your clients will notice.
“How can I help you?”
Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.