This is a guest blog post written by Mac MacDermaid,
Marketing Specialist for Stokas-Bieri Real Estate.
There’s that one classic line in every infomercial, “But wait….there’s more!” It makes me laugh every time I hear it. Marketing gimmicks have been around for so long that it doesn’t feel right to pay full price for anything.
When I was younger, I remember my oldest sister having a few companies come to her house to give her a quote on new windows. It was my first experience with the games & gimmicks played out by businesses. One company mentioned that if she signed on the dotted line that day, she would receive x amount of dollars off. I thought, “What a deal! Sign that thing!” I was 10. Another company told her that he was giving her such a good deal that she had to promise not to tell her neighbors how much she was paying. After all, who would feel good about paying for something they knew the neighbors down the street paid way less for?
I was too young and dumb at the time to understand the ploy. But when I became an adult and had to deal with things on my own, I quickly learned that falling for those tricks left me uneasy. There’s always a catch and I’d usually end up paying more in the end. I’m a very straight-forward person and when I’m consulting a salesperson, I want them to be straight-forward too. I just don’t respond well to pushy people, especially if they want me to make an impulsive decision.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good deal (or feeling like I got a good deal), it’s that I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to pay more for the exact same product or service than Joe-Schmoe. The products and services I’m referring to are the much larger-scale financial commitments than cutting coupons. I’m actually in awe of the hard-core couponers that score $100 in groceries for $10. Those savvy shoppers definitely have one up on me. If you could see me right now, I am literally shaking my fist in the air with jealousy.
Since I’m not an impulsive buyer, I have learned over the years to stand my ground. Making quick decisions without thinking it through gives me way too much anxiety. I even stand in the toilet-paper aisle browsing all the available brands before committing. Yes, I know, sometimes I take it a little too far. But doing a little research before making a purchase has paid off for me. Enter smartphone. Being able to compare prices and read reviews while I’m out shopping helps me make informed decisions. I also Google ‘coupon codes’ every time I buy something online. Between coupon codes for the items I’d buy anyway and price-checking, I’ve saved a lot of cash.
This past year I stopped at a Coleman Outlet to buy a new tent. My thought process was: outlet store is the cheapest I can get it. I pulled out my phone to see what other consumers had to say about the tent I was considering. As I was doing that I saw that Wal-mart had the exact same tent for $70 cheaper. My logical thinking about the outlet store price went out the window and I was shaking my fist in the air again.
Recently I experienced the salesperson games & gimmicks as I dealt with a popular basement repair/waterproofing company. Working in real estate, I’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing some of the nastiest basements out there. It’s probably made me a little hyper-sensitive about my own house. I noticed a crack along one of my basement walls and wanted to get it checked out in case it caused a much bigger (and more expensive) issue down the road. When all was said and done with the salesman’s inspection, the crack turned into a $23,000+ estimate.
After I got up from the floor, I asked, “Is this one of those things where if I sign today I’ll get a deal I can’t refuse? Because I’d really appreciate skipping all that and just get a final number.” He quickly responded that their business doesn’t use tactics like that. Whew! I didn’t have to worry about the ‘if you let us put a sign in the yard we’ll give you x amount of dollars off’ speech. “Finally,” I said, “a business that feels the same way I do!” But my warm and fuzzy feelings were short-lived as he followed up with, “But now that you mention it…..scheduling problems…..discount…..blah…..blah.” And just like that the estimate was down to $19,000+.
A few days after he came to the house I got a call from the company. Lucky me – they reviewed the issues I was having, and, after she continued to read from a script, more money off. On a positive note, the guy who came out to do the estimate was on-time (actually a little early) and their follow-up was great. I can appreciate the effort.
When I decided to break into the real estate field I started out as an administrative assistant. I not only worked for a few agents but I also dealt with A LOT of agents. I saw firsthand what gimmicks agents were using to lure clients in. Everything from ‘buy with me and I’ll sell your home for free’ to ‘get a free inspection when you buy with me’ and the ever-so-popular ‘if your home doesn’t sell, I’ll buy it myself’. It seemed like so much focus was on the gimmick that I kept wondering what happened to just providing rock-star service to clients.
After getting my real estate license and going on my own as an agent I knew I wanted awesome customer service to be at the center of my business. My motto kind of created itself: “No games, no gimmicks…Just pure real estate”. That is why I love working for Stokas-Bieri Real Estate. They walk you through the steps and educate you throughout the process, to help you find the best property possible. They do for commercial real estate, what I do for home buyers…treat their clients to the best service possible, without the tricks.
What real estate tricks have you encountered? Do you have a story of great customer service? Please let us know in the comment section below!