More beef, less bun

Most of us may remember the Wendy’s commercials with the elderly lady showing her disappointment with a hamburger that was all bun and little beef.  More beef stands for superior quality and value in a burger.
Just to refresh your memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug75diEyiA0
I wanted to take a moment to compare this to our profession.  I feel many realtors are delivering more bun than beef to customers.  The disclaimer paragraph in our contracts and additional disclaimers we have clients sign limit our liability in a transaction.  Have we gone so far to the point that we don’t take enough responsibility and deliver the services we should?  When buyers and sellers read our disclaimers could they be asking themselves what value we really provide?
Are we really providing valuable services to our buyers? They can find homes on the Internet, schedule their own showings with listing agents, review their own contracts, etc.  Can we run the numbers for them?  Do we attend the loan application?  Are we in constant contact with them to really help them find the right home or do we just tell them to call when they see something they like?
What about sellers?  Our own MLS gives us a choice on service type.  Full service, limited service, and entry only.  Isn’t bigger better?  Doesn’t everyone want more cash?  Do any customers ever brag on limited service???   What level of service should we provide?  Do we make a detailed listing presentation that outlines our marketing efforts?  Is it professionally written and printed?  Do we provide full color home brochures or have we stopped because of the cost?  They still sell homes!  Do we provide a full time efficient service to set appointments and follow up for feedback?  Are we using the expanded listing opportunities on Realtor.com?  Do we provide a written service guarantee?
Sometimes it is the little things that demonstrate service levels.  When waiting on a response from another agent, I like to make that last phone call at night to tell my client to relax and go about their evening.  We will not hear anything until tomorrow.  This accomplishes the same thing as saying, I’ll call you when I hear something, but just a little better.  Also,  I have 2 pet peeves when it comes to outgoing VM recordings on cell phones.  The first is “I’ll call you back at my earliest convenience”.  Does this really communicate that you are anxious to speak to the customer?  The other is “if you are calling after 7pm, I will return your call tomorrow“.  This seems fair because we all need time with our families but phone calls can be managed without drawing this line every time a customer gets your VM.
I want to deliver more beef and less bun to my customers.  I believe it’s what leads to more repeat business and more referrals.  And I still prefer Wendy’s!

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