Integrity and Truth in Real Estate Practice

Posted by Professional Realty on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 6:55am.    1912 Views

A Consumer Horror Story; Do Your Homework

Have you ever had a service or bought a product for your home and felt totally screwed after? Have you ever left a restaurant for not being acknowledged or being seated and not one person said "be right with you", or "just a moment". Ever felt ignored after you've paid up with a company, leaving you feeling like now they have your money, they stop caring? Buying a home or selling a home, let this post encourage you to do the diligence when hiring a professional.

Lies, Excuses and the Passing of The Buck

I'd like to share a quick consumer horror story, my own, to illustrate why it's important to do your homework when it comes to getting product or service from someone. My business partner and I recently moved further South to a better neighborhood. Prior to the move we had called Time Warner Cable, and that's where the misery ensued. At first, they had a most difficult time understanding the property was a duplex, and that we owned both sides stating "we don't do multi-family installations." We thought that ridiculous as we owned both sides and living in the home, and after much toil and many phone calls they agreed to install.

Four times they showed up and four times they left without doing anything, but yet each time I or my business partner had to take time off work to drive down to the new place and let them in. The first time they left citing they needed to have a computer and television to hook up and test (why did the dispatcher not say anything about this?), and the second time, it required drilling a small hole which the technician was not about to do and also left.  The third time, the Time Warner tech pulled in our driveway, sat in the van for a few minutes and left with no explanation. The fourth technician showed up, cited some mysterious problem, said it was another type of tech's responsibility and also left. Tech number five was not a Time Warner employee, but rather an independent contractor, a pleasant young man and sharp as a tack. He stood there and listened to us regale and vehemently complain about Time Warner with patience and grace and then simply said "But that's not what I'm going to do". 

He fixed it alright, took him about 45 minutes, and a little sweat. After verifying that our cable and internet were fine, he informed us that if a tech shows up in a Time Warner van, don't expect any results, "If they can't do something in five minutes and make money, they won't do anything at all, they don't like to work." and it would seem to hold true given our experience.

The real aggravation set in a few weeks later with an outage. We went without internet for 5 days, most painful when you rely on internet for business and are in the middle of a project. Again we experienced Time Warner vans and their techs showing up, 4 in fact, and each one blaming some new situation and that it was someone else's responsibility. Tech number 3 said it was an outage, yet when we called Time Warner, they said there was no outage. Tech number four sure gave us a lot of tech jargon, and said he put in a work order and the "other tech" would be out between 1 and 2 pm. 2 pm came and went, no tech ever showed. We called, and the nice lady on the other end said they would be there in two hours. Again, a no-show. So, we called this morning, and they have no record of a work order for a tech to come out, still don't have internet and I'm using an old lap tap that barely runs, tethered to a cell phone for some sluggish access.

While I'm happy to post the final results of this fiasco, I strongly recommend you consider some company other than Time Warner for your cable and internet. In fact, they are being raked over the coals on BBB, and you should see the accounting of consumer's misery on ConsumerAffairs.com where I see hundreds of stories similar to our own. 

Here's a real kicker; the last representative we spoke to on the phone said if we had business class service, all of this would have been taken care of and we'd receive "top service", so for $200 monthly we signed up. That was 2 days ago, and still no cable, no television, no internet.  We feel lied to, cheated, slighted, and so long as they have money out of us, they don't give a damn.

Good Realtors Advocate for Their Clients

All that being said, let's spin this into real estate. Real estate agents are people, and just like all people you have the good, the bad and the ugly. My business partner Marty Snyder and I sell dozens of homes every year in southwest Ohio, and we can tell you all manner of horror stories of clients  that come to us, some in tears, after their experience. The best business we get are the referrals from previously satisfied customers.

Some agents only care about the paycheck, but I've been a business man for decades and can tell you the old fashioned principals work best. The best way to earn new customers is to take care of the ones you already have.

I've known some agents to stand in front of cracks or other issues, or agents that will show homes to clients outside of their price range and are over the client's heads financially, and most commonly I hear how "no one returns my calls or emails." People are more than a paycheck, a commission or a sale. People have needs, they have feelings, and people also have a voice. I encourage you, if you're not satisfied with something, a service or product, raise your voice, share your experience with your circles. 

Marty and I have often counseled buyers to not follow through with a purchase because it wasn't in their best interests for a variety of reasons and helped a client buy a home that instead met their needs that they are living in without regret, and those clients have referred to us year after year.  Too, I'm particularly proud to be a part of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Professional Realty for the high level of mentoring, coaching and training agents receive, not to mention the very "hands-on" personal approach of our management. This company offers huge opportunities through continuing education while keeping everyone updated on ever changing laws, lending practices and issues that affect buyers and sellers.

If you need a Realtor in southwest Ohio that gets it, that truly cares about you and your goals, give us a call or shoot us an email. Even if you're not quite ready to buy or sell, we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

3 Responses to "Integrity and Truth in Real Estate Practice"

Theresa wrote: OMG, i just read this and had to say it. I've had a very similar experience with TW and took 6 days to get service back and seemed everyone blamed everyone else and no one gave me a solid answer.

Now that I'm looking for a home, I'm wary of choosing a real estate agent. I know it's not wise to go without professional representation, but then, how do you know you're getting a good realtor?

Posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 10:26am.

Greg Hancock wrote: Hello Theresa,

There are several questions you can ask in addition to looking at how long one has been a Realtor, with the number of homes they sell annually. Obviously, the longer in business and more homes sold equates to more experience. There's more to it though, look for testimonials, ask for references. Ask questions like "How will you protect my interests, or how can you save me money." For example, an inspection addendum gives you the right and the time for inspections, if the your Realtor is competent, they will write the contract so that it's "contingent upon satisfactory inspections", should inspections reveal something over the buyer's head financial or just too much of a headache, you can walk away from the contract legally. Also, a good Realtor will check for outstanding water or other utility bills and hold the seller responsible, and uncover hidden pitfalls like mechanic's or tax liens.

Hope that helps, if you need a Realtor in SW Ohio, my business partner Marty Snyder and I will be glad to assist.

Posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 12:11pm.

Diane Goodwin wrote: It is so unfortunate when this happens. We have all been through situations so similar to this and more. I feel that if we can use these situations to become better people. Then it is just a learning experience. What is worse yet is if you decide to voice an opinion to a superior. When they don't care either, it really makes you wonder how some places are in or have stayed in business.

Posted on Friday, January 10th, 2014 at 1:30pm.

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