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Waxing the Discounters

…we are privileged to have a guest blogger, John Schumacher, who is an Executive Business Consultant with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The following post is from his blog “Shoes Views” but was so good we wanted to showcase it on our site as well. Enjoy. I took my car into Triple T Car Wash, Lube […]

…we are privileged to have a guest blogger, John Schumacher, who is an Executive Business Consultant with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The following post is from his blog “Shoes Views” but was so good we wanted to showcase it on our site as well. Enjoy.

I took my car into Triple T Car Wash, Lube & Detail Center this morning for an oil change. When I went to pay for my oil change, exterior car wash, new wiper blades, tire rotation and cabin air filter (I’m still not convinced I needed that one but this time it was SO gross looking…) they handed me a coupon for “$50 off any complete detail service”! I normally pay $100 to get my car detailed, so that’s almost a 50% savings!!

Except that I get my car detailed by Mike Grady. (No, not the “real estate” Mike Grady…the “retired beer distributor truck driver” Mike Grady).

My wife gets her car detailed by Mike Grady (a hell of a lot more often than I do). In fact, she introduced him to me. Mike does a great job (I always end up deciding to keep my car after he’s had it for the day). He’s so trustworthy that he’s got the code to our garage door. Mike reminds us routinely at Panera Bread Company where we see him how important it is to take care of our cars, and how nice they look when they’re “cleaned up”. Mike really enjoys detailing cars (he’s always telling us about other cars he’s detailed, new products he’s tried out, etc). Every single time Mike brings one of our cars back, he looks us in the eye and thanks us for our business, and I think he really means it.

Getting a car detailed for half price is a nice offer. I won’t be taking them up on their offer, because Mike Grady’s my car detailer.

Why am I so loyal to Mike? Because he loves what he does, and it shows. Because he’s really great at what he does. Because he appreciates my business. Because he keeps in touch with me. Because he keeps finding ways to improve his work. And finally, because whenever I send someone else to Mike Grady, they think more highly of me.

It seems as though we’re bombarded more and more with offers of discounts from service providers from all sectors…including real estate. In fact, entire companies, even franchises seem to be springing up built around the notion of offering cheaper service, as if that’s what we, as consumers seek. I’m fiercely loyal to the people and companies who go above and beyond for me, like the Mike Grady’s of the world, and I’ll bet you are too!

People or companies that reach out to me with offers of a cheaper price do so because they can’t go above and beyond the competition when it comes to service. Yet, unless I’m buying a commodity (which real estate is not) I’m not interested in cheaper. I expect better. In fact, I’m really proud to be working for a company with a 104 year reputation based on better – Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

How can you recognize a great real estate agent or company? Just look for someone who’s great at what they do, loves their work, cherishes their relationships, keeps in touch, and continually innovates.

Or you could just look for the cheapest coupon.

Husband. Father. Socializer. Mets Lifer. TV Afficianado. Consumer Engager.

David Marine is the Vice President of Brand Engagement for Coldwell Banker where he oversees the brand’s content strategy including acting as managing editor for the Coldwell Banker blog and heading up video production efforts. While Vice President by day, David runs a three ring circus at night as he is the father of 4 boys. He also happens to be married to Wonder Woman. True story.

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  • Matthew Rathbun

    Typically people offer discounts on services that consumers aren't using. In your example of the %50 off, it's half off because half of something is better than nothing. Many real estate agents do this as well. "No one finds value in me, so I should devalue myself for awhile to see what I can get…"

    Interestingly enough, if you read the NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers you'll see that only 1% of consumers choose their agent because of commission. If you build value in your interaction, both from a services rendered standpoint as well as personal one than the commission conversation is easy. Even more importantly, if you have a good reputation people typically won't discount you. If someone they trust says that you're effective than people will typically pay the reasonable fee. I know I've paid higher prices for something I've been convinced will work as opposed to a cheaper unknown.

    Great post!

  • Debbie Ashbrook

    What a profound post…. Really gets you thinking about all the important people in your life who provide a service!

  • http://www.therealtorstoolbox.blogspot.com Sean Carpenter

    John – Thanks for posting your thoughts on charging/getting what you're worth. It is so true when you believe in your product, it instantly becomes more valuable to not only the reciever but the provider as well.

    I must say however that I disagree with you on the "commodity" angle. Real eestate most certainly is a commodity in that the buyer/market determines the price. A "product" is one where the manufacturer sets the price and advertises around that price. It either sells or it doesn't. A commodity, on the other hand, sells at a price that is driven by the market and depeneding on supply and demand will fluctuate just like the stock market, gold and wheat.

    Perhaps you meant to say that a Realtor's service is not a commodity in that the price of service should be the price, regardless of the "lowest common denominator in the local market"?

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