Let's be fake to our customers!

By
Real Estate Agent with Orlando Area Real Estate Services

We have a service here in Florida, supplied by the Florida Association of Realtors. It gives daily news (although often late) and sometimes business tips.

For the second time in as many days I read one which made me very uncomfortable. Today's is all about how you should end notes of congratulations to people who may have expressed an interest in using your services or who may have used them in the past.

Nothing wrong with that - IF YOU ACTUALLY CARE! You see the people who get those notes from me are my friends. They know they are genuine and that I mean every word. If you think I'm going to follow the suggestions contained in what appears below, then you are wrong.

CONGRATULATION MARKETING

Besides being a nice thing to do, writing a congratulatory note to someone after a major life event is also a subtle reminder that you're available to assist them should their new situation require different housing. Choosing the right words for a congratulations note can increase the impact of the message, according to Judith Cronin, founder of Cronin & Company, an online resource specializing in cards for businesses and business-personal relationships. Here are her suggestions:

  • · Write soon after hearing the news.
  • · Use the word "congratulations" early.
  • · Mention the occasion for congratulations in the first sentence or two.
  • · Tell the person how happy, proud or impressed you are.
  • · If possible, mention something about the person's abilities and achievements.
  • · Express your best wishes for the person and for continued success.
  • · Don't tell the recipient he is lucky - it implies chance rather than achievement.

Source: Cronin & Co. (06/10/08)
© Copyright 2008 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD

This is a public post because I think it is important that the public can say the ways in which businesses try to manipulate them. I think my favorite one has to be "Tell the person how happy, proud or impressed you are." or "If possible, mention something about the person's abilities and achievements" - Doesn't seem to matter if it's true, but make sure you tell them.

If you are looking for REAL representation in Central Florida, then look no further. Call Simon Conway right now on 407 876 8200. I answer my own phone and I won't try and convince you that I'm your best friend.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Copyright © 2008 By Simon L Conway All Rights Reserved.)

Please give me a call if you have questions about the Central Florida real estate market.  You can reach me on 407 876 8200.  Also visit my web site at www.simonconway.net or www.move2orlando.net

Tune in to Simon on The Simon Conway Radio Experience on am1520 WHIM. The show airs in Central Florida at 4pm Eastern and is also available worldwide at  http://www.1520whim.com/

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Rainmaker
367,837
Kevin Robinson
Twin Falls, ID
High End Vacation Homes

Here in small town Idaho, we say thanks by having people over to dinner or out to a picnic. We make lots of new friends and if they end up customers, great, otherwise I have  a new friend.

Jun 11, 2008 01:57 PM #1
Rainer
150,003
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

Simon....I agree with you that I don't like the "canned" nature of this sort of thing, but I read over the list and don't see anything "that" bad with it...maybe they just went a bit overboard....

 

Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc.

Jun 11, 2008 01:58 PM #2
Rainer
91,643
Patrick Lambert
ALLY Real Estate - Waikoloa, HI
Hawaii Real Estate Expert

I use to have a telemarketing company and the telemarketeres would be like "hi, I'm so and so with such and such, how are you today?" That would always raise my brows and I would ask the telemarketer, do you really care how they are today? No, we are looking for interested people and by saying things you really don't mean leaves a door open for them to hang up on you or immediately tell you they are not interested before you even tell them why you are calling.

Jun 11, 2008 02:04 PM #3
Rainer
91,643
Patrick Lambert
ALLY Real Estate - Waikoloa, HI
Hawaii Real Estate Expert

I use to have a telemarketing company and the telemarketeres would be like "hi, I'm so and so with such and such, how are you today?" That would always raise my brows and I would ask the telemarketer, do you really care how they are today? No, we are looking for interested people and by saying things you really don't mean leaves a door open for them to hang up on you or immediately tell you they are not interested before you even tell them why you are calling.

Jun 11, 2008 02:05 PM #4
Rainer
20,050
Beth Forbes
The mortgage help you want when you need it. - Center Valley, PA
Your 24/7 loan officer

While I agree with your sentiments about being honest in your dealings rather than manipulative, I actually don't see anything wrong with that advice. It's just good manners and how to properly structure such a letter if you choose to write one.

Jun 11, 2008 02:12 PM #5
Rainmaker
570,046
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Looks like a very carefully thought out way to write an effective note !

Jun 11, 2008 02:17 PM #6
Ambassador
884,001
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I'm split on this one...  And I'm split on your presentation.  ;^ )

On one hand, I see exactly where you are coming from.  It almost seems like they are advocating we should have a form we can print out where we fill in the appropriate blanks before sending.  But, that might be a stretch.

I also think it is good to remind us (ok, remind ME) to give people a thumbs up and a high five... but as I've seen these articles (probably originating in the same place) I've felt it seemed less that sincere.

Jun 11, 2008 02:24 PM #7
Rainmaker
568,097
Susan Haughton
Long & Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Your Client-centric Alexandria VA REALTOR

Simon, I had the same reaction to the list you did;  for those of us who were taught very early how to write a proper note of thanks or congratulations, this list rings a bit false..."tell the person how happy, proud or impressed you are..." Uh, doesn't that come naturally if you are sincere?  I dunno...maybe it's because I've been writing notes for so long and for so many occasions, this just struck me as insincere, but I agree with you on this one.

Jun 11, 2008 02:28 PM #8
Rainmaker
404,315
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I have no problem with SINCERE cards of good wishes or getting well or sympathy. I think if the feelings are sincere then you don't need advice on how to write one. But this is clearly designed to send to everyone - including people you hardly know - and then sincerity is out the window. It's fake. Period.

Jun 11, 2008 05:38 PM #9
Rainer
102,732
Robert Huntsinger
Empire Realty - Upland, CA
Empire Realty Upland, CA - Full Service at a Discount

Hey the next notes they will suggest are funeral notes stressing sympathy and the need to sell their home.

Take care!

RJH

Jun 11, 2008 05:47 PM #10
Rainmaker
404,315
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

RJH - you are correct. I have seen those suggestions. I think this kind of thing gives our industry a bad name.

Jun 11, 2008 10:00 PM #11
Rainmaker
399,769
Hugh Krone
Weichert Referral Associates - Hamburg, NJ
Realtor, Sussex County NJ

Simon You know I agree with you, Its like when I am in the car dealership and the sales manager sends me back with figures and instructs me to say"I have great news for you" and instead i tell them ."don't accept it you can do better.

Jun 11, 2008 10:20 PM #12
Rainmaker
272,070
Ron Tarvin
Luxury and New Construction in Katy & Cypress TX - Katy, TX
Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095

I think that might be one of the "image" issues that the public has with real estate agents.  As a whole, because of prompting like this, the profession lacks that feeling that when someone contacts you they are sincere about their desire to help.

 

Jun 11, 2008 10:52 PM #13
Anonymous
NJ Bosley
Simon, Working with realtors for over 13 years taught me there are those that truly are out to help you and then there are the others that remind me of the car salesman that always seems to p*ss me off with their numbers game and "I'll have to run this by my manager" BS. Same with this letter advice above. It sounds fake, forced and receiving one would just p*ss me off. Most of us were taught to write thank yous as youngsters, I wouldn't follow the advice given above. Totally agree with you on this one. NJ
Jun 12, 2008 01:45 AM #14
Rainmaker
697,822
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I agree having a canned phony approach is the wrong way to do business. You need to be genuine. 

At the same time though, some people simply do not realize that they have much room for improvement in their speech and mannerisms.  Any positive improvement in how you act and speak is a good thing and can potentially improve your bottom line as well.

Jun 12, 2008 07:39 PM #15
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