Several great small business tips were shared over a great lunch in Palm Beach. Anderson Ohman, one of my beloved former students, is killing it in real estate in a very competitive market for one reason; he listens well, and he gets back to clients immediately. Here are not- to- be- missed small business tips for you:
#1 Small Business Tip: Respond Within Five Minutes
Not reasonable? Then take no longer than 1/2 hr to respond to the client. The longer you take, your risk of losing them increases dramatically. This might not sound like a big deal but think about it. When was the last time you asked a question, and someone got back to you within five minutes? That’s Anderson’s service standard. Worst case, half an hour. Your answers don’t have to be brilliant, just timely.
#2 Small Business Tip: Hire Staff Who “Get It”
Make sure your support staff care as much about the details as you and the client do. If your staff can’t look at the world from the client’s perspective, they have to find somewhere else to work. This goes for sub-contractors too. Everyone has to be on the same page working on the same priorities.
Anderson makes sure the back office has its act together. Escrow money, title company records, mortgage applications, and appraisals must be current, accurate, and complete. He fired several people who couldn’t understand why accuracy was so important. Things that make you hmmmm…………………………..
#3 Small Business Tip: Put It In Writing
Another small business tip that I thought was brilliant was this: Anderson likes to text clients or to correspond via email, so he has a record of what was said and agreed to. He can print out those emails and include them in the client’s file.
Sometimes people forget, or things get heated, and those emails become very important in the conversation, especially when the lawyers get involved. If something is requested or agreed to, always put it in writing.
Even if it’s in an email with a more formal follow-up, at least you have a record. This is not just true for real estate sales but for any business. Put it in writing. It will reduce your liability considerably. Don’t ask for permission, just do it!
#4 Small Business Tip: Solve Clients’ Problems
One client fell on hard times and had to sell a few buildings. Anderson forfeited a big part of his commission to help her out. Now she’s back on her feet, guess who she wants to find her a house in sunny Florida?
Business is harder now for everyone. Every contact, every prospect has to count. Your reputation is built on every single interaction with the client. Remember, you don’t want the sale, you want the next three sales. And you want lots of referrals.
Serve clients. Be the happy call, the helpful, knowledgeable person in their lives. Anderson mentioned in class years ago I said, “become so valuable to the business, clients can’t fire you because they can’t live without you.”
Don’t follow a service standard. Set the service standard. Roger Staubach said, “there’s never any traffic on the extra mile.” Never forget that, and you’ll make money in any economy. Thanks for these terrific small business tips, Anderson!
In your corner, always,