Jeff the Great outlaws Realtors!

I had another "wholy shit, are you kidding me" moment the other night. I was working my sales job and had the opportunity to pitch the Treo 700w to a customer. The Treo is made by Palm and probably the most powerful PDA/cell phone on the market. It runs on the Windows Mobile operating system (so it acts just like your laptop), has a full QWERTY keyboard, 1.3 megapixel camera, email/contacts/calendar, etc, etc, etc.
My customer wasn't sure if she needed such a device. I asked what business she was in and she told me that she's a realestate broker. Since I am such an amazing sales person, I went into my pitch: "Here's an example of how you'll use this divice in your job," I said. "Say you're driving around and you find a home that is perfect for one of your clients. You take a picture of it with the phones 1.3 mp camera, email it to your client while standing in the driveway, call them to arainge for a showing, then use your phone to unlock the lockbox on the front door." Pretty impressive example if I don't say so myself.
Her response: "I'd NEVER do that for a client. They find homes on their own, I just consult them through the process."
Are you kidding me? Does she really think she deserves her share of the 6% commission most agents charge? Realtors must be the most overrated professionals in modern time. I have yet to meet one that does work equivilent to the amount they charge. To make things work, they are baisically a union that controls their market like a comunist government.
I beleive the internet has started a revolution in the realestate businesses. It is not a quick processes, but we are in the midst of change. Give it 10 years and I'd guess realtors go the way of the travel agent. I read recently that the Portland Oregon metro area (my hometown) has more realestate brokers per capita than any time in history. At one point last summer, there was 0.8 listings per realtor. For all you brokers out that that translates to LESS THAN 1 LISTING EACH!
So I ask the question, when was the last time you booked a trip through a travel agent?
-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great 'punches in' for work

Working my new part-time retail sales jobs has really opened my eyes to the virtues of good customer service. I've seen it from the eyes of a consumer for years, now I get the view from behind the counter.
Last night while working I witnessed a very poor act of customer service that I fear is all too common. I was working with a coworker who was scheduled off at 5:30pm, leaving me on my own for the last 3.5 hours of business. He stayed late to finish a big, complicated sale and was ready to go by 7pm. By that time the store had gotten busy and I found myself helping 3 customers at once.
As my coworker finished his sale and prepared to leave, I asked if he could help a waiting customer by making one routine task on his account. My simple request was met with this comment: "I normally would but I already clocked out." Then, he turned and walked out of the store.
I was shocked, not only as his coworker but as a consumer as well. This little act said a lot about what his priorities are....and I can tell you that good customer service isn't one of them. I couldn't imagine doing what he did, if only for the simple concept of brand image.
If you were a customer in our store at the time, what would have gone through your mind?
-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great says "The Customer's not always right!"

So is the customer always right? Don't even get me started on that one. But I do wonder if there should be a balance between kissing the customers but and saying "your business isn't that valuable to me" and moving on.

Great article from StartupJournal.com: http://www.startupjournal.com/howto/management/20061211-memos.html

-Jeff the Great