Enough time has passed since I saw the article that I can now talk about it without anyone remembering it or the people who made the bonehead statements. One of the industry rags did a story about differentiation in the real estate business and how important it is to be unique, special and different. It’s something we at Help-U-Sell know a lot about. To make the point, the writer interviewed a couple of ‘shirts’ from two companies on the A-List. They both went on and on about how important it is to be different and then pointed to what made their companies special: quality service. It was a real ROTFLMAO moment for me! (Google it) Quality Service is not a differentiator! It’s and expectation! It’s an expectation the consumer has. You either meet the expectation or you don’t and if you don’t the consumer goes elsewhere. It’s one of those things that companies who have nothing special to offer hold up and point to as what makes them special . . . which is exactly what happened here.
Real estate is not Nordstroms. If you don’t like your house you can’t just take it back to the Realtor and exchange it or get your money back. And I think the whole Nordstroms – Quality Service thing is misunderstood anyway. Pundits point to that example and conclude that excellent service will make people love you and cause them to come to you rather than your competitors. I don’t think it’s the service at all. I think it’s about the money. We love Nordstroms because we know we’re not going to lose if we make a mistake with our money.
If you want to differentiate yourself in a way that causes consumers to choose you over your competitors, you do it with dollars, the consumer’s dollars. You have to offer a better deal. Then you have to meet their expectations which include quality service.
I swear, sometimes I think the whole industry (with a few exceptions) is trapped in an elevator moving down, floor by floor. They’re leaving a revolving restaurant at the top of the skyscraper where they just had a delicious meal of too many baked beans, frijoles and broccoli! Good luck with that. . .