Ahhh, That’s Why

I have just had to fire our estate agent of 5 months. The really sad thing is that they just don’t get it…at all. The 90’s are gone.

There was a time when an agent – didn’t matter who – was instructed. Shortly thereafter a buyer that was able to proceed walked in and would offer the asking price. They would then be followed by another offering yet more money etc etc. To be an estate agent was fairly easy money for relatively little work.

Estate Agents
For Sale

Those days have gone. The UK housing  market is at best uncertain. For any kind of salesperson that means they actually have to work at it. It transpires agent(s) we instructed  are still of the housing boom mindset. Wrong.

The feedback from viewings needed to be chased down every time, my name was constantly spelt incorrectly and then I was called Daniel during the ill-fated, late & bleating “why me” phone call after the firing had happened. Newsflash – we are paying for your services. You aren’t doing me a huge favour by allowing me to have my house on with you. Get over yourselves.

The attitude is so typical of old style British “customer service” it makes my blood boil. I’ll put away my soapbox now.

Estate Agents always look a bit puzzled when they are grouped with crawling things that live in the damp and dark spaces under rocks.

On a positive note have rec’d a recommendation from a friend of an estate agent that actually appreciates the concept of working for their client. Watch this space.

Quote Of The Day…

No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.

Both Sides Are The Customer

English: Scarecrow No.5, Bill and Ben the Flow...
Bill & Ben

Most interactions can be boiled down to what is happening between the two people involved. We’ll call the Bill & Ben for the purposes of this example.

Ben sold a faulty Thing to Bill. Bill is unhappy and calls Ben in the hope that Ben will fix the problem. So what’s going on at the basic level?

I’m no psychologist but I’ll bet that both Bill and Ben each have some sort of general aspiration to go to bed content every night. After all, no one likes tossing and turning whilst they replay the days events in their head. Do they?

So, whilst Bill rightly expects Ben to “do something” as Bill has handed over his hard earned for a faulty Thing, I think that Ben doesn’t want to be the cause of Bill’s upset. Ben also doesn’t want the chat with Bill to leave him (Ben – keep up!) feeling bad. So I believe that Bill will get more than the legal minimum out of Ben if he recognises this and tries not to leave Ben feeling bruised and battered. Ben has obligations under consumer law but any additional recompense is down to him. Bill enjoys legally mandated consumer rights thanks to the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (a). Great; we have the legal stuff taken care of.

What about the soft and fuzzy emotional stuff? Why doesn’t Bill just invoke the law, maybe even go in all lawyered up, and just stick it to Ben? I mean, Ben (probably knowingly as these filthy cheating capitalist  so and so’s are all the same don’tchyaknow?) is trying to give the minimum for the maximum, right?

Maybe Bill realises that he stands to gain more from Ben if he leaves Ben feeling ok from the chat? Maybe Ben is inclined to do more for Bill if Bill treats him decently?

So next time you need to complain remember, they are also a customer of yours.

Strategy, It Ain’t That Simple

No it’s not. The first post is just an attempt to bring some really simple clarity to a topic that seems – in business circles – to have a lot of smoke and mirrors applied to it. I suppose that if you make your audience blind then you can charge to clear the air. Hey, welcome to the world of average Management Consulting!

Very sadly – for me – I was lying awake at 0530h thinking about the previous post of Strategy vs Tactics. It’s not simple and I think that the other key point to make is that you can also have a sub-strategy to achieve your overall strategy. I have even heard the overall strategic objective of being “there” instead of “here” not being referred to as strategy but a goal. I think these kind of differences are semantics and tend to involve more smoke and more mirrors. Use the term you are comfortable with but understand that the tactics – individual actions – differ.A Chinese bamboo book, open to display the bin...

There is of course the way that you go about achieving the overall strategic objective. I would also call this a strategy. E.g.: do you batter the front door down or tiptoe around the side and look for an open window? I am not trying to teach you individual strategies here – this is the Sun Tzu stuff I referred to in the previous post – suffice it to say that most people seem to go for the batter the door down approach when there are many many more elegant and efficient ways to achieve your strategic goal. They have a problem for some in that they are inherently more intellectually demanding and less about brute force.

Ask yourself, are you smart or just massively strong?

The Ten Rules For Dating My Daughter

This still makes me laugh and my daughter is not even a teenager yet. I was doing some electronic housekeeping on the PC, stumbled over this that was sent to me when our daughter was born. Although I like to believe I am progressive and liberal this strikes a chord deep inside.

  1. If you pull into my driveway and beep you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
  2. If you can’t keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
  3. I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your trousers ten sizes too big, and I will not object.
    Clown trousers
    Clown trousers (Photo credit: Eleventh Earl of Mar)

    However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

  4. I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilising a `barrier method` of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
  5. It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is `early.`
  6. I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
  7. As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Forth Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
  8. The following places are NOT appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka-zipped up to her throat. Ice Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
  9. Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a pot-bellied, balding, middle-aged, dim-witted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
  10. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over Now Zad. When my NBC injections start acting up the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside