Cash Flow With Joe

It’s not about you. It’s about them.


I had two recent experiences that were the epitome of poor customer service. One was at a recent closing where the real estate professionals were bantering back and forth so loudly that the attorney and the buyer (the actual customer who is paying everyone’s salary at the table) couldn’t hear each other. The second was at a big box store where I had a less-than-enjoyable time picking up some materials that had been confirmed ready an hour before I arrived. I still wasn’t loaded 40 minutes after I got there, and management kept referring to me as “Bubba” and “Brother.”



I romanced the idea of writing in detail about those events. But then it dawned on me that we openly talk about bad service and seem to omit when people do a great job.


I’d prefer to leave you with a positive message and tell you about two other instances that were awesome.


The first happened when I called my Calhoun Home Depot to check on flooring availability. I call that store “mine” because it’s where I do the most business. I know where everything is, and I know and appreciate most of the associates in the store.


They also know me there.


When I called, I asked to be transferred to the flooring department. I didn’t know the guy who picked up the phone, but he was friendly and verified that they had the 35 cases I needed in stock. I thanked him and hung up the phone.


Susan and Mary Ann


About an hour later I got a call from Susan in flooring. She was calling to let me know she had my order sitting up front for me. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t paid for or even ordered anything yet, and I hadn’t asked Susan to do that. But she went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care of. This saved me a bunch of time and really made me feel like a valued customer.


And now you know why I appreciate the associates at “my” store so much.


The next day, I attended a great closing at Lee Perkins’ office. It was with a family buying their first home; they were excited and quit nervous all at the same time. All the real estate professionals in the room recognized just how big a deal this was to the new homeowners and made sure that everything was all about them.


We asked about their family and about the house. We asked where they were from, what places they had lived and, finally, what had made them decide to settle in Bartow County, Georgia.


In no time flat, the grandbaby pictures were out, the stories were being shared and their nervousness melted away. Because we were attentive, they left the closing table smiling and excited to claim the new title of homeowners.


The difference between these two stories and the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph is that the latter group of professionals provided great customer service by understanding and implementing the following statement: “It’s not about you, it’s about them.”


In order to make your clients feel valued, you have to make the transaction be all about them.


As a real estate investor, you are a service provider. People have real-estate related problems, and you provide solutions that range from buying unwanted houses to managing unwanted rental property via master lease.


Each time you sit down with a seller, you must repeat in your head, “It’s not about you. It’s about them.” This applies especially if you are trying to put a creative deal together.


By focusing on the seller, you’ll help them not just to see, but also to feel, the value in the solution you’re providing. And when they feel valued they’ll be more likely to enter into a creative deal structure with you and also recommend you to others.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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