How To Lose My Business

by Scott on January 6, 2012

in Business Advice

Some people obviously make too much money or are too busy to bother with new customers.  I’ve always been fascinated by those with poor attitudes toward others who are somewhat likely to part with their hard earned money.  Ali and I had such an experience today.

This time around it didn’t have so much to do with “business” as it did with finding a place to rent.  We’re in the process of looking around and are going through the arduous process of scouring various sources, both on and offline, to find our next place to call home.  We found a promising house near us out in rural LA county.

The house is on a working horse ranch and is about two miles from where we live now.  The real estate management company, Southern California Real Estate Management (known by their quirky SCREM acronym), needed to be contacted to show us around.  Their office is about a 30 minute drive from our house, down in the city.  Ali called to schedule a viewing.  And this is the first part of where it gets interesting.

Let's waste gas!

They have a policy that you have to check-in at their office before they will show you a property.  So we had to drive 30 minutes down into town, show our drivers license and then drive BACK 30 minutes with an employee in tow.  This is all apparently done in the name of safety.  Because we might look at a few of their properties in the area over the coming weeks, I asked if our “check-in” would be valid for future tours.  Nope.  Each time we have to drive down to their office and then drive back up to the property.  Keep in mind, the drive between our house now and the potential new house was a mere 5 minutes.  This is where a simple tech solution like taking a picture of the tenant’s drivers license and/or license place with a smart phone and emailing it to the office would make sense, no?  So, whatever, we drive down, fill out the form and head back up.  Here comes part two.

The employee, Vernonica, could not be more un-interested in helping us around the property.  She basically opened the door and said that we could look around.  She was spouting off facts about the property off of some internal sheet, almost oblivious to our questions.  One of our deal breakers for a new place to live is that it must have high speed internet.  Veronica had no idea. (For the record, out where we live, high speed internet is something of a rarity).  Then we asked about laundry.  She said that the laundry was “shared” but that there were no machines. She also didn’t have keys to the laundry room.  And my favorite Q+A back and forth was with Ali:

Ali: “Do all the appliances work?” (while turning on the stove, oven and water)

Veronica: “Don’t turn anything on until your move-in walkthrough!” (Yes, she really said that)

Ali: “Well, I need to know if things actually work BEFORE I make a decision to move in…”

Veronica: “That’s something that ‘processing’ can help you with after you apply.”

Ali: “So, I have to pay your application fee and wait a week before we can determine if I even want to live here?”

Veronica: “Yes, that’s our policy.”

The answers were pretty much the same for everything else.  Does the water work? Is there outdoor lighting? Do we have access to the area near the horse corrals (the house is on a working horse ranch)?  What internet options are available?    And it went on and on.  She had ZERO interest in trying to help us move into the property.  Just wild.

As we got into the car we decided that we would not do business with them regardless of how much we liked the house.

Its not that hard to put a little effort into doing your job with passion.  You don’t have to be the most smiling, happy, enthusiastic person on the planet, but PLEASE, remember to be helpful to people that might pay you something.

  • Sophia

    I have dealt with Veronica and I know exactly what you mean.  She wasn’t just having a bad day when she showed you the house.  She was like that with me, my sister and a few other SCREM clients.

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