The Loyalty of the Customer

The Loyalty of the Customer

Patricia Kennedy’s blog titled, “‘Bad’ Behavior Doesn’t Always Violate The Realtors’ Code Of Ethics” struck a note with me.

Customers make an interesting study. It seems that they always want the very most for the very least they’ll have to pay. They are ruthless, selfish, demanding and disloyal.

You know the story. You’ve done business with someone for several years and they’ve been a good customer. You’ve given them the best service possible and you think they are your customer for life. But then some little thing possibly out of your control goes wrong, or they see an ad or get a call from a competitor, someone they’ve never met before, with a slightly lower price, and the next thing you know, they are gone, oftentimes without a single word to you.

At first you don’t notice it. But one day you realize that it’s been a while since you’ve seen or heard from that customer. When you find out what happened, you feel badly, because if they would have just called you, you might have been able to make a couple of changes and save the business. But it’s too late, they’re gone.

This scenario is repeated time and again with business owners from every company who sell every type of product or service. It is going to happen. To pretend that it doesn’t, or won’t happen, is simply deceiving yourself.

It’s incredible how many business owners just write off the loss of a good customer. But that’s not the thing you should do. Instead, now is the time to become even more proactive and go after that “lost” customer.

One of the best ways to minimize or cut down on the frequency of losing your good customers is to resell them on the reasons they bought from you in the first place. Regularly scheduled meetings or conversations with your customers to remind them of their motives can go a long way in helping insulate your business from the competition.

Remember that your competition has similar products, services and prices. Also remember that your customers’ reasons for buying are only 35 percent based on those products, services, and prices – the other 65 percent is for what you can do for them.

Spend the time with them. Review their needs, wants and concerns. Remind them why they bought from you in the first place. Reinforce their motives and their decisions for buying, and you will reduce your customer defection rate and develop not only loyal customers, but friends as well.

Denton Texas Homes For Lease – 2000 Oak Tree

Denton Texas Homes For Lease - 2000 Oak Tree 

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 1621SF-Tax

Denton TX Homes For Lease – This is a cute 3 bedroom, 2 bath with private study.  Open kitchen with breakfast bar overlooks the living area.  Fenced backyard with open patio is great for entertaining.  Home sits on a corner lot and is close to TWU and UNT.  Pets are welcome on a case-by-case basis.

Click here for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit -Tom Branch

SUPRA eKEY for the iPhone – Technology Review

SUPRA eKEY for the iPhone

I had the chance to pick up and evaluate one of the first SUPRA eKEY adapters in Collin County. This device adds infrared capabilities to the iPhone so it can interface with the SUPRA iBox infrared lock boxes we use locally. 

The first thing I noted was the packaging states it is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS.  We had to call SUPRA to confirm it is compatible with the iPhone 4. I’m using a 3G but will upgrade in a couple of months.

The first step is to install the eKEY software using iTunes.  I had to turn in my old Display Key and was issued a new companion Display Key to use with the old style AEII boxes.  Basically, the new Display Key is the same as the old one. 

The adapter costs about $60.  The other change is from annual billing of $180 to monthly billing of $17.50.


I placed the adapter on my key chain so I’ll always be able to open iBoxes. Afterall, are you ever wthout your keys or iPhone? 

The eKEY software allows one to program the iBox settings including shackle and CBS codes as well as many other settings.  As a heavy listing broker this was real reason to upgrade.

The eKEY updates over the air so there’s no longer a need to place it in the cradle or get out on the road with an expired key.


This would not be my first choice as a heavy buyer’s agent.  You have to insert the adapter into the iPhone to use it.  Personally, I’ll use the companion key when out showing.


All-in-all, I like the device.  Now if we could only talk Apple into adding infrared to the iPhone 5…

Having Problems Paying the Mortgage?

Having Problems Paying the Mortgage?

According to the Distressed Property Institute, more than 80 percent of distressed homeowners who go into foreclosure have never contacted their lender or a real estate professional for help. That’s a staggering number when help and relief are available.

Without fail, our phone rings off the hook near the end of every month from desperate homeowners looking for help. After checking the local foreclosure lists, we often find that the house is already scheduled for foreclosure the following week. At that point, it’s nearly impossible to get a Short Sale in place to stop it. If you are falling behind on your mortgage payments, don’t wait! For best results, please seek help from a qualified Short Sale Professional right away.

The easiest way to understand the Short Sale process is to think about qualifying for a mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender reviews your recent bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. to determine your ability to repay the mortgage. When you apply for a Short Sale, it’s like undoing a mortgage. The lender will want to see the same documentation, along with a hardship letter, to determine your inability to repay the mortgage. If you can do this successfully, the lender will likely approve a Short Sale.  But first things first.  None of this can happen until your house has been listed for sale and a workable contract for purchase has been received.

If you’re having problems paying your mortgage, please do not wait to seek help and advice from a qualified professional.

McKinney Texas Homes For Sale – 2804 Colonial Circle

McKinney Texas Homes For Sale - 2804 Colonial Circle

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2403 SF

McKinney TX Homes For Sale – Enjoy the country club lifestyle in this clean and well-maintained home in sought after Village of Eldorado. Home sits on quiet cul-de-sac street surrounded by mature trees and lush landscaping. The open kitchen has lots of cabinets and counter space. Master suite has garden tub, separate shower and double sinks. Split bedrooms with walk-in closets. Recent interior and exterior paint and fresh carpet throughout. Numerous neighborhood amenities.

Click for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit -Tom Branch

Wylie Texas Homes For Sale – 2001 Highland Dr

Wylie Texas Homes For Sale - 2001 Highland

4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2639 SF

Wylie TX Homes For Sale – Beautiful Horizon home on oversized lot. Open kitchen overlooks family room with fireplace. Downstairs master looks out on lush backyard. Master bath has garden tub, separate shower, dual sinks, and walk-in closet. Upstairs living could be game or media room. Vaulted ceiling in livings and bedrooms. Woodbridge amenities include PGA golf course, club house, 5 resort-style pools and 8.7 miles of trails. Easy access to 190 and Firewheel Mall.

Click for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit – Peter Roos (Used with Permission)

Copyright Infringement – How Bad Can It Be?

Laura McDaniel’s blog titled, “Google Images – Do you use them in your posts?” caught my attention and sent chills up my spine.  By now I hope most of us realize that lifting images off the web is Copyright Infringement. But lifting photos is not the only way to wind up in trouble.

Let me tell you a story that will change the way you think about it.

We purchased a website template for a small website we ran as a lead generator.   The template included a really nice image that suited our needs so we kept it and went live with the site in February of that year.  Come July I get a Cease and Desist letter from a law firm and along with an invoice for $1000 as liquidated damages in lieu of a suit being filed.

That kind of letter will back you up.  I figured I could handle this on my own since I purchased the photo as part of a template so I faxed off a letter to the law firm telling them how this occurred and that we purchased the photo as part of a template.  I even included a copy of the receipt and contact information for the company who sold it to us.  I figured that was taken care of and went back to work.

A few days later I get a return fax telling me that the company who sold us the photo had not licensed it.  They wanted us to comply with the Cease and Desist and pay them the $1000.  At this point I gave in and called my lawyer.  This was the start of a serious lesson in US Copyright Law.

Lessons learned:

– US Copyright Law does not recognize innocent infringement. I had it on our site and regardless of how it got there (with a few exceptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – none of which applied to me) I was considered a Copyright Infringer.

– Since the photo was not registered with the Federal Copyright Office, I was liable for the actual loss and any profit attributed to the use of the photo. They sell the photo for $49 and we had not generated any leads from the website so there was no profit to go after.

– Had the photo been registered, we would have been in far worse shape.  The minimum award is $750 plus reasonable attorney fees.  Awards can go substantially higher based on the situation.


Our lawyer sent the law firm our check for $49, a letter from our CPA that we actually had a YTD loss on the books, and that we would comply with the Cease and Desist portion of their request.  They never cashed our check and we never heard from them again. I paid my lawyer for three hours of his time.  Total cost about $1000 plus all the time and effort.

We went back through years of blogs and every website we owned.  If we could not find the receipt for the photo it was removed.  Now we only use photos that we have taken or purchased from reliable sources. We use iStockPhoto for most everything these days. 

I never want to go through that again.