It always interests me to hear what occupies the minds of the best and brightest real estate presenters from around the world. I’m also ever curious to see what the vendors at NAR and other conferences are peddling to make us all more successful year after year.  I always try to find a theme or thread to what is going on. What direction do the messages and images point toward?

It seemed to me a few years ago there was a tremendous volume of vendors concentrated on increased agent productivity. I think that every imaginable technical gadget and gizmo to instantly or automatically perform every conceivable function was offered. It never ceases to amaze me the things that can be done with a smart device, mail merge, and a great cookie recipe!

But with the increase in systems and technology, which I embrace and applaud, there seems to be a lessening of talk and teaching about making sure that every action be what I describe as “customer-centric”. In my small but active mind, the definition of customer-centric is to ensure that every action and attitude has a real value to the customer and that the customer’s best interest is at the center of every decision, device, or direction.

Calls come to me almost daily from agents asking how to handle especially difficult disclosures. These calls are actually enjoyable to me! They make me feel that my opinion is valued as someone who might have special knowledge or insight. It feels good to be helpful.

I’ll often go to great lengths to be sure the agent understands what the problem is, how it can adversely effect the homeowner, how the proper repair might be done, how to find a contractor to repair it, and the risks posed if left unattended. Then much to my disbelief, the agent will ask if that particular problem is required to be disclosed!

The logic escapes me as to why I’m asked this question! Oh, I understand that complete disclosure can potentially put the deal at risk, but full disclosure, when properly presented, seldom dooms a deal. Rather than engage in a great debate on the merits, statutes, and ethics of disclosure, I have found a thought that most always makes matters clear. I simply ask,

“If your mother were buying this home, what would you want her to know, how would you explain it, and what recommendations would you make to her?”

When I present this thought to real estate professionals, I’m usually met by a brief silence, followed by the agent telling me that they would want their mother to know everything, that they would explain things in simple detail, then weigh the options together so that Mom would be comfortable with the home. Seems like the perfect approach to full disclosure to me!

The lesson is this: simply treat every customer with the same care and concern that you would show your own mother and you will be “customer-centric”!