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Being Nice
by Robert Franco | 2008/04/11 |

We, of course, always try to be nice to our clients. We do some things that I think are very nice and sometimes our clients get upset. I don't quite understand it. Are people actually so suspicious when you are nice to them that they are offended by kindness?

We used to have a client that we were so nice to that they dropped us and decided to find someone who wouldn't treat them quite so well. (Yeah... I don't get it either) They were very particular about getting their documents recorded the same day as the closings. That isn't always easy to accommodate, but we do our best. This client only seemed to have filings in a county that was about 30 miles away and we didn't do a lot of work there. Thus, we had to plan to have someone there when they needed us to record for them. They would call us the day before and say "we need you to record our documents at 3:00pm tomorrow." There was no time to overnight the documents to us, so they would send someone from their office to meet our abstractor there. We always managed to accommodate them, but we did charge them an extra $25.

One day, I thought that I would be nice. I suggested that since they were sending someone from their office to the courthouse anyway, we would be happy to show them how to update our search and walk the documents through the courthouse to get them on record. I thought that would really help them out if, on some occasion, we were unable to get there when they needed us. It would also save them money and it seemed to make sense, since they were already sending someone to the courthouse.

Not long after that conversation, I found out that they were using someone else. They apparently told their "new" abstractor that we didn't want to do their work anymore. It wasn't long before their new abstractor dropped them because their expectations that someone be there when they wanted to record were unreasonable.

I had tried to be nice, and I lost a client.

Source of Title Blog ::

Recently, we had a client that ordered a search from us that we had previously done for them. We called to let them know that they already had a search on the property and they asked us to update it for them. We did. Again, we were trying to be nice - there was no point in paying us for the search again when they only needed an update.

On the update, we showed all of the changes since the previous search. They called, quite upset, because we didn't show all of the items from the previous search on the update. On the previous search, there were two individuals in title. On the update we showed a quit claim deed from one to the other. They wanted to know where the other half-interest was. I explained that he already had a half interest and this half-interest vested title in him alone. She wanted to know how they were supposed to know that, so I told her that if she looked at the previous search she would see that both of them were in title - our update shows the changes since then.

That didn't make her happy. I offered to write it up as a current owner, but I let her know that we would charge for a current owner if we did that. She said "never mind." Later she called back and asked for the current owner. She was clearly still upset with us.

I thought we were being very nice. We have easy access to our previous work, and as a courtesy, we try to catch duplicate orders and let the client know in case they missed it in their system. That saves us time, and it saves them money. I never would have dreamed that it would be so upsetting to them.

Sometimes, being nice just doesn't pay. We try to treat our clients like we would like to be treated - but I must be out of touch. With so many clients trying to cut expenses and demanding lower prices, I would think that when we try to save them money they would be appreciative. Though most of the time they are, I have a tough time imagining why some get upset. If these clients had just said, "thank you, but we still want you to file our documents," or, "we still want you to do a current owner," we would have been more than happy to oblige them.

Perhaps it is true, what they say... "nice guys finish last."

Robert A. Franco


Categories: Abstractors, Huh?

1010 words | 2636 views | 2 comments | log in or register to post a comment

Robert, this is something that ever...
Robert, this is something that every business owner struggles with. When my brother and I first started in the business we killed ourselves trying to please everyone.

However, we soon learned that there are some clients that you will never make happy, and you shouldn't try. Your time and energy is better spent serving clients that appreciate you and your efforts.
by Shane Kane - | 2008/04/14 | log in or register to post a reply

being nice??????

i have been doing work for a major underwriter for more then 20 years--some of the largest titles they have ever insured etc etc --i have done the dog and pony show - stood on my head-jumped through flaming hoops--- even given out my personal home phone # and had attorneys calling me at 10:30 at night to go over searches-- sit with their clients at meeting -sometimes on sundays -- you name it i've done it and accommodated their every whim---- and when i say they have done everything up to and including to refuse to pay for a project because the deal fell through- so of course at that point we become partners - it just isn't worth it to be that nice-i have saved them money time and time again as i usually recall searches they have insured and call their attention to the fact---but it still doesn't matter- you are only as good as your last search--and then there comes a change in staff and we go  back to square one and have to prove myself all over again-- there is no real answer to this dilemma --at what level does it go from good service to being taken advantage of-and for granted-- but i'm not going to compromise my standards- so all my clients get that top shelf treatment whether they want it or not - i have to look in the mirrow every day and know i did my best----

by thomas reale | 2008/04/22 | log in or register to post a reply
Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco



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