Customers are still king, right?

I love this quote by Gandhi, which I came across again during my recent CPD training for my NSW Class 1 Real Estate Licence.

To me, at least, it seems like the Covid pandemic has caused (is forcing?) a “reset” in customer expectations, because, even now (in a semi-post pandemic environment) we are often being advised that any delays, inconsistencies (or ability to be civil apparently) are inevitably caused by the “the virus”, which for many consumers is currently not a focus moving forward but is in the rear view mirror. Now, I am not suggesting for one second that there still aren’t global supply chain issues, but that’s not my point. It seems to me that service standards and controllable matters/issues in supplying consumers are well behind what they were a couple of years ago.

Which brings me to my area of expertise, real estate. What an amazing example my colleagues in the industry have provided me with, particularly as I have sold and purchased during the pandemic period. This also beautifully coinciding with the peak of the market and it’s transitioning, the Reserve Bank of Australia bumping up the cash rate and uncertainty about the economy generally.

Boy, what an agent wouldn’t do to secure any listing until early 2022, corresponding simultaneously with buyers who are plentiful (a pain) and, then, in a now softening market, a sentiment more like: “tricky” listings could be a pain and, boy, how I could use a motivated buyer right now. Funny that isn’t it? One minute you are indispensable and the next minute you are not. Or, put another way, a necessary evil on the one hand and on the other a more than welcome and crucial component of a commission generating cheque! On both ends of the equation, whether you’re a buyer or seller, despite the fact that your own personal circumstances may have remained pretty constant.

Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I’m confident that even a smiling assassin with a grinch-like demeanour would be conducting themselves in a more accommodating way than many of our service providers are right now. Certainly, I am at a loss to see the qualities outlined in Gandhi’s Customer Manifesto surface as often as should be the case:

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869-1948