Now some of you may consider this to be shameless self promotion, and to you I apologise. But I find this interesting. You see, we at Hillary Sayer are property search agents and we often (and by often I mean at least once a week) get asked why people use us, who our clients are and what benefit we bring to the table? We always answer politely and give them the ways in which we know we add value for our clients (and believe me, we know we add value). But we always view proceedings from our side of the table in this respect and it has never occurred to me to view it from your side…until now. You see, we have recently acted for clients who we know professionally and who had until recently always sat on our side of the fence, with us. Time pressure of running a successful business left them with their hands tied in relation to their personal property search and because they knew how we operate and because they know we can be trusted (take note readers), it was not a huge stretch for them to engage us. They work in the industry and know more than just the basics of property acquisition, so they could have been hard task master s – they weren’t (for the record!). But that got me thinking – now all is done and dusted, what did we do for them? How did we help beyond the balance sheet (if at all)? And what were the highs and lows of having us on board. I never get to ask this of our clients, I always know they will be polite and gush about how brilliant we are (which I am needless to say grateful for) but I would never get brutal truth. You see I think people in general talk about the service industry when they find something wrong with it, it makes a good story, but they rarely rave about success as loudly as possible. When I started work for one of the large national firms straight out of university, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful boss who taught me (almost) everything I know, he had many words of wisdom but a few stay with me on a regular basis:

  1. When someone has bad experience they will tell ten people, if they have a good one, you will be lucky if they tell one.
  2. You have two ears and one mouth; listen and speak in that ratio.
  3. It is better to be late in this life than early in the next (not so relevant but I use it daily).

Anyway, I diverge, the point is I wanted to know what we do for people, in real life, not just on their balance sheet, and so I asked:

First I asked what Hillary Sayer did for them that they didn’t expect: “You were much more involved that we thought you would be, we knew you would find us a good property but we didn’t know you would also help us to get a good mortgage broker and solicitor at the best price and that you would coordinate the proceedings until completion.”

Then I asked how having Hillary Sayer on board affected (if at all) their buying experience, other than in monetary terms: “You made it completely stress and hassle free, it was never a chore, it was just something that happened in the background. It was like having a private banking service but for property. It allowed us to focus on just choosing the property we liked the most because we knew you wouldn’t let us pay too much or buy a bad property. Plus you dealt with all the administration of the buying so we never had to chase anything or worry that something wasn’t being done.”

Then I asked for (don’t panic readers..I did ask) the lows of the process: “None. Well, none from you, the buyer’s solicitor was rubbish but you dealt with that so it didn’t really factor at our end.”

So you see, we do help, we really do and I am overjoyed to hear that we genuinely made people’s lives better for having used our services.