The Power (and Value) of Plastic

Saturday morning, I walked out into our backyard and noticed that the pool sweep hadn’t done a very good job the night before – it wasn’t covering the entire floor of the pool in its sweeps. I turned the sweep on to see what it was doing and quickly noticed that it didn’t like making right turns. While this is good for NASCAR drivers, this presented a problem for the pool sweep.

Fortunately, the pool sweep we have is a very simple mechanism with very few moving parts, so I was reasonably certain I couldn’t screw this up. I took it apart and soon figured out that there’s a group of small gears (not much bigger than the size of a half-dollar coin each) that are stacked atop one another that engage the rest of the unit and allow it to move in either direction. One of those little plastic gears (for a reason I still can’t figure out) refused to budge, so the rest of the gears refused to move, too. We’re talking about, probably, five cents worth of plastic in this little gear, but it was keeping the entire sweep from operating properly. Crazy! After replacing that gear (actually, I was forced to buy the entire gearbox package – and it was far more than five cents), I reassembled the pool sweep, hooked it back up to the hose, and dropped it back into the pool. The thing darts around the bottom of the pool turning in both directions now.

Like the small, seemingly inconsequential plastic gear in our pool sweep that has the power to stop the whole process, the lack of a small, seemingly inconsequential “thing” called customer service can derail an entire transaction. Let me give you just two examples:

• An agent referred a gentleman to us who wanted to purchase a home, but the gentleman only had Social Security as his active income. The agent and his client had been turned away by a handful of other mortgage companies the moment they saw how little the buyer received in Social Security each month. This transaction was obviously important to the buyer, and it was important to the agent – this was his means of supporting his family. Knowing that, we didn’t turn them away. We got a complete financial picture from the buyer and came up with a solution that not only got him in a home but . . . well, I won’t give away all our secrets in writing – if you call me, I’ll fill you in.
• One of the LOs in our office was working alongside a realtor in the process of getting a young family into their first home. The father/husband got a little excited in the process and went out and bought his family a new truck – before the home deal closed. Our intrepid LO, when he learned about the borrower’s exuberance, not only convinced the man to return the truck, he was able to convince the dealership to take it back and nullify the transaction. The family is in their new home now!

You may view those two examples above as a shameless commercial for our company (that’s your choice), but I put them out there for you to ask yourself a couple of questions: (1) Would you, as an agent, have given up at some point in either of the two scenarios above? (2) If not, why would you allow a lender to give up? It’s your paycheck; it’s your living.

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