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Image Building, Disney-Style

By Darlene M. Lamb, CRB, CRS®, GRI, vice president and managing broker of The Prudential Decker Realty, Chesapeake, Va.

Creating a Million Dollar Image for Your Business By Bobbie Gee 160 pages. $13.95. PageMill Press, 510/848-3600

I’d never heard of Bobbie Gee before reading her book, Creating a Million Dollar Image for Your Business. But now that I’ve read it, I know she has the credentials to speak about image building. It’s clear that her years as an image consultant to Disneyland have served her well.

The book is just the right length to address the subject and be read casually in about a week.

The information on building a customer base is textbook instruction; the information on keeping customers, however, is more specific, and the examples are easier to understand.

The basic principles of image building discussed in the book easily apply to any business. And even though parts of the book aren’t exactly applicable to real estate salespeople, since they deal with employees’ interaction with the public, they still helped me as a broker and manager.

The most valuable tip for me is one of the book’s basic premises: Never sacrifice long-term image for short-term profit, because your external image is crucial to your company’s success. For example, don’t try to realize quick revenue by opening an amusement park ride to the public before the grounds are landscaped.

Another good point is that elephants don’t bite, but mosquitoes do. In other words, it’s the little things that ruin us. So we always have to be aware that our customers and clients often look at little things, not the ultimate goal of buying or selling a house.

“Image is what brings customers to the door, but reputation for quality service is what keeps them coming back,” according to Gee. She believes that real estate practitioners don’t need another seminar on farming or closing techniques; what we need is more courses in human relations.

Gee’s book is a step in that direction.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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