Estate Agents Glasgow Tips: "Sully Love" – Customers Will Like You More If You Fly Them Into the Hudson River?

Estate Agents Tip: "Sully Love" – Customers Will Like You More If You Fly Them Into the Hudson River?

“I messed up. I placed a tenant into an owner’s home and they wound up tearing it up and not paying rent. There is no way they will ever hire me again…” (Charlotte Property Manager)

“It was crazy, you see. I took off and then two hours later, I landed in Charlotte. I guess technically you could say that I did my job. But the guy who crashed into the river, no, he’s the hero. It’s weird, right?” (Bitter Captain Roger Baines, played by Jason Sudeikis- Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday– 10/2/09)

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger came to fame as the pilot who flew the 1/15/09 US Airways Flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte. Most people remember the story; it became national news for weeks because the plane went down in the Hudson River minutes after takeoff. You would figure that if you were on that flight, you’d be really upset! You paid money to be in Charlotte in roughly two hours, but instead, you were heavily delayed, drenched, your luggage was ruined, and your life flashed before your eyes. All meetings you had that day had to be cancelled. Your plans were shot. Your life was endangered. You could have been thinking about who you could sue. You would certainly never fly US Air again!

You’d appreciate Captain Baines “good pilot” joke later in the Saturday Night Live skit:

Q: What did the good pilot do when he saw the flock of geese?

A: He avoided them and continued on to Charlotte where he landed seven minutes early

However, Sully became a national hero. What??? Though he saved the lives of his passengers, he still did land in a river which has to be viewed as a failure. Was he a seasoned public relations professional who spun the story well afterwards? Hardly. Sully comes across as a soft-spoken guy. His “speech” to the passengers before the crash was a brief and hardly eloquent, “Brace for impact.” Inexplicably, it didn’t matter. The passengers loved him. They were thankful and effusive in praise. No one said they wouldn’t fly with him again; in fact, most would rather have him captain their flights in the future. Many Americans said the same thing. How could this have been?

The simplest answer is that most people know that things go wrong. It’s inevitable. Sully could do little after he hit the flock of geese that caused the engines to fail. As Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” Sully calmly put the plane down and salvaged what he could out of a tough situation. His passengers knew he was in control and would work to ensure their safety.

In property management, picking tenants who will always pay and treat a rental home with respect is an inexact science. You try to mitigate risk by performing credit and criminal background checks, verifying income and employment, and calling past landlords. You collect security deposits and drive by houses to see if they look okay. At the end of the day, however, you don’t live with them and can’t force people to fulfill their obligations. It’s tough.

But when bad things happen (and they will at some point), it can be a positive as well. It creates an opportunity to show your clients that you care, it allows you to learn more about them personally, and lets you demonstrate that you have a plan to correct things. Most of our clients receive their monthly rent (directly deposited into their account) and we rarely get an opportunity to talk to them outside of our initial meeting. But when issues arise, we get to build a bond with them while working to get their properties back on track.

Paradoxically, the clients whose homes we have had an issue with tend to be life-long customers, while those who receive their rent smoothly every month are the ones I worry about losing. Relationships require give-and-take and often form out of adversity; without this, you can become a faceless entity that has no emotional connection.

Out of a disaster, Sully built a bond in one day with his passengers that few, if any, pilots will ever have with theirs, even their frequent flyers. Think about it. Who was the pilot of your last flight? Of your last ten?

So don’t cringe when something goes wrong. It will give you an opportunity to get some of that lasting “Sully Love.”

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