There is much talk about customer service and how to do it well. There have been books, lectures, seminars on how to respond favorably to achieve great customer service. Companies, small businesses, entrepreneurs understand the value and return good customer service can bring back to you. I’d like to talk for this moment about great clients. Great clients can make it possible to deal with less desirable clients as they come along. Mary Lou was such a client.
Being a Realtor isn’t an easy task. I’ve met the most unethical people I’ve ever had to work with doing real estate. Lies, half-truths, misleading customers to get their way in hopes of a larger something or another. That’s from agents and customers alike.
I was lucky enough to have two great clients come my way the first year I was practicing real estate sales. One bought a house from me, and continues to stay in touch, and one rented a summer rental from me and continued to come back to me for the next six years to rent something. Mary Lou Cain was the nicest summer rental client I have ever had. She called me Honey Dear. Who does that? No one. She was disarming in her charm and grace. She was a lovely person inside and out. As a couple she and Charles had much to be proud of. Retirees with discretionary income to enjoy lifes many pleasures. Large family, grand kids to share their lives with. One son is a doctor at Columbia Presbyterian in New York.
People who met them said the same things. She was a lovely person. She kept in touch for Holiday’s and birthdays with people she only knew seasonally. I looked forward to calling her and helping them find their next new summer rental. For two years they would rent the same home then look for something new. Then two years again. She would compliment me on my choices that I found for them. “You always do a great job finding us something wonderful Kathy”, she would say, “you really do.”
Sadly I just learned I will not rent them a summer home anymore. Mary Lou I knew had a cancer diagnosis last December but thought at the time it was controllable. With cancer you never know, and her Ovarian Cancer was not controllable. She passed the end of March. Her diagnosis came too late. She is at peace now. I pray for her family, Charles and all their children and grandchildren that they have the great memories of her to sustain them. Having gone through my father’s cancer death and Hospice care I shared with Charles my own experiences and he seemed comforted by that. Hospice care givers are an amazing group of people. Charles is a wonderful example of an outstanding client as well. Always respectful and kind in his words. They made it possible for me to deal with less respectful clients. There confidence in me, and the way they expressed their gratitude buoyed me through other trying times. That is the mark of a great client.
Charles said he thinks back and says Oh, if we did this sooner, if we did that sooner perhaps the outcome would have been different. But we can’t go back only forward.
RIP Mary Lou Cain. You will be missed greatly by all that knew you and you will stand in my memory as the best summer rental client I have ever had to date and probably ever will have. Thank you for the memory you were truly dear to me.