A consumer’s first impression of a company or luxury real estate marketing professional is of paramount importance. If you manage to make an indelible positive first impression, your next challenge is to be consistent with every subsequent encounter over time. That is if you want to have a customer for life. Here are a couple examples that illustrate this point.

Recently, we needed to get in touch with the manager of a branch office of one of the major luxury real estate brands in the USA, in a very high profile (and competitive) marketplace. But, we did not know the manager’s name. We placed a call to the office and encountered a voicemail that had one option: “If you now the extension of the person you are trying to reach, you may dial it now. For the company directory, press #”. 

Since we did not even know the name of the manager, we intuited pressing “O” and got another recording.  This time we were prompted to leave a message with the promise of a returned phone call.  However, we had to wait and listen to a lengthy message before we heard the sound of the “beep”.  We had to endure several completely irrelevant questions to the purpose of our call, like, “if you need our address, the address is …” Does this sound familiar?

What if we were consumers who were contemplating giving the listing of our $5 million dollar estate to an agent in this office, and we wanted to ask the manager which agent would be most appropriate for our needs? In a matter of 90 seconds of our life that were utterly wasted on this call, that company would be crossed off our list. That recording would have cost that company potentially $250,000 (with a 5% commission)!

On the complete other end of the spectrum we recently had lunch our favorite Italian restaurant in Santa Monica, California that made a lasting first impression over 27years ago, and has been impeccably consistent at making remarkable impressions each and every time we return there.  Il Forno has fabulous food, outstanding service and a wonderful wine cellar. If feels like “coming home” to our extended family when we dine there.

Il Forno was founded by Joseph Suceveanu in 1985.  The Chef, Domenico Salvatore has also been a part of Il Forno since the same year. In addition to Santa Monica, Il Forno can also be found in three different locations in Japan: two in Tokyo, and one in Fukuoka.  When they opened in Japan, Il Forno was immediately considered to be one of the top Italian restaurants in the country.

Great first impressions need to be made upon first encounters. But, every single subsequent encounter must be great to create a customer for life.


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