Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Excellent Service Is Well Worth Additional Dollars When it’s Hot-Hot-HOT!

Looking for a discount with a Realtor or any other service professional? If you think that going for the lowest price is the best way to save money in a tough economy, I have a story for you. Good service has value…especially when it’s hot…hot…HOT!
It’s Hot and Humid in Minnesota today…Okay nothing like the heat in California or Arizona but heat near 90 with tropical dew points after our so far wimpy summer, the heat is noticeable. The heatwave is forecasted to stretch into the weekend!

Thankfully, I am comfortable in my lovely air conditioned Ham Lake home. We had suffered through a decade with a lemon of an a/c unit that had been installed by an inept builder. During that time found a wonderful HVAC service professional who kept our condenser running while on its last leg and our furnace in top notch condition.

So this spring when Connexus Energy offered rebates to homeowners installing Energy Star air conditioning into their homes, I immediately checked for John Harvey of Energy Mechanical in Anoka County on the list of preferred contractors. We had John price out a new system last summer as we knew that was going to be the last year we got by with duct tape and chicken wire holding the piece of junk together. On the Connexus website, there was the condenser but Energy Mechanical was not listed as a preferred service professional. Yikes that meant no $195 rebate!
“Hello John? It’s Teri Eckholm. We’ve decided to finally put that dying A/C unit out of its misery and by the new one you quoted.”


“But…I was at the Connexus Website and you are not listed.”

“I know…I used to be one of their preferred service people under the old program but the new program required additional classes and paperwork and I just haven’t had time.”

“John…It is a $195 rebate. I need you to look at the quote and get back to me. Would you check into the Connexus thing again?”

“Sure. I’ll call back after I look up your quote.”

A few days go by…No call from John. I thought about calling someone else that I could get a rebate from but I could not pick up the phone. John was the guy who showed up in an hour after we had waited for a return call for two weeks with our last guy. He was also the guy who came over on a bitter cold Friday in January at 10:00 p.m. when our furnace went out and didn’t charge an extra service fee. Rebate or no rebate…We knew John’s service was worth much more than $200!
“Hey John…This is Teri. Did you have a chance to look up the bid?”

“No…I thought you wanted someone who was working with Connexus.”

“Listen John, your service will weigh heavily into our decision. We have not forgotten that you came late at night on a cold night…That means a lot more to us than the rebate. Shoot us a bid so we can make a decision.”

We could have elected to call another HVAC professional and get the $195 rebate from Connexus. Or we could have had our friend do the unwarranted installation for the cost of the condenser. Nope…we waited. John sent us a bid that day. It was very reasonable and actually a bit less than quoted last year. Our new energy efficient air conditioner was installed within two weeks…Well before the heat and humidity of a Minnesota summer. We can also rest assured that Energy Mechanical will be there if there is a problem.

Some friends also had a brand new air conditioning condenser installed in their home the same week we did. They were gone for the Fourth of July and came home to a SAUNA…The a/c had failed and it was over 90 degrees in the house. Last night, I found out they are continuing to struggle with their new a/c unit and today it is miserably hot and humid. Their serviceman said, “Gee, I installed one just like it for the guy down the street a few years back and he never had any problems.” I don’t know what they paid or if a rebate was involved but good service is well worth the price.

As a Realtor, I am asked from time to time if I will discount my fees. I explain my program and why it cannot do my best work with a discounted rate…much in the same way that John explained his situation to me. My clients understand. They choose to work with me and refer me to their friends because of the service I provide…just like I appreciate John’s exceptional service. Sometimes it is not about the money…It is about the quality of service…Especially when it is Hot. Hot. HOT outside…Or Cold. Cold. COLD for that matter.
If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2008