We as humans have adjusted our expectations of what we deserve – rather, what we demand — for goods and services rendered. It’s not just for high-priced items either. It’s anything where we are willing to shell out our hard-earned money.
I have been very impressed with McDonalds’ business model for most of my adult career. Well, let’s be honest, I loved their model as a kid, Happy Meal: Yes, please. I loved their model as a broke college student (cheeseburger, large fry with tartar sauce and ketchup three times a week. Hello, freshman 15). But, as a business owner I loved the idea of repeatable excellence, and it was something I systemized even back when I was brand new in the industry only serving a handful of clients.
McDonalds recently changed their decor model of the past to keep pace with the new consumer demands. The days of red and yellow flooded interiors are over, researched as colors that make the human brain hungry. Now, they have contemporary roof lines, soft modern interiors, comfy welcoming chair and lounge areas, free Wi-Fi, big plasma TVs. The vibe: Come, Stay, Connect.
The same holds true of the new home buyer and seller of today. They demand specialized expertise, a comfortable and convenient way to get the goals accomplished and most of all they want connection. Not just a one-time connect, but a lifetime connection. They lack time, they lack the capacity for added strain to their lives and they long for ways to save and/or make more money.
At Amy Stockberger Real Estate, we built our brokerage model and designed our new building to tailor those exact pain points. Our system-centric, client-focused approach makes us our clients’ Lifetime Home Support Team.
Add our exclusive One Roof Solution model into the equation and we are aspiring to McDonalds’ same business model of extreme specialized expertise and connection.
We were very intentional in laying out our new building at 610 W. 49th St. for maximum comfort for our clients, our agents and staffs experiences. After all, experiences are what we all crave now, and we need them to feel fulfilled. From the comfortable industrial design, to the modern lighting, themed conference rooms, motivational sayings and quotes sprinkled throughout our space, we knew each decision would matter.
Over my 20 years in selling real estate it has been brought to my attention how dreadfully boring real estate is to children. And I don’t blame them. While it excites me to no end now, the 5-year-old Amy would have been bored to tears. Buyers and sellers can’t always get daycare arrangements last minute to write offers that often are extremely time sensitive. A child crying or upset makes the parents uncomfortable and hard to focus on a very big financial decision, which causes them instant stress.
We have always had a good supply of toys, books and screens for our clients’ kids, but with our new office I wanted a dedicated conference room to be set up for the young home buyers and sellers of the future. We put in oodles of more toys and books and crafts as well as gaming units and a children’s TV area in the conference room. The result: Calm kiddos, calm mommy and/or daddy. It is one of my favorite rooms in our new space.
Comfort and positive experiences bleed into providing a dream team culture, which is a win for everyone. Our lunchroom is equipped with a living room space that includes a TV and gaming area, family style eating space, a ping pong table and a kegerator to boot. The weekly ping pong tournament is now termed Thirsty Thursday at ASRE (Amy Stockberger Real Estate). Staff collects all the names of our team able to play that week and throws them into an auto bracket maker on Monday and it is posted in the lunchroom. Agents and staff play each other through the bracket randomly throughout the week. Ping pong through the day is a mainstay, and since we have a very competitive crew it is usually heard throughout.
After work on Thursday, Thirsty Thursday commences with the finals and then championship bracket. My mom, who is the Director of First Impressions, beautifully into her 60s, is becoming pretty impressive. The culture build is huge, but the space also doubles for our clients. Since most people buy and sell a home typically no more than two or three times in lifetime it can be stressful, so our agents are not shy on offering them a game of pong and cold beer after an accepted offer and then taking them over to take a pic in front of the step and repeat to share with all their friends and family.
In a society where no one is finding bundles of extra time being handed to them, we knew we also had to bridge that gap. Our One Roof Solution does just that with a myriad of in-house services that our clients need before, during and after the home buying and selling process. From in house lending, title insurance services (doing the closing right at our office), insurance agent, interior decorator, property management, builder, party and tool shed items, moving supplies to in-house storage units where we give our clients 30 days free storage rental.
A buyer can come in, vet out what their parameters are with their agent for their new home, walk down the hall get pre-approved by a lender, get quotes on insurance and advice on decorating. Not to mention come grab moving boxes & reserve our moving trucks and enclosed trailer for free but also use our storage units for interim storage between properties. Our clients also get access to our party and tool shed. Want to throw your kiddo’s birthday party in the new casa with ease? We have banquet tables and chairs, bouncy houses, cotton candy, hot dog, popcorn, icy machines, commercial grade food warmers — you name it and we have it. And they get access to all these items for life.
Our clients count on us and look to us to be the expert in all the seasons of their home buying and selling journey. And there are a lot of seasons. We have a dedicated Home Support Team, full of all the people, products and services that our clients will need before, during and after. From a plumber, to an electrician, to contractors and cleaning services. Our Home Support Team not only offers the legendary service we offer; many offer special discounts and incentives for our clients exclusively. The connection between our clients and agents is strengthened through each referral we help them with. We are always looking for excellent partners to continue to expand our Home Support Team.
Leading with a servant’s heart is a big part of our core values. We allow our VIP items, training and conference rooms to be used by non-profits for free. We constantly want to say thank you to the city that has helped us build a business we love. We give free espresso and coffee to first responders as well. This gets more and more people through our doors every day-which we LOVE!
Knowing that the second place buyers hear about a home for sale is through a real estate agent, we have always had a strong word of mouth marketing platform. Our new building adds to that platform. We were very intentional with having our listings available almost everywhere we knew there would be foot traffic in our new building. From our feature wall in the front lobby to our cluster TV wall in our training room to our bathrooms — guess what — you will find our listings. People love to talk about real estate — HGTV wouldn’t be what it is today if people didn’t’ like to talk about real estate. The more eyeballs we get on our listings day in and day out, the more effective we are for our sellers.
Specialized knowledge in connecting buyers and sellers has always been our main priority, but just as important for Amy Stockberger Real Estate is the experience they get before, during and after one of life’s biggest financial decisions. Connection is king. Our brokerage model holds the same focus as the modernized McDonalds model I have admired my whole career; Come, Stay, Connect. It is interesting to note that my type A personality did pour over each selection and detail of our new building, but I also make quick decisions led by my gut. One of those decisions was the light in my main lobby conference room. Shortly before opening, I was standing back admiring it, grateful I made a quick decision on it, and one of the contractors came up to me and said “Hey, did you know that same light is in the McDonalds down the street?” My heart swelled. And, P.S.: For the record, a cheeseburger, large fry with tartar sauce and ketchup still makes my heart ever so happy too.