Real (Estate) Hospitality

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Before my move to Savannah, I lived in a nice villa in Hilton Head, SC. It was my dream home with a mid-island location, a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, a swimming pool steps away and acres of lush landscaping, ponds and wildlife. Meeting my husband, a long-time resident of Savannah, changed my address and my life. Though we love our Savannah home and downtown location, I still miss my long bike rides over the miles of paved trails throughout Hilton Head and walking in the surf and sand on the beach.

The down economy has two sides—misfortune for some and opportunity for others. Hoping to benefit from the opportunity side, I emailed Dan Lowman, my friend and a real estate broker in Hilton Head. Always the professional and friend, he looked over the list of properties I sent and explained the plus and minuses of all. We set a time to meet, and with a list of properties gleaned from our talk and a few more from the Internet, I drove down to Hilton Head to meet Dan and look at some villas.

I expected that Dan would take me around and show me the properties, and he did. What I also experienced was a refreshing brand of “Real (Estate) Hospitality.” It began at his office, where he presented me with a professional portfolio with printouts of all the properties and his business cards. It continued when we went out to his car, and he followed me to the passenger side as I was going to get in. To my surprise and delight, he opened the door for me. Chivalry aside, from that small gesture, I felt that I was being treated as a special guest.

As we proceeded from one property to the next, he was able to answer all my questions. Armed with the latest technology and his laptop, he could easily look up details on the properties, find additional listings without having to go back to the office, call me later, or require another trip back to the island. With my own set of printouts, I could easily make notes on each property and put the sheets I brought with me in the portfolio, all in one place. At the end of the afternoon, I had several options and he knew more about what I was looking for. He offered to set me up on an automatic notification system from his office, and when I got home, there was an update waiting in my Inbox with some new properties to consider.

Hospitality is defined as
hos·pi·tal·i·ty
(hsp-tl-t)
n. pl. hos·pi·tal·i·ties
1. Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.
2. An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.

It is not reserved for hotels or restaurants. Making your customers feel like welcome guests is good for any business. The generosity of your reception and treatment every step of the way will make you stand out from the competition.

Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, is a workplace consultant, blogger, motivational speaker and freelance writer for Hospitalityjobsite.com. Based in Savannah, GA, her work has appeared in Training magazine, Training & Development magazine, Supervision, BiS Magazine and The Savannah Morning News. When she’s not writing, she enjoys singing Alto II with the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and creating original gift items available on http://www.etsy.spoolhardy.com/. You can read more of her blogs at hospitalityjobsiteblog.com and view additional job postings on Nexxt.
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