The Good Life in Austin Texas


"Old Fashioned Service" Never Goes Out Of Style

Y'all Come Back SoonI was recently listening to a friend complain about the fact that she could not get good service or even basic attention at many stores and businesses these days. You know what I mean, "Old Fashioned Service" and here is the funny thing, she is only 26 years old. I have been hearing the same thing for years and with the advent of Big Box Retail, Megastores, and Corporate empires along with a lack of personal involvement on the part of many business owners I see this happening at many businesses locally. However, after thinking about it for awhile, I realized that "old fashioned service" DOES still exist. The unfortunate fact is that you sometimes have to look around to find it!

Obviously, the key ingrediants to great service in any business are the people. My neighborhood convenience store manager, Cherie Kalaher is a great example. She is exceedingly friendly and also very mischievous. When I first began stopping there for gas, coffee and other items, I would hear her teasing others in the store and always enjoyed watching her in action (while managing to avoid any of her humorous barbs)! One day I was in a long line (yes it is a popular store) and when my turn arrived, I asked her to go easy on me. She laughed and said "Well honey, if you would just get caught up on our "child support payments" I would not have to hassle you!!" I was so shocked that I was speechless (a rare event) and all of the regulars in line broke up laughing"! I managed to recover and then began laughing myself. Since that time we have become good friends and I always make it a point to stop by just to see if she has a new story, joke or to watch her tease a "newcomer" to the neighborhood. She knows everyone and just about everything going on!

There are many other places where I do business in the community and again, the main reason is the people who work there every day.  My local hardware store Breed & Company is managed by David Oltrogge. He is one of those people who has an encyclopedic mind and can help with any request in the store. If you want to know; what it takes, how it works or what will fix it, he is your man! At my favorite local restaurants, grocery stores, book stores, (yes you read that correctly - plural) gas station, music store, library, mechanic, camera shop and even at my Post Office are folks who I know and depend on to help me with whatever service I require. I wish I could list them all with a link to their respective web sites and plan to in the near future! In my profession as a real estate broker, I am keenly aware of the service aspect in my job. There are over 10,000 real estate agents in my MLS area and the only thing that differentiates us from each other is a professional approach and the level of knowledge and service we are willing to provide to our clients and customers! There are business establishments for every need and competition is fierce for business in the general public! Because of this, I avoid places where I am met with arrogance, indifference or rude treatment. I can almost always find what I need in a better environment!

Now, more than ever, in this current economic downturn it's important to patronize the folks who practice the Golden Rule and truly work for the customer!

Good service, knowledgeable and courteous assistance also comes with the responsibility to be a good customer! How many times have you watched rude, demanding patrons mistreat and abuse an employee who is trying their best? Such impatient, angry treatment is not soon forgotten and I am always amazed at the customers who act in such an inappropriate manner! On more than one occasion, I have been the next person in line and when appropriate, I usually say something funny or empathetic that in some way diffuses the situation. Over the years I have developed some good relationships; you know the type, when they see you walk in they smile and greet you and the feeling is mutual.

In Texas, we have a reputation for being friendly and though that may not ALWAYS be the case, I like to think it is true more often than not. It's really a way of life and not just an empty saying. A few years ago, a friend related the story about a European family on vacation that stopped for lunch at a small West Texas Café. After finishing their meal, they paid the bill and told the owner how much they enjoyed the meal and the friendly service. As they began to leave the owner said, "Y'all come back". The family turned around and marched back in, literally taking the man at his word. Funny story and as you know, it is just an expression in Texas but what makes people return to any business anywhere is friendly, courteous knowledgeable and professional service! So, please patronize the businesses where these options are available and you will be doing yourself and that business a favor!

Thanks for dropping by my blog today, y'all come back real soon!


Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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142 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • October 26 2010 06:27PM


Russell, this is so true.  And it is so easy and so much more fun to be nice to people.  Like you, if I am in line and someone abuses the staff, I always say something to them when I get to the front of the line, to make them smile or cheer them up.  As Benjamin Disraeli said "Life is too short to be small".  Russell, if I am ever in Texas, I can't imagine enjoying a tour from anyone more than I would enjoy going around town with you!  xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 1 year ago

That's funny. I almost never get bad service. I attribute a large amount of it to karma, being optimistic and flexible. It also helps knowing that the way of the world is to slow down those that are in a hurry. Always have something to do when impediments occur. You get what you give. See you Wed.

Posted by aj about 1 year ago

Of course Russell you never met a stranger so I have no doubt that you know someone in every store that you go into. I also know that you are forever trying to diffuse a bad situation and for that I am always grateful. I do know those humans who always seem to be having bad days-you just kind of have to feel sorry for them, huh? I will certainly keep you in mind the next time I am having one of those moments! :) Love  you Russell!

And somehow, I do not think that I will have a choice-I will be back!


Posted by Liz Newell (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, I am always amazed at the lack of attention and often bad treatment that we sometimes get from a business and agree that it can be frustrating. I think you are probably easier to get along with on a regular basis. However, like you I patronize the businesses where I receive good service and treatment!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Isn't that the truth. We always make it to the stores, gas stations, restaurants where the people are friendly and service is great. Even if there are other stores of the same brand - people make the difference. ~Rita

Posted by Kenna Real Estate about 1 year ago

I agree that if the service is bad, I dont go back.. Just a few of the places I patronize..

Shell Station on Bee Caves.. Randy and Dale

Sonic on South Lamar.. they know I like my CornDogs crispy with a side cup of mustard..

Pots N Plants on Bee Cave and 360... Rosendo keeps it looking fantastic..

Lions Municipal Golf Course.. they guys behind the desk know all the funny golf jokes and stories..

Alamo Title.. Yogi Gilligan.. Best in the business


Posted by Buster Spillar, GRI about 1 year ago

You're so right that not only is it our expertise that is important, but also our delivery.  And wouldn't it be nice too if we also made a habit of bragging to others about the good people we deal with rather than complaining about the bad ones.  Your article is a good reminder for both, thanks Russell.

Posted by Elsa Decker (Heritage Title Company of Austin) about 1 year ago

A lot of it is how the person views their work...if it's just a job then there is no caring that goes into it...if they really like what they're shows.


Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago

Hi Susan I am sometimes frustrated by bad service but really try and take into account what is happening at the time (I have not always been the most patient but try to be tolerant). I really enjoy that quote because that sort of behavior does indeed diminish a person in many ways, BTW, if you are ever in Texas I would consider it a treat to give you a tour of Austin, I can never say enough about all the good things available in our fair city!

AJ Now I do agree that what we put out there we get back and often we have the opportunity to react in a manner that is not knee-jerk. Setting a better example is always in our power to choose. Thanks for dropping by and I will see you on Wednesday! Thanks!

Liz You are so kind and I thank you for your compliments. I have not always been patient and understanding and like everyone still has days where bad treatment irritates the heck out of me. I do manage to think before I act and it's always better! It's funny actually that I seem to have ended up on the side of "the voice of reason" more often these days!!  LOL

Scott Many businesses offer the same products and service and (like those of us in the real estate profession) the only way they can set themselves apart is by the level of service provided!

Brian & Rita I completely agree and you have put it so succinctly when you say that "people make the difference" Thanks for your comments!

Buster I also like the idea of touting the folks whom we like and would trust to send business. I think that I am going to do more posts about the people and place that I think are the stars in our community!

Elsa I agree that it would be a good idea to promote the people products and services in our cities that we like! It is really the best type of advertising a business could ask for! I know that negative comments are difficult to overcome. Thanks for your comments!

Sally You make such an excellent point. I find it so interesting that whatever the position or place of business. The person working has to have a good attitude. My family was in the grocery business and I once told my Father that some of it was boring. His reply was that it takes all kinds and that no matter your station in life a person can take pride in their work. It's different for different people! I could not agree more. Thanks for your excellent insight!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, I certainly agree that attitude plays an important part of "service" I know people and business owners who are very good at what they do but come off with an arrogant style or worse the type that treat you with the concept that you "need" them. No one is irreplaceable and i do like your positive approach to both sides of business as a vendor and as a customer!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-What an excellent post. It touches not only on how important good customer service is but it also about localism because you are talking about the local stores in your area which is a plus for everybody. Great post. I hope your Open House yesterday was a success. Enjoy your evening and have a blessed week. :-)

Posted by Sharon Lee (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 1 year ago

Russell - Nicely stated, my friend!  I wrote a post a few days ago praising some local businesses as well.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

What a cool post about the importance of good service. We have choices and every business and sales asociate (no matter what field) should be mindful of what they can do for their customer. Next time you should write about this more specifically as it relates to real estate and to the excellent service YOU provide!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Sharon Thank you for your compliment, I was making an effort to speak in a general way about good service in every part of the country and plan to address this subject in some upcoming Localiam posts. Thereare so many great places that do practise great service in Austin that I need to write about a few individually where I am a happy customer! BTW my open house was excellent with 43 different individuals and groups who came by to preview!

Jason Thanks very much for your comment. I was posting this as some thought provoking info for every area of the country but plan to begin posting some of the place we frequent in our part of town! Talk to you soon!

Mattie I wrote this post as part of the Carnival of Content event and wanted to speak t a subject that affects people everywhere. For that reason, I did not "toot my own horn" as it would have defeated the purpose of writing about a subject that is important to all entities in business as well as their customers! Thanks for the kudos, I know you are a bit biased so have a good evening!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Really nice blog.  A good reminder for all us. The real estate business is just like this.  It's all local.  The folks come back to see us just they way they do the folks who tend the stores.

Posted by Marian Pierre-Louis - Metrowest Boston (Prudential Page Realty ) about 1 year ago

Howdy Russell-What a great post. I would have liked to see the look on your face when that lady first said that to YOU. PRICELESS! You are such a warm fun loving fellow. You do an awesome job promoting local business and customer service all across our country. Hope you are doing well. Have a great week. ;-)

Posted by Pat Preston (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell-I came back soon ya'll LOL

Posted by Pat Preston (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell. Isn't it interesting how we acknowledge good customer service? Must be cause it seems so rare these days. A lesson for all of us to be that way ourselves when we treat people.

Posted by Gary Woltal - Assoc. Broker REALTOR® SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Interesting comments on the idea of being from Texas.  It might be a geographic/cultural thing.  I'm from Missouri and I think people are incredibly friendly there.

Posted by Mike Henderson 303-949-5848 Genius Ventures (People-Property-Money ~ Everything the Investor Needs) about 1 year ago

My Howdy

there Russell, my friend

It sure is amazing. How many business, don't give folk's old fashioned service to their custom's these days. Most times I don't even get a thank you for shopping with us. When I go to Wal-Mark here, I always say to the so called door greeds here, Welcome to your Wal-Mart. Do I get a funny look from them.

As always you have written a real fine post.

God Bless America

Posted by Discover and Explore New Hampshire with Dale Baker (Baker Home Energy Audit & Commercial Properties Inspections ) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!
Being a native Sacramentan, and living within 3 miles of the same area my entire life, I have developed wonderful friendships with local businesses.  Hollywood Hardware, where the owner, Denny will always come help, Swanson's Cleaners, where she has my clothes ready to go before I get in the door, Freeport Bakery, where they know I come in on Thursdays for their Buttermilk Bundt and get it ready without my asking, Vic's Ice Cream, where I sit down and they bring me my fresh lemon diet Coke without ordering it. And, even though they are not in my neighborhood, WestAmerica greets me by name every time.  These are the businesses we need to support...because they are our legacy!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Marian I appreciate your comment, our real estate business IS local and I like your analogy about "tending the store"!

Pat I was completely flabbergasted. Just about everyone who meets her is always and surprised and eventually charmed. The store location is just outside the Westlake boundary and I always said if she lived there she would be the Mayor! You would really enjoy her!

 And Pat, Y'all please come back any old time!

Gary I know many people think "good service" is not as prevalent as in the past but it does exist and it is essential in every business endeavor! I appreciate you dropping by!

Mike You are right about the geographic part of "friendliness but there are good people everywhere. Missouri is also part of a friendly "Southern Tradition" and I do know some extraordinary people from your part of the world. Thanks for dropping by!

Dale Howdy my friend! Good service is hopefully making a comeback and you make a great point about the places we shop. Even a Big Box outfit can have good people! I think people like you and me were raised on good manners and with a friendly outlook on life (and that always is a bonus). have a good week my friend!

Paula Great to see you here. The legacy of out business is so important to us as realtors too as well as the local companies that deserve our support! I like your mention of some of your favorites. Especially the Ice Cream and Bakery! I love our local Amy's Ice Creams and wrote a post about them last year! might be time to make a return visit and update my blog!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Thank you Russell,

For highlighting an age-old, time-tested, principle that works. As you mention, with all the competition, people CAN go elsewhere when they are regarded with indifference. Equally important is being a good customer ourselves. Where do our customers come from? The waitress who brings the wrong order may very well be our next customer--horror or relief?!

Great post!

Posted by Marian Lake Walker (Staged 2Gain, home staging & redesign) about 1 year ago

Good Morning Russell - Excellent points to make and for us to practice.  Like you I always feel bad if a rude customer chews out someone who just didn't deserve it....and try to make up for the disruption by adding a little levity or good cheer.  BUT, having had my own share of bad days and gone out into the world with a bit of an attitude, I try to cut some slack as well.  Once I even asked a very upset person if everything was alright and would she like to talk.  That had a amazingly calming effect.  No one is perfect, but as long as those scales are nicely tipped to the good side means we're doing something right...and still room for improvement.  This is a nice feel-good post...thanks :-)

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County ( about 1 year ago

Sometimes it has to do with expectations.  People that expect to have a bad experience with a real estate agent or anybody will put a wall when they approach you.  I read body language and can pick these people out of emails and phone calls and I will try to keep my difference.  I refuse to let them change my positive attitude with their bad attitude.

Posted by DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones (Wainwright Real Estate The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady!) about 1 year ago

Russell this a very insightful post that is valid in every community, especially these days. I believe that as customers we do not want to be taken for granted and it would be wise for people in business everywhere to remember the concept of good service and put it into everyday practice! I think this is especially true for us a Realtors and agree that it is the most important thing that sets us apart form the competition. Thank you for a very good reminder!

Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Marian That is a great description "an age-old, time-tested, principle that works" and you are right about how we act when in public because we do not know who our next customer will be! Thank you for adding to this discussion!

Gail you always write the nicest comments and I completely agree that "as long as those scales are nicely tipped to the good side means we're doing something right...and still room for improvement." I wrote this post as part of the carnival of content and just thought it was relevant to all us. Both as Realtors and as customers ourselves!

Dee Deethat is so true that expectations can color ones judgment. I often see this when I hold an open house. People are very guarded when they first arrive and then I put them at ease! I like you attitude of not letting someones negative behavior change your outlook and actions!

Anne well put, it is amazing to me when dealing with any agent or business that has an attitude that they are doing us a favor by simply giving us their time!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Good morning "Featured Man"! Glad to see your post on this. I agree with you 1000%. Good service is hard to find these days. That said, those that give great service to their clients will stand head and shoulders above the rest! BTW-I can see you at the top!!




Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Russell - there is nothing like customer service, and I believe it is what brings people coming back. Great post Russell.

Posted by Sharon Paxson Newport Beach Real Estate (Prudential California Realty, DRE License 01501912) about 1 year ago

I love this article, Russell.  It's excellent.

Posted by suzy juncker about 1 year ago


Good friendly knowledgeable service is always welcome no matter what age...both us us have been around long enough to know that it is the cornerstone of our business!

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) about 1 year ago

I forgot to say that as an "old" English teacher, those compliments from me are rare.

Posted by suzy--again (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell I almost missed this because you have not posted anything new in awhile! I am teasing you but this is yet another one of your well thought out posts and it's timely for people everywhere. When service is the hallmark of any business it needs to be practiced in a GENUINE manner every day! Keep up the great work and past more often because you "almost" always have something great to add to the the community!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Russell, even when you are serious you write the most entertaining posts. In my business service sets me apart from my competitionand it's only through my efforts to listen to my clients needs and follow up that I can stay ahead of my competition! Excellent advice to both agents and customers or any business for that matter my friend!

Posted by Lynne about 1 year ago

Good stuff Russell. Especially during this time of trouble and uncertainty within our country. We need to show support, compassion, caring and consideration and to hold ourselves to a higher standard with our relationships. Whether it be the client you have had for 10 years or the guy that just walked in off the street, people need something more from the contact. This country needs an attitude adjustment in a major way and it starts with how we treat one another on a daily basis. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Steven Baze (AvenueOne Properties Inc.,) about 1 year ago


Great blog. It's nice to acknowledge the great service many of our community stores give to us. Keep up the blogging.


Posted by Susan Avant, Realtor (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Betina No features lately but I have been too busy to try and post so I am getting back to it now! BYW, I like nearing the top and hovering there but noticed that Donna finally moved here we now have the top 2 in the state here in Austin so I will be happy to just float around in the top 7 or 8. Hey we still need to go to Dirty's for lunch sometime soon!

Sharon It's so true and it has been mentioned over and over through the comments that it is a responsibility that we need to remember to stay in business!

Suzy I am very flattered and appreciate your comments and compliments too!

Gena You are so right and one of the main reasons for longevity in this business is attention to the details of providing good service to our clients!

Suzy (again) you are cracking me up and I do appreciate the compliment...especially from you! Thanks again!

Allysoun I have been busy trying to stir up business so have not had the time to devote to blogging. Actually this subject came up because one of my old clients referred me and said that I was very attentive and responsive. I appreciate that and also enjoy it when I receive that kind of service anywhere I do business! You know, you are correct, I do manage to get a lighter look at things most of the time even when I am being serious!

Lynne I know that you are an incredibly hard worker and have developed your business based on you strong attention to detail and the service aspect of how you help your customers. You are a great example for all of us!

Steven Now more than ever, the main thing that will help any business in this economic downturn is to remember service, service, and service! The essential is that fact that it will keep us going until better times. My business is built on trust and good service and hopefully it will be the deciding factor in any potential client's decision to work with me! Thanks for dropping by!

Susan I always appreciate it when my clients acknowledge me by sending referrals and I like to tell people about the great places in our community that is worth their patronage! As a matter of fact I plan to do some Localism posts in the near future to highlight some of my favorite establishments!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Your right about friendly service, is is remembered.  Texas is a friendly place, but s l o w.  Great service is always appreciated no matter where.  Funny too, about the friend being 26 years old and remembering service. LOL

Posted by Lyn Sims - Northwest Suburbs (Schaumburg Homes - RE/MAX Suburban) about 1 year ago

Russell she sounds like a character. I wish I was a fly on the wall so I could have seen your face. Good to hear you recovered quickly. A great personality does go a long way in business.

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell, I left a comment here earlier but we also sent the link to some of our associates and they thoroughly enjoyed you take on the idea of service and also the responsibility of being an good customer! Great article with your own particular outlook, thanks!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Lyn I thought that was funny too since her perception of "the good old days" was so recent. And again you are correct that in some parts of Texas we are S L O W at times, if you know the expression, "I am fixin' to do something" you definitely understand what I mean!

Bill she is an exceptional character but you cannot beat her irrepressible energy and charm. She is so quick on her feet and since she has usually been there for a couple of hours before most of us arrive, she is wide awake and raring' to go! She and I along with her family have become good friends!

Scott Thank you for send my blog to others, it's nice to know someone is looking at my blog. I do believe that customer service is a two way street and basic courtesies always apply.. Thank you again for your comments!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Great article Russell. We have built our business here on exactly these principles, but it takes some doing.

People dont seem to have written sets of service standards anymore.

Posted by Wez Barber about 1 year ago

When I am my normal Texas friendly self here on Cape Cod, people don't believe it.  They want gruff.  I just smile. :^)

Posted by Heath Coker, Real Estate Broker, Cape Cod ( & about 1 year ago

Wez Tnaks for your compliment, It's true that many companies do not have a written set of standards and it would be helpful, if only as a reminder to do what most of us have been taught all along!

HeathI know what you mean, our friendliness is disarming at times but no matter where we go, it eventually get over to those we meet that its GENUINE! Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

So true, Russell.  Good customer service is elementary, really and it starts from the bottom up!  I will go out of my way to frequent a business that respects others and treats customers fairly.  It really does make a big difference in all professions.

Posted by Shari Chambers (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago


This made me laugh, especially the "child support" part.  :)

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC) about 1 year ago

Russell, me again! This is such a great article and you should include it in your info packet that you take in listing appointments! I know what your going to say about "print" info but you still use it and it's an effective way to share more about yourself other than the usual facts, numbers, production etc. It's a nice glimpse at a part of your personality!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell,
And that's why I love (and support) small, local businesses.  They know you and appreciate you and your business.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 1 year ago

Shari I like that point that it starts at the personal level and it's true that it applies to every business including especially our real estate profession!

Mike She caught me off guard and it was very funny. She is so sharp and very witty that many people stop by to visit in a friendly environment as well as shop!

Allysoun I never thought of that! I might print out a few of my blog posts and add them to my listing book! Thanks again for your comments!

Cynthia I feel like that is a universal appeal in any business and these days it's as important as ever!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Now, more than ever, in this current economic downturn it's important to patronize the folks who practice the Golden Rule and truly work for the customer!

Hi Russell,

I completely agree.  Bad businesses deserve to fail.  Let's help the good ones survive, and even thrive!

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier - Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) about 1 year ago

Bruce Good to see you! I know you share the same ethics and also a dedication to do a great job for your clients and customers everywhere! Thanks for visiting!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  Hey, there's really nothing that I can add to this conversation but, AMEN!  Survival of the fittest, right!?

Happy Valentine's Day...

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Debe I truly appreciate and thanks for the lovely Valentine!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell...just another GREAT ONE...your businesses have to love you.  You do such a service to them and what a great way to show how much you appreciate them, by sharing with others about the great job they do.

At the beginning of my career I worked as an office manager and trainer in a large grocery store chain...back when they actually had baggers who not only CAREFULLY bagged the groceries but either lifted the bags into the arms of the customers or carried them out to the  car.  Those were the days...what a sharp difference a small town we really don't have a lot of options.  We have 2 major chain grocery stores.  As a trainer can you imagine how nuts it drives me when I see cashiers carrying on conversations about her date at the football game Friday night, and with the cashier on the register beside her ...completely ignoring her customer....grit my teeth... On the other side I have heard customers

scream at the cashiers because of price increases and waiting time in it is their fault..they too get their fair share of rudeness.  If I can say I have a real problem with attitude, nastiness, and doesn't  belong in a business or what the heck....anywhere any time.

When business create a great customer service they create an atmosphere where people feel not only welcomed but appreciated is a joy to work and a joy to shop......It is simple...People just need to be NICE to each other!!!! Talk about going on and on I  apologize...but I can so relate to this post  Great interesting Post Now I need to go back and finish reading the comments only got to the firt 90.  LOL

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

June Thats really a wild coincidence. My family was in the grocery business for nearly 70 years so I can truly identify with all of your comments! It's so true and is a universal concept. I was trying to write about a subject that affects all businesses and all consumers in all parts of the country without tooting my own horn (so to speak) but it is one of the most important aspects of our profession as real estate agents for sure!I am always amazed at the arrogance of some of the mega producers who treat business as a numbers proposition while forgetting that we are in the "people" business! Thanks again for adding to this conversation!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell  That is family too. My dad was raised in the  family grocery store and delivered groceries as a little guy door to door for his parent's.

His mom ( my grandmother had the first grocery store with an in house bakery and drug store...she was way beyond her was my dad. She also built the first shopping plaza ( it is still standing built in the 50's )  The whole family was very business oriented, a car dealer, a real estate brokerage and a grocery store.& plaza ..covered it all. That is so interesting.  I guess customer service has to be in our genes ......that why we are so into the importance of customer service BTW  that is also why Kurt Warner has a little piece of my heart...there some sort of grocery store bond there LOL..BTW  to this day when i check out through a cashier I ( in my thoughts evaluate how she handles the customers ) and when I find one that does a commendable job I make sure I acknowledge and commend her for doing so ....( it is rare though)  just can't take the grocery out of me even though it has been years.

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

Russell - Stopped in after you mentioned this on my blog and just had to comment - you're so right on this one!  I will go out of my way to stop some places, because of the level of service I receive.  When I was in the band, we stuck with the same merch guy for years, even though we had offers of better pricing in many instances, we knew we got service out of them (he would often drive out to shows to drop off new merchandise).  He was friendly, outgoing, and knew each of us on a personal level.  Because of that, we remained loyal to him over the years.  Its just like real estate - serve them well and they will return.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (RE/MAX Access (210) 646-HOME) about 1 year ago

Russell what a hilarious story. Your friend is very funny and it sounds like you have met your match!!! It is so important to us in real estate to remember the basics of good service. It is the only thing that separates us because all we have to sell is our knowledge and expertise within our market areas. Like any business there are varying degrees of competence and I believe that it carries over into the realm of knowledge that can translate into service that is not only good but exemplary! I know your clients enjoy both your expertise as well as your personality!

Posted by Erin about 1 year ago

June people like us who grow up around the grocery business truly understand the value of thrift, hard work and impeccable customer service! My grandfather was a salesman for National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) back in 195 and saw a new type of self serve grocery store. He bought into a franchise and when the depression hit, he had two store while the franchise collapsed. He survived by bartering and was one of the first to have a produce and meat section. Over the year the company prospered however, by 1991 it would have taken a huge influx of cash to expand so my Father sold the Grocery arm of the business but kept all of the buildings and warehouses and some of the parts of shopping centers. You are so right customer service is in our genes and a way of life. I am so glad to have met you and learned more about you. Have a great week my friend!

Matt Thank you so much for your comment. It really is a fact of life and business that we will trade where were are treated fairly and with a level of service that exceeds the basics. It's what make s my clients loyal to me and like you, the reason I am so loyal to local businesses and individuals with whom I do business here in Austin!

Erin It truly takes all kinds and she has built a loyal clientele even with several other convenience stores opening nearby. I appreciate your compliment and do believe that I would rather work with fewer (but good quality clients) than go the mega agent route and treat people like numbers. There are plenty of companies and agents around who are more than willing to do that!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell! You obviously hit a hot topic button here! We have a small Hardware Store in LaPorte, a town about 20 miles away.  When I go Hardware Hanks, I'm greeted at the door, they ask me what I need, take me to the aisle, and offer expert advice if I'm not sure about a certain product !! Even though I have been there several times, I always leave totally amazed at their level of service. It makes such a huge difference!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR ®, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Mary I was trying to write about something that applies to all of us no matter where we live or what our profession. I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of really great comments like yours that point out how critically important "good service" really is! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Good Morning Russell-I hope you are doing well this beautiful Saturday morning. Thought I'd go back to this particular post because it really tickled my funny bone besides ya told me to come back any time. You see my friend I come back time and time again for the great customer service you provide with your wonderful caring self. Who would not want to come back for that kind of friendship, cameraderie and good old hearty laughter from my friend the silver fox. Friend EXTRAORDINAIRE!!!!!

BTW-I love it when you get so excited about being the first on what I post. You gave me a wonderful chuckle at seeing your handsome face in the morning. You are such a warm, funny and wonderful fellow and one I'm happy to have as a friend. I'll certainly come back now. Have a special weekend.

You think the WOO HOO works the same if I'm the last on one of your posts like it does when you are the first. i didn't get a chance to comment to everybody on yesterday's post but wanted to drop in this morning and say a special thank you for being YOU and for being a wonderful & fun support of what I post. Until next time-Always keep smiling that wonderful smile. :-) 

Posted by Pat Preston (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) about 1 year ago

Hi there PAT, Thanks so much for visiting again and thanks for the kudos, I really appreciate that! I am definately a fan of your blog too and agree that we are just the kind of folks that we we enjoy...I know that sounds funny, but I do enjyy knowing and doing business with people that share the same ethics and if possible the same sense of fun too! Have a good weekend my friend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, You always brighten my day, in person & through your blogging. This is beautiful blog, I'm sending it AND the video to my children!  Keep up the happiness & congratulations on your latest award: 25 gallons donated to the Blood Bank. What an achievement.

Posted by Susan Avant, Realtor (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Hi Susan, I appreciate you dropping by! I knew you would like the video on my other post and I know your kids will think it's funny too! Thanks for the compliment on my Blood platelet donations too!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Good service is priceless.  And it's our primary product - Houses are just the avenue.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation Services (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD) about 1 year ago

Margaret well put! We all have the same "inventory" but our "product is indeed SERVICE! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Good post Russell.  Too bad so many industries can't remember what Customer Service is:

"Customer service is the ability to provide a service or product in the way that it has been promised"

Seems simple enough and I believe you definately have the hang of it.

Posted by Rick Landwehr (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Rick That has to be one of the best definitions ever concerning customer service! It's what I had in mind when I was writing this post because it affects everyone no matter where you live or what your business! Thanks for the compliment too!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Terrific post Russel.  I love shopping here in Lewisburg WV because they are small and local businesses, and they make you feel right at home when you walk in.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot Lewisburg WV Realtor (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Rebecca, thanks for dropping by, I think this is universal and the reason that good service often wins out when offering any product!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, congratulations on your recognition fow this excellent article. Twice in ONE week, a First Place and an Honorable mention! Very well done!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Jeannette, thanks, I feel honored that I was chosen out of so many great posts. The quality of blogging here is so good and it's inspiring to be among some of the very best in the business!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell along with ethics this is the most important aspect we provide our customers! Good post and a funny story too!

Posted by Patty Johns (AvenueOne Properties, Inc) about 1 year ago

Patty, thanks for stopping by, working with you I know that you live by your words!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

This was/is a great post and it deserves a "featured" gold star. I don't know how this one got over looked. SoI am re-blogging you for good measure. If any blog deserved a star it is this one.


Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Hey Betina! Thanks so much for finding this in my archives and also for the reblog! I do apperciate the kudos and I think this was an entry in a contest but dont recall. Have a good weekend, I am doing an open house in Rob Roy on the Laje today and I think you are probably working too! have a good one!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

My wise old grandmother taught me that customer service is simply "FREE HELP," so if you LOVE to provide FREE HELP, you'll never be wanting for business.


Three of the most powerful words in the English language, and they are four-letter words, too!

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego home inspector (Russel Ray, Property Consultant) about 1 year ago

Russel you AND your Grandmother have the best attitude and I have to agree that service is certainly tied to your definitions!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Good afternoon Russell,

We can't say enough about customer service..I just suggested this one also..maybe the buttons aren't working today..definitely a featured post!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) about 1 month ago

Wow! You sure are right there my friend...

Posted by Michael Thornton - Nashville, TN area Home Inspector (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 1 month ago

Has anyone been to a Toyota dealer for service lately??  My goodness, they are intense about it.

Has anyone been to a Wal-Mart lately?  Look inquisitive and someone will ask if you need help.

Has anyone been to a Trader Joes lately, just stand in front of the produce stand for more than 5 seconds and there's help.

I see good service all over the place.  I have begun to believe it's a new business model. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker, Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Howdy and evening to you Russell

when I seen your photo at the top of my subscribe bolg roll, I thought my friend had posted a new blog post to visit. Will this sure does go to show, that a mighty fine blog post as this, is not at all going to stay out of sight of folks. I sure could not believe this here blog post at not been Featured by the AR staff, so I clicked on the little ole suggest button. Sure do hope it does get Featured.

This holds such a mighty fine message for business owners and employees of all businesses!!!

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Discover and Explore New Hampshire with Dale Baker (Baker Home Energy Audit & Commercial Properties Inspections ) about 1 month ago

So true Russell, one shouldn't have to be surprised when one receives good customer service, it should be a natural consequence of doing business.

How cool is this that your older post got featured??? I love it...just goes to show you good writing is worth reading again!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ all round nice gal... (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 1 month ago

Hi Russell, I particularly liked this post because many of us can relate and I enjoyed reading every word. Your bring back warm and fussy feelings that many of us have had in the different areas where we have lived. Relationships formed the old fashioned way ( face to face ) are particularly special and are some of the most special treasures in life.

Posted by San Diego Real Estate Voice authored by William Johnson GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) about 1 month ago

Very true, Russell.  What is going to stand out in this impersonal day and age is service.  You would think with the heavy competition in almost every field people would make the extra effort, but they don't.  Certainly not in our business.  Love the y'all come back story. 

Posted by Jane Peters Los Angeles Living, Los Angeles Homes (Penn Properties) about 1 month ago

Well, look here. 

A blast from the past!  :)


Posted by Bruce Brockmeier - Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) about 1 month ago

OH my Goodness! I was looking at some older posts this afternoon and went in to edit some things about this one to email to my SOI and somehow it reposted!

Truly a blast from the past and I appreciate everyone who suggested this be featured! Very cool and kind of funny that it was a year ago in FEBURARY that it was written for my Blog!


Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

So funny Russell,  but this is a great blog!  Glad to read it again! RE:)

Posted by Ricki Eichler,Broker,GRI,ABR,TAHS,ePRO your Texas Hill Country connection (Ricki Eichler Real Estate LLC) about 1 month ago

Russell; wonderful post!  And I agree.. Old Fashioned Service" is still around, we just need to look for it.  Lucky for me, I live in a small town and we have so many friendly people working in our shops/stores. It is ALWAYS a pleasure to go into a store and see a smilng face and someone laughing.  Just makes a person's day.

Posted by Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (909)273-4542 Kat DeLong, Realtor Dre#01235311 (Mountain Country Realty, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542) about 1 month ago

And a welcomed blast from the past this post is Russell. I'm glad it made a revival or I would never have seen it.

Great stuff here my friend.

Posted by Craig Rutman Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor (Home Buyer and Seller Specialist) about 1 month ago

If you’re in Texas and you find someone who’s not friendly, it’s a good bet that they just moved there from somewhere out of state.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego home inspector (Russel Ray, Property Consultant) about 1 month ago

Hi Russell -- So true...I vote with my feet and only try to give business to people and businesses that truly earn my business.

Posted by Chris Olsen Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 1 month ago

What a wonderful post and how true it is... It's so hard to get someone to go above and beyond to get good services.

Posted by Donna Paul- Long Island Home Specialist Suffolk and Nassau County (Keller Williams Realty Greater Nassau) about 1 month ago

Good service, knowledgeable and courteous assistance is what it is all about.  Why would you do your business any other way.  People that work from their computer or from indirect methods are not doing successful business

Posted by Stan Stepak Avon Lake Real Estate Agent (Avon Lake, Bay Village, Westlake, OH) (Howard Hanna Gold- Avon Lake, OH) about 1 month ago

Old-fashioned service is alive and well in Franklin TN.. Y'all come back soon is one of our favorite sayings.

Posted by Tammie White Realtor® Franklin TN Homes For Sale (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 month ago

You gotta love Austin!  These comments are classic.  I see about 5 different places where I either frequent because of the service, or have had a great experience there.  Great post! 

Posted by Alex Morris - Austin Real Estate Agent about 1 month ago

Yes, old fashioned service does exist, and I like to believe that is what I give my clients.  I tend to try to find similar type businesses for myself as well. 

That is why I like being independent, I can do things my way and make the client happy.  They don't have to navigate a phone tree to get to me.

Tni LeBlanc, Mint Properties

Posted by Tni LeBlanc REALTOR® Santa Maria Homes Central Coast about 1 month ago

I saw how friendly and accommodating the people of Texas are this past Monday . . The Cowboys went out of their way to make their guests welcome.

Posted by Fernando Herboso Broker: Check All in MD & VA (Herboso & Associates LLC- Broker 240.426.5754) about 1 month ago

Nice to see all these comments, customer service should never amount to a digit, a # sign, and a recording.

Posted by Ellen Dittman-Your One Stop for NE FLA- Serving Clay & Duval Counties (Watson Realty Corporation) about 1 month ago

Russell, You obviously hit a nerve with this great post. There in no one among us that does not appreciate good customer service. 

Wife M. and I have a 25 year old specialty retail store here in Eureka Springs. she has groomed it and it thrives because she knows exactly where success is customer service. It is at times tedious and challenging but without it you do not last.

Posted by Charles Edwards (Century 21 EXCLAMATION Rogers, Arkansas ) about 1 month ago

Russell no doubt about have to provide great service today as someone else will be if you don't. The days of not paying attention are over.

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 1 month ago

So true, so true!  Personal professional service with a smile is the be all and end all I think.  There is damn little of it out there today. Sad to say the world has changed, and in some area, like this one, not for the better.  I always love the saying " customer service is an attitude, not a department!"

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by PATRICIA AULSON, REALTOR Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (PRUDENTIAL VERANI REALTY- Portsmouth NH Real Estate ) about 1 month ago

By the way, I love this post and have bookmarked it and will hit the suggest button!

Thank you,


Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by PATRICIA AULSON, REALTOR Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (PRUDENTIAL VERANI REALTY- Portsmouth NH Real Estate ) about 1 month ago

Bookmark for replies, I will be back later to respond to all the comments and thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Y'all come back soon!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Yesterday I had to go to the AT&T store to get some help with my phone.  A very nice young man named Patrick made my day.  He was knowledgeable, friendly and best of all, patient with my questions.  So refreshing.  And please keep in mind, Patrick was having a VERY bad day.  His beloved Dallas Cowboys (found this out because he has a blue Cowboy star as the wallpaper on his phone) had stunk up the place the night before and Tony Romo got hurt!  But Patrick worked through his pain!  I went in there truly dreading the task, but Patrick brightened my day!

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest, Sugar Land, TX about 1 month ago

Very nicely done Russell and on a good subject too.....The problem with customer service is people and the solution is people too. If we can provide an environment where people are motivated beyond minimum wage, then they will pass that "joy" onto the customer. Disney has a policy of bumping their employees every 15 minutes to another position or post. On the third bump, you go to break. This goes on throughout your shift. This keeps the employee fresh and alert and prevents them from burning out. Interacting with the public can consume a lot of energy....thank you for this decent post

Posted by Richie Naggar Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca about 1 month ago

Very simple rule i follow


Treat people the way i want to be treated if i was the consumer


It goes a long way and people will remember that

Posted by Dominick gaccino about 1 month ago

It's the part of our job I love themost.  We have to be able to provide personal service and attention which in the age of Faebook, and mega stores is rarely found anymore.  I live in a small town that is growing, but we still have the local hardware store where my family and I have gone since we movedhere 22 years ago.

Posted by Dale Cosack (Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors - Newtown) about 1 month ago

Russell, you are a great story teller, but more importantly your stories carry great information. Thanks for being you.

Posted by Larry Lawfer (RE/MAX Landmark) about 1 month ago

Hi Russell,  Yours is a great reminder that each of us has an influence on those around us !  As a general statement I always enjoy working with Canadians as they are so friendly and courteous. 

Posted by Bill Gillhespy Fort Myers Beach Realtor (Century 21 Tripower Realty) about 1 month ago

This is why Home Depot and Lowes will never shut down Mom and Pop hardware stores. My self promotion is that "I provide Mom and Pop service in a world of businesses with Banker's Hours".

Posted by Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc about 1 month ago

I so agree - the Golden Rule applies, no matter where, no matter when. Maybe it's bacause I live in a small town, but even our Lowe's has great customer service - in fact, I know most of the folks who work there! One of the advantages of living here, no doubt - GREAT quality of life!

Posted by Debbe Perry (Real Living Carolina Property ) about 1 month ago

Great article and it's too bad, there are so few people who get it.

I noticed that when older women had to go back to work full-time, and younger people took up these retail positions ... that's when customer service disappeared from many stores.

It's not just the employees we interact with, they need to feel apprecited and valued and understand that customer service is an important company value before they offer it to you and me.

Posted by Tina Gleisner (Association of Home Professionals) about 1 month ago

Russell, I thoroughly enjoyed your post and couldn't agree with you more.  I wish more people felt like us!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley REALTOR® El Dorado Hills CA Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Dorie Thanks and thank you for the support! I always enjoy reading your posts and look forward to reciprocating every week@

Michael Thank you, I have often thought we were cut from the same cloth!

Lenn When I wrote this post 18 months ago, the downturn was just beginning. I admit that both Lexus and Nissan have treated us like Rolls Royce owners and in may other places service is rising and that is a good thing~!

Dale Thanks so much and thank you for your support, I gave been remiss in stopping by your blog and will visit this week!

Cynthia I am not sure how it happened but I am always grateful to whomever deems it worthy!

William I like to think that you and many of our friends here were raised on that kind of service and as Cynthia mentioned it's natural for us! Good points my friend!

Jane I also cracked up at the literal interpretation and service is EXACTLY what will separate us from the herd!

Bruce Yeah...I know, can you believe it! I am very grateful whenever it happens though!

Ricki Yes it was fun and funny to see this pop up again!

Kat That is one of the pleasures of living in a small town that still believes in community

Craig Thanks man, I always appreciate it when you drop by!

Russel my friend as my favorite Texas ExPat you are so right!

Chris What a great expression to vote with your feet..and your checkbook too!

Donna That's a great point because Good Service is going above and beyond and NOT just the minimum

Stan Good service IS more than being at the computer, it's being face to face that counts!

Tammie It is a southern thing and one of my favorites too!

Hi Alex I see you also live in Austin and you understand that we live in an incredibly friendly and progressive place! I hope you are doing well here!

Tni It is often good to be more independent and be able to work as you chose with the flexibility to give GREAT customer service!

Fernando Your comment cracked me up...yes we can take a well deserved jab! I sent you and email too, Thanks!

Ellen You nailed it, when we become statistics  all sense of a personal connection is lost!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Russell - I am a FIRM believer that customer service is #1!  Like you, there are a few local businesses that have my undying loyalty because of the high level of service AND the wonderful personalities.  I don't expect my clients to expect any less, so I always strive to do the best job possible.

Posted by Tiffany Wilson - Green Real Estate, First Time Home Buyers & Investors (Shorewood Realtors) about 1 month ago

Dear Russell,

Good service makes them'all come back real soon where you are and in our neck of the woods too.

Posted by Dörte Engel (RE/MAX Leading Edge) about 1 month ago

Russell, great blog about courtesy and friendliness...and enjoying your job and the people you come in contact with. Everyone and every place could be a lot more fun, while still getting the work done, if we all acted this way.

Posted by Michael Emerson (Newman Realty) about 1 month ago

Isn't the "old" expression Service with a Smile?  Good service is essential in any business if they want to be around for a long time.  With unemployment in double digits you would think those with jobs at the stores your referenced would be bending over backwards to offer you great service as they should be appreciative that they have a job.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) about 1 month ago

Service is very important.  Generally it cost money.  We shop at Walmart because it is cheap, but try to do a return there or have a problem with a purchase!

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider East Contra Costa Home Sales 01492725 (Home Point Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Wow! I'm, the 122 comment so no one may be reading all of these but my husband works in a customer oriented store so in defense of many stores, I'd just like to say that the biggest problem is that the economy is not great and stores are limited in the number of employees they can hire. Like many businesses, there are too few people doing to much work and that sometimes doesn't allow enough time for the service that many desire. On the flip side I went shipping with a friend that complained that someone greeted her every time she walked through the door. She found it annoying. Everyone is different. You just can't please everyone.

Posted by Robin Scott - Broker CRS ABR SRS Austin Texas REALTOR® (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) about 1 month ago

Russell:  I so enjoyed reading this blog, your points are well made and so true.  Often the customer you are assisting can make providing that quality service quite a challenge, however we always strive to treat all with dignity and respect.  Nice job!  Carrie

Posted by Carrie Sampron, ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 or (303) 931-3780 (Home Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Sometimes when I get really friendly, good service, I'm taken aback because it is so rare these days.

Posted by Donna Harris, REALTOR® & ASP - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes (RE/MAX Austin Skyline) about 1 month ago

Hey us New Yorkers sometimes gets bad reputation of being mean and cut throat, but the truth is, we have lots of compassion and sympathy for others. Especially when the tourists ask for directions :-)

Posted by Eileen Hsu 許小姐 Manhattan NY Real Estate (Prudential Douglas Elliman) about 1 month ago

I have always tried to think of the people I meet, particularly in service situations, as a kind of mirror of what I present and so I try to treat them the way I would appreciate being treated. Sort if the old Golden Rule. If I smile and great them in a friendly manner I usually get the same back.

Recently I was very surprised by what I consider great customer service.  I was in our local Walmart doing some grocery shopping when I detoured to sporting good to try to find a pocket compass for my son. The auto department is immediately adjacent and since I saw no one in sporting goods I asked the man behind the counter if he might know where I could look for a compass. He immediately took me back to sporting good and helped me look but to no avail. I thanked him and went to the far side of the store to start my grocery shopping and about ten minutes later a voice behind me announced "I found it, we only had one. Is this what you needed."

To me, that's old fashion service.

Posted by Marshall Brown (Candid Home Inspection Consulting) about 1 month ago

Hi Russell!
My are filling up my Outlook!  Life really is better the second time around!
Paula Swayne

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 month ago

Fantastic post. More and more, I think it's important to give local businesses a shot if we are used to going to big box stores, restaurant chains, etc. Relationships make up the fabric of our communities. 

Posted by Ryan Halset (Boardwalk Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Today a friend and I spent the entire day shopping and wandering around in "the city." With the exception of one store - where the young ment working there treated us like we were too old to be let out alone - everyone was friendly and helpful.

We were already having a great day, just getting to visit and goof-off all day, but all those people added to the pleasure.

Posted by Marte Cliff (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 1 month ago

Russell: I'm moving to Texas! I agree, service and respect go a long way.


Posted by Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc about 1 month ago

Charles Thanks, though I wrote this 18 months ago it still is relevant. What a great tribute to your wife's store and the way she has done the same with her connection to the community! I just realized you are Eureka Springs which is in of my favorite places in Arkansas. I need to subscribe to your blog if I have not already done so!

Bill Thanks, I know that you and I are cut from the same cloth when it comes to the integrity of servicing our clients!

Patricia Thanks so much for the comment AND the compliment! I have never heard that saying but it is priceless " customer service is an attitude, not a department!"

Jeanne As a long suffering Cowboys fan, I know the trauma this young man had to endure ;-O Great story on how he shook it off and did a great job! Kudos to Patrick!

Richie You have hit on some facts that ring true in any business. Disney takes care of the well being of its employees so that they can pass it on and do a great job for the customers! I also agree with you that dealing directly with the public can be exhausting. I am worn out after a day with buyers but truthfully I enjoy it!

Dominic True, the golden rule applies in all aspects of our lives both personal and professional!

Dale You kind of enthusiasm for doing a great job will bring you more business than facebook ever will! Keep up the good work and it will be returned over and over!

Hi Larry Than you so much, I need to get by your blog soon!

Bill I agree and in a way Texans and Canadians DO  share an easy going attitude!

Bob I like that attitude, and your promotion is excellent, Mom and Pop service with professional level of business acumen!

Debbie In many ways I still have the convenience of a small town but Austin is growing so much I wonder how long it will last?

Tina Thanks so much and thank you for your email too! It's not all the peoples fault who work at the counter, they DO need to be in an environment where their efforts are appreciated and rewarded so that they don't feel like they are pressed between demanding customers and a company that does not care!

DeeDee Thanks and I have to say that form the comments here, there are a lot of people out there(and certainly here at ActiveRain) who share our values!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

I always try to give mey client the most professional service I can.  If you want to read a great book on the subject try Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard

Posted by Pat Z about 1 month ago

Hi Russell,

Awesome post! The old fashioned way will always prevail. Too bad some people are hiding behind technology and forgetting to develop true relationships in their communities. Not that technology isn't good. But it should be something in addtion to....Not the primary. All the best!

Posted by Maria Marriott, Mortgage Advisor (Executive Mortgage, a branch of First Priority Financial Inc) about 1 month ago

Russell - LOVED your "y'all come back" story! And you are so right....customer service is all about being kind.....and seriously....when's the last time being kind killed anybody?  My motto: Be nice. And if you can't be nice, well, then Shut the ....


Oh. Never mind.

Posted by Coleen DeGroff - Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL - (Seide Realty) about 1 month ago

Tiffany I know that we have demanding customers at times but we always strive to do better than the next guy and that is what makes the difference!

Dorte That is true no matter where we live!

Michael That is actually my motto, "getting work done and still having fun!"

Simon My Father was in the grocery business in West Texas and "Service with a Smile" was a way of life in his stores!

Gene If WalMart can provide cheerful service along with low prices they will continue to thrive!

Robin I completely agree with you in that regard! It is tough to stay focused when an employee is doing the work of 2 or 3 and is not supported or appreciated by their employer. On the other hand your friend sounds kind of like a Grinch...and like you say some folks just cannot be pleased!

Carrie Thanks so much, I appreciate the compliment and it's good to see folks with similar views about our work ethic commenting here!

Donna too sometimes I am very surprised!

Eileen I believe you, I have been in NYC twice to visit and run the NYC Marathon and we always found the people to be friendly and very helpful!

Marshall What an excellent comment. I like the idea of using others as a mirror to reflect our own actions and attitudes! And what a great story about the watch! Nice job and thanks for sharing!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Paula pretty funny to see this after all the time has passed! BTW it is always good to see you here at my blog, and I am on my way to see what is new in your part of the world too!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Ryan Often smaller local businesses are able to make the experience more than just saving a few cents!

Marte Sounds like a great book, thanks for the tip!

Ty Come on down, it sounds like you would fit right in!

Pat My Father was in the grocery business in West Texas and "Service with a Smile" was a way of life in his stores!

Coleen  What a great motto, actually I have a similar one! Thanks for stopping by, i need to check out your blog soon!!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Hi Russell!
Not much happening in my world...intermittent at best!  I was chatting with my family about where we would like to go if we were traveling.  I told them that I want to go to Austin...only because of all of the things you have told us here on the Rain! Someday...
Paula Swayne

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 month ago

Paula If you and family are ever headed this way let me know and I will gladly give you a tour of our very interesting city!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Russell, I remember this post from last year and it is still as good and relevant today as it was back then! Great JOB!!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) 29 days ago

Hi Russell, we have been meaning to get to this post for awhile so bookmarked it and it was worth the wait! Lots of people pay "lip service" to service but fwe follow through. You on the other hand are a doer my friend and your actions reflect your words! 

Posted by Tom & Mary 27 days ago
When you're in not good state and have no cash to go out from that point, you would need to take the home loans. Because it will aid you emphatically. I take commercial loan every time I need and feel myself fine because of that.
Posted by SANCHEZIris26 5 days ago


What does the graphic say?