Thursday, May 06, 2010

If you think this is about you, you're going about it all wrong.

Dear Angry Caller:

I know you're calling because you're fired up for some perceived misdeed that has been done to you, some wrong that you feel must be righted. But did you know that when you phone with a problem that needs solving, yelling at your escrow professional is not going to help solve that problem?

The transaction that you are involved in, either as a buyer or seller, agent or lender, is the most important transaction in the world to you. Every one of us is aware of this. Every one of us believes the same thing as you. We just believe the same thing of every file on our desks. We're pretty good at what we do for a living; heck, these days the only people left in our industry are the really good ones. And it might surprise you that despite the fact that you complain about our (regulated) fee structure and remind us that we were not your first choice of escrow teams, we're actually human beings. Human beings make mistakes from time to time. Some human beings TRY to make mistakes, but this particular group of human beings does not fall in to that category. So really, if and when a mistake is made, it's probably something that we have discovered already, feel pretty badly about, and are in the process of fixing when you decide to pick up the phone and start screaming at us for being the idiots you think we are.

Did you know, Angry Caller, that most of the time the mistakes we encounter are a result of things that you did not provide for us? Did you know that when we send you a packet of forms that require your review and signature that we're doing that not to kill time or get some cheap advertising, but because there is information only you can provide us in order for us to process and close your transaction? Did you also know that as soon as we see what direction the call is heading we pretty much tune you out and start working on something else until you're finished screaming?

The majority of escrow folks are pretty helpful individuals who can see around a problem or inadequacy and make it work anyway. We're pretty resourceful when we have to be. And we do a lot for you and your transaction. Most of us either come early, leave late, skip lunch, or all of the above. That's for you, you know. It's not because we don't like our homes, or don't have anything better to do. It's because we are doing our best to make sure that you get the smoothest transaction you could hope for. And if one of us takes an additional half-day to get your commission/fee check/proceeds to you, it's most likely a fluke, and most likely we're thinking about that half-day delay all evening, all night, and the next morning on our way in to the office. Because we care. You might think we don't, but you insist on calling us every name in the book to make sure we know YOU do.

Angry Caller, these are difficult times in our industry. Deals are harder to come by for everyone, loans take longer to underwrite, short sale negotiators demand unheard of documentation to approve an offer. Our staff has been reduced, but we plug along and work longer and harder to ensure a seamless close. When we make a mistake, we do not do it to anger you, screw you over, or spite you. We do it because we're human and sometimes shit like that happens.

Might I suggest you take a lesson from some of your peers? Address the issue calmly and allow us time to research and find a solution. Do not begin the call with "YOU PEOPLE", do not accuse us of doing this on purpose, do not call us names and do not swill a bottle of scotch before calling. Every one of these things causes us to tune you out. Every one of these things inspires us to NOT help you. Every one of these things makes us answer your demands with dreamy hums and one word sentences. To piss you off. Because you're kind of a dick.

Please let me know if you take any offense to the content of this letter. Because we, your faithful escrow personnel, will never be able to tell you this to your face, or over the phone, or via real live letter. We will continue to smile while we fix the problem, credit your account for no reason other than to shut you up, and go on to the next thirty five files that will be problem-free. And never expect a thank you.

Very truly yours.



At 7:25 AM, May 07, 2010, Blogger Tulum Living said...

Sounds like a good day at the office. jaja

At 2:11 PM, May 07, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me take this opportunity to say "thank you" for my closing. It went extrememly smoothly and exactly the way you said it would. I don't think I said "thank you" at the time...


At 2:13 PM, May 07, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me take this opportunity to say "thank you" to you, Joyce. My closing went extremely well and exactly as planned. You and your office were great, though I don't think I actually said "thank you"... BH


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