Author: Sandy Fisher
I came to work for Home Rental Services in early Fall of 2015. During my interview, much of what this position would be doing was discussed. One word I repeatedly kept hearing was “Buffini.” It was Buffini this, and Buffini that. I remember leaving thinking, “They want me to Buff what?” I think I actually said this out loud in the elevator, with others present, on my way back down to my car.
I tend to think out loud occasionally.
Now, a little over a year later, I’ll tell you what I’m “Buff-ing”, or more specifically, “Buffini-ing”: phone calls, personal notes, coffees, lunches, pop-by gifts, business partner breakfasts, and most recently our first annual owner appreciation open house. Many of the things I’ve worked on this past year are kind of firsts for Home Rental Services, and all incredibly valuable and important.
However, our owner appreciation open house event surprised us all.
A few months ago, I had a conversation with Kandy Meehan, our owner and President, about hosting an event where we give pies as gifts to say thanks for ________. That blank wasn’t a typo; at first we just didn’t know what type of relationship on which to focus this event. Should it be our awesome Realtor® friends who continually send referrals our way? Should it be our amazing group of contractors/service providers who take great care of our homes? Should it be… wait, our owner clients! What about them? Absolutely! And the planning began.
It wasn’t a wheel we had to recreate. Again, it’s a Buffini thing, but we did have to customize the event for our audience and our needs.
Lots of thoughts (again, said out loud) like, “What will our owners think?”, “Will they come?”, “Will they stay?”, “If they stay, what will we talk about?” Optimistically, I moved forward with planning the event.
Our owners received an invitation to our owner appreciation open house. It involved a three-hour timeframe with drinks, snacks, and pies. Yep—pies. Each owner was asked to pick from three pie flavors, and we would have that pie ready to go for them to take home for their Thanksgiving holiday.
The day arrived and again, my thinking out loud returned… “Here we go!”, “I hope someone shows up!”, “If people show up, where are we going to put them all?”, “What are we going to do with all this food?”, “I hope we like pie!” Well, out of our local Kansas City owner client invite list, we ended up getting about 20% attending. We were thrilled with the turnout.
And finally, I wasn’t the only one thinking out loud… “You are really giving me this pie?”, “What a great idea!”, “Thank you!”, “It was great meeting you in person!”, “What a nice office you have!”, “Thank you for the pie!”. These are just a few of the wonderful things said to us from our owners during the event. And did I say the event had a three-hour timeframe? It did. But almost four hours later, we were still having a great time and thinking out loud with some of our wonderful owner clients.
I remember looking around during the event and thinking to myself, “Yep. We’ll be doing this again.”
I want to thank you again for my pie, (which I picked up a day late due to attending a funeral!)… When I came by the next day, it gave me a chance to see everyone and have a nice visit (and still pick up my five pound pie!)… On my way home, I pulled into the driveway of a home where a couple lives who are both in my first grade composite picture which I keep in my phone. The house was full of kids and grandkids, waiting to spend Thanksgiving together the next day… The Dad in this family had lost his job recently when his employer was caught doing things criminally on a government contract. I told him my wife and I couldn’t possibly put a dent in that massive pie, and left it with him to celebrate their dinner with. So thank you from a WHOLE BUNCH of Irishmen for making this Thanksgiving that much better all around! The Fagans
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