“Coffee, Tea, or Me – ending up feeling not so special”

Looking forward to the BIG day:

My youngest son Brian and his wife Stacy were married April 27th, 2019 nestled in the beautiful, rolling, romantic, panoramic hills deep in the heart of wine country, Southern California. It was a day we had anticipated since he was a small boy and it was finally here. Preparations had been made for family to arrive in California to attend the wedding from different parts of the country converging in sunny California to celebrate the festivities with family and friends.

There were four different venues we were delighted to partake in and carefully had planned out each day months in advance. There was dinner with Mimi & Charlie, Stacy’s parents at their home when we arrived on Thursday night. Rehearsal dinner on Friday night to meet with the whole side of Stacy’s family. Saturday, the perfect setting for a wedding crowned in the hills of Southern California at a beautiful vineyard with spectacular vistas. Sunday morning started with a stop to the wedding venue to assist the newlyweds in packing up their belongings from the winery then driving designated family members to step aboard shuttle buses to connect to scheduled flights. Then the final thoroughfare for Sunday, brunch with the friends, family and the newlywed bride and groom.

Each event was memorable, magical and yes, so very, very special.

Feeling “Not so special” anymore:

But the story all started with the flight to LA and the rental car, or in this case – super stretch SUV to handle seven plus luggage. When we got to LA Enterprise we waited in line to get our rental car (SUV). After waiting for a little bit we approached the counter and they could not find our reservation. Not good. Until finally we told them what type of vehicle we had reserved. Then they informed us that our specific type of rental was from the “Exotic Car Rental” Department.

You would think that renting from “Exotic Car Rental” Department there would be a higher level of service and commitment to customer satisfaction with the higher level of cost we were about to pay for the upgrade. So we waiting in the line again for the next available service representative to assist us to get our exotic SUV. After a short while we were escorted into the sales office to complete the rental contract for the SUV.

If you do not know me or have never met me before, I will let you in on a little secret. I really enjoy a good cup of coffee. I start my day early in the morning around 5:00 AM. My Yeti will hold 30 ounces of “bean juice”. I am not super picky. My “ghetto blend” of half regular, half decaffeinated instant, with a few shots of espresso to juice it up a bit. A splash of cream, no sugar to top it off is just fine. In the office we carry provisions throughout the day to refill the mug with plenty of options for our guests. We are not doing anything exceptional, just showing good neighborly hospitality. No big deal.

So here we are back in LA, waiting for the rental car. Things are going ok, just waiting for our turn. Then as I look around the office low and behold, a Keurig Machine!! Hallelujah! At that instant, I felt so special. A light in the tunnel. But was it an oncoming train? I am not a shy guy – at all! I walked up to the coffee machine and started to poke around looking for the K-cups. Nope not here, maybe in the cabinet. Nope not there either. There must be some around here somewhere? I know, let me ask. I walked up to the man at the desk and asked, “I see you have a Keurig Machine, do you have any K-cups around here?”. The man was polite enough. Said he had just started and wasn’t sure where they were.

Strike one. Okay, I’ll wait.

In a little while another assistant walked into the office bringing in lunch for everyone. I figured if anyone would know where the K-cups were, she would know. By now we were being processed for the rental car. As the salesperson worked on the contract as everyone else ate their lunch. I waited until she was free and asked, “Do you know where the K-cups are?”. She responded “I am not sure, they may be in the back room”. Okay. “Could you please check? I would love a cup of coffee while I am waiting”. I waited for a few minutes for her to return.

Strike two! No K-cups.

Another 30 minutes had passed. Customers had come and gone happily driving away in the shiny clean rental cars. We were working with the person who just started. That’s okay. I get it. Everyone starts from somewhere and has to learn. One of the other sales men had finished with a client so I asked over to his desk. “Sir, do you know if the Keurig Machine has any K-cups?” He promptly replied, “Aw no, we haven’t had K-cups for months.”

Hmm, strike three. Still No K-cups.

So what was the point of having a Keurig coffee machine to make your customers feel special if you didn’t even care enough to get K-cups? While we were sitting there waiting, working with the trainee, three other cars went out the door. I went from feeling special in the “Exotic Rental Cars” section spending over $1,400 for a super stretch SUV, to feeling dejected and un-appreciated for bringing my business here, and now – left feeling not special at all.

I know, it was just a cup of coffee. But if they had no intention of ever even offering me for a cup of coffee, then please put the machine out back in the break room. That way it is not so obvious to me that bringing my business to you isn’t even worth a cup of coffee..

Enterprise would have been better off to just put the machine out back. No harm, no foul.

You are special to us – very special:

“Welcome to Belaire Property Management! Please, come in! Would you like a coffee, some water, tea or maybe a sports drink? We have sweet snacks on this side and the salty snacks on this side. Cookies, chips, popcorn, fruit gummies – you decide! Under the Keurig Machine the storage drawer is filled with a wide variety of k-cups. Would you like to choose from our selection? Most folks really enjoy the Starbucks brand flavors. Or maybe, you would like to have a cup of hot cocoa? Anything you see here that you like at our snack bar? Please be our guest and help yourself.”

This is pretty much a typical day for us here at Belaire Property Management LLC.

When we have a guest come in as a walk-in to our showroom, or a scheduled meeting with a landlord client or a resident; we do not skimp on the hospitality. We want you to feel right at home. Whether or not you decide to rent one of our available units, we think it is the right thing to do. So drop by for a cup of coffee, tea, some snacks, or just to say “Hello”.

You are special to us and the snack bar is always open.

Your cup is always full with us:

So my lesson was learned. A little extra effort can make someone feel extra special. Missing just one small detail can have a totally different affect that will last a lifetime to sour the relationship. Yes, if they would have had K-cups, I wouldn’t have given any of this a second thought and would never have written this. But seeing that it was available and obtainable – just not for me, really had a profound negative affect.

I looked at my wife during this revelation and said to her, “You know honey, we are just a simple property management company. But I never want anyone who steps into our office to experience what we just went through here.” Yes, we have a Keurig machine, K-cups, and free snacks. It is a small token of our appreciation. We realize as potential landlord clients, vendors, and residents – you have choices for who you hire, who you work for, and where you choose to live.

We never want to take that for granted.

Do you have any other ideas on this topic you could share to help our online community? Please chime in to share a comment or review. All feedback is welcomed!

Warmest regards,

Brian Lucier
Belaire Property Management
Regional Property Manager
(978) 448-0669 office
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