Thursday, March 28, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

In the changing world we live in, there is a growing trend for businesses to try to sell you what they think you should have rather than what you want. And, delightfully in my opinion, they are getting punished for it.
A good friend of mine, let’s call him Ben, illustrated this perfectly the other day when he told me about how he went to buy a whipper-snipper.
Ben is pretty lawn-proud and he is loyal to a brand that has done right by him. He has had three terrific whipper-snippers, all the same brand, over the past 25 years and when he finally wore out his latest one he went to the hardware shop to buy the newest version from that brand.
But when he asked the sales person, he was told that brand only had electric whipper-snippers these days.
The sales person said that although the various whipper-snippers’ specifications said the batteries last for over 30 minutes, when they were working under load they would last for just 10 minutes. He suggested buying two batteries so that when one went flat, he could change to a charged-up battery.
The problem was that the electric whipper-snipper was about $270 and a battery was about $130. So, with a second battery, the whipper snipper was going to cost more than $500.
Now this is not the local hardware shop’s fault but when businesses like the whipper-snipper maker force people to buy something they don’t want for more money than they wanted to spend, well … people start shopping around.
So Ben left the hardware shop with a sparkling new Honda four-stroke whipper-snipper, a brand he has never owned but apparently it’s going really well.
The religious-like fervour around climate change is part of this trend of trying to sell people stuff they don’t want and presumably the whipper-snipper company believes petrol-powered lawn trimmers are a central cause of global warming.
Others might think that growing emissions from China and India are more of a factor and that sacrifices being made by a country that contributes just 1 per cent of global CO2 emissions place an unfair burden on businesses, the poor and even whipper-snipper users.
In fairness, Government regulations are starting to force the hands of manufacturers in various sectors and that’s something that can be addressed at the ballot box, but the story about the whipper-snipper is a reminder for anyone in business.
It is certainly relevant to real estate. I remember, in the time before I was a real estate agent, looking at a house that had a shed that was positioned in a way that it prevented the option of being able to put in a pool.
I told the agent, I really wanted a pool and, because I had young kids, it was more important to me than a shed.
He said: “Oh no mate. In this town you want a shed. That adds much more value and more people want a shed than a pool. Don’t worry about a pool.” Except I wanted a pool.
Real estate agents need to listen to buyers and sellers to understand what is important to them. To make sure that we are on the same page as the client and customer, that we are doing what they want rather than what we want.

Meanwhile, if you’re in Belmore Estate on a Sunday morning and the tranquillity is pierced by the sound of a revving four-stroke engine, it’ll be that brand new Honda.

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