Do you remember when an attendant, often the owner, cheerfully pumped gas, cleaned windshields, checked oil, fluids and tire pressure, and emptied ashtrays? If something was wrong with the car an affordable mechanic in the back would take a look at that, too.
Full service meant exactly what was advertised: Full service!
Then came self-service stations in the mid-’70s and the business model changed. At first, stations offered self-service at the pump at a slight discount, but it wasn’t long before all of the services of the local “Service Station” disappeared, making not only the gasoline attendant obsolete but also the automobile expert who offered the routine mini car-physical.
I wonder, “Is self service really cheaper?”
Many industries have suffered from this devolution to self-service. Even real estate companies have tried self-service or limited service plans. Companies like ForSaleByOwner.com have cut services to the point where the only service offered is placing your home on the electronic website or into the MLS, leaving the sellers to do the balance of the job. Well, this self-service method didn’t work for the founder of ForSaleByOwner.com, Colby Sambrotto! Josh Barbanel reported in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled: “DIY Guru Gets Help from Broker”. Mr. Sambrotto eventually resorted to hiring a full service real estate broker after his own “self-service” company failed to get the job done. He spent six months trying his own system then finally gave up and decided “Full Service” might work better. As a result, the full-service broker sold Mr. Sombrotto’s condo for $150,000 more than the list price Sombrotto had previously offered through his “self-service” company!
Yes, I miss full service gas stations. I loved my windows being washed, my hands being gas-smell free, oil and tires being checked and the privilege to ask the attendant, “What’s that funny noise I’m hearing in the front end”? I wonder, “If someone were to check my car’s oil and tire pressure every time I filled up, would it pay for the higher price at the pump? Would I get better mileage and wear from properly inflated tires? Would unanticipated mechanical problems be caught by an expert’s mini-physical? And… would the investment of a few cents at the pump actually save me money in the long run?”
I don’t know about the cost-return analysis on full service gasoline, but as Mr. Sombrotto can attest, a full service Realtor® is certainly worth the investment!
Established in 1906 as a full service real estate company Coldwell Banker has provided over a century of service to be remembered. “Full service” in 1906 and “full-service” today! For service to be remembered contact a Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Bain.