Mystery Shopping Tip: Questions to ask BEFORE you hire a Video Mystery Shopping Company, or “The Case of the Bathtub Lady”!

 Things are looking up in the new homes sales industry! How do I know this? Well, I consider myself somewhat of a sales barometer. When my phone starts ringing off the hook for video mystery shopping inquiries from new home sales managers, that is an indicator that traffic is increasing, which means SALES are increasing….or not. If you don’t have the right people in your sales offices (who know how to CLOSE the deal) it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get!

So, if you are even thinking about hiring a video mystery shopping company to evaluate your new home sales team, it is absolutely imperative that you do your homework before hiring one.  Let me share with you a series of questions that you MUST ask any video shopping firm before hiring them.  You will thank me later, I promise.

1.       How long have you been in business? This is probably THE MOST important question you can ask of any video mystery shopping company. Think about it, who would you rather have cut your hair? The gal who just graduated from beauty school and now works at Fantastic Sam’s or the lady who has 25 years experience and owns her own boutique? As with anything, experience counts!  

2.       What is the turnaround time?  I have a girlfriend who got married a couple years ago. She hired a photographer to capture her *special day* on film. She was so excited to see her wedding pictures! She had been promised she would receive them in 2 weeks, which was perfect since they were going to be honeymooning during that time. Well, guess what? Two weeks came and went, and no pictures!  By the time her pictures finally did arrive, she was pregnant with her first child! Your video shop should be LIVE IN FIVE DAYS.

3.       Are you industry specific? Many video mystery shopping firms claim to represent just about any industry out there. Well, this isn’t always a good thing! You want a company that understands the home building industry. You don’t want to have to spend your time educating the shopping firm on what questions to ask and what to look for. This will save you a lot of time and money. 

4.       Do you do a background check on your Mystery Shoppers? Several years ago a dear friend of mine hired a housekeeper. All was going seemingly well until the day my friend had to stop by her house unexpectedly and found the housekeeper sitting in her Jacuzzi tub taking a bubble bath! Well, after my friend demanded that she leave the premises immediately, she noticed that 2 checks were missing from her checkbook. My friend had not done a background check on the housekeeper, but you can bet your bottom dollar she learned her lesson and always does background checks now! We are the only MSC that provides stringent background checks on all our shoppers.

5.       Do you match your shoppers with my community demographics? Do you need a young professional or active adult couple to shop your community? Nothing screams: I’M BEING SHOPPED more than sending in the wrong shoppers!   We match your buyer demographics or decline the job. No exceptions!

So my friends, there you have it. Five questions that you simply must ask a video mystery shopping company before you hire them. In today’s market, you DON’T have the time to waste your precious energy, resources or money on anything but the best in the business!  


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