Monday, January 24, 2022

Part II

We were at a restaurant for lunch, and it was evident that our waitress was new on the job. It’s quite understandable as “The Great Resignation” has wreaked havoc for the already thinly staffed foodservice industry. We patiently listened to her go over specialty items not on the menu, mostly unsure of herself, but enough to convey the information. We placed our order, and she was on her way. When ready, our waitress brought out the food and drinks and retreated to the kitchen.

It was at that point we realized that we didn’t have any utensils. I went inside to find her to no avail, but the manager quickly sprung up and addressed my needs. We saw him speaking to the waitress moments later, hoping we didn’t get her into any trouble. A few minutes later, she came out to let me know the drink I received was not the coffee I ordered. I tasted it, and it seemed fine, but she insisted on bringing a replacement to fix the error. It seems we weren’t the only table she was having difficulty with - but the manager quickly responded on each account.

She was overly apologetic when she brought the bill, but again, we said it wasn’t a problem. When I was a teenager working as a waiter on weekends, I remember how hard the work was, with minimal appreciation. She really didn’t do anything catastrophic, and we were pleased with the overall service. I scanned the bill, noticed the 18% obligatory gratuity included, and was ready to sign off. Instead, I took the pen and added an additional 10% tip with a note to the waitress. “Thanks for your hard work. You did great!”

I wish I could say there was a follow-up to this story and that my gesture changed her life forever. I have no idea if she is still employed at this restaurant or if they fired her for poor performance. I am sure that she needed the money, and I am hopeful that the additional tip showed her managers that she did, in fact, provide us with good service. We may likely never see her again, but I wanted to do my part to give her some encouragement to have continued confidence in her work. I remember once getting a tip of $20 while I was working a wedding. It made me feel great, and I worked even harder to please that guest and his entire table.

Appreciation is an interesting phenomenon. You can give it, but you can’t control when you are on the receiving end of it. Remarkably, most highly successful executives would credit a routine “appreciation ritual” in the top three pillars of their success formulas. There is a famous saying, “what you appreciate, appreciates.” I have always loved that quote. After implementing gratitude into my own routine, I can confirm these strategies to be highly effective.

The real estate market has been blessed with remarkable home appreciation over the past 18 months. Homeowners have unlocked equity that might have otherwise taken a decade to make. There is nothing that a particular homeowner did to earn that reward, but it was a 15-19% gift bestowed nationwide. It’s important to be grateful for these gains and recognize that it is unlikely to continue – and won’t last indefinitely. Most astute real estate professionals are already starting to notice a slight market shift. My tip to the wise is to optimize your equity and make sure you take advantage of these fading opportunities.

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank all those people in my life - both personally and professionally - who have been by my side this year and always. Your efforts, friendship, assistance, commitment, and support are genuinely appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah to all. Shout out and Happy Birthday to Sam Ashendorf, Gad Cohen, Tzali Dulitz, Edith Lang-Englard, Ari Farkas, Rivky Greene, Shua Katz, Avi Levenbrown, Edyie Rosenfeld, David Schlusselberg, Michie Smilow and Dr. Eric Teller. Mazal Tov to the Rosenfelds and Sturms!

Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at [email protected]

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