Impressions Last Forever

One of my first jobs as a youth was as a gasoline attendant at a local service station (a job that is not common anymore).  I grew to love my employer and always looked up to him as a mentor.  Several years later, long after I had moved on, the company he worked for did something that was quite underhanded and despicable, in my opinion.
Though it was (and still is) an otherwise good company, that act alone left a very bitter taste in my mouth.  As a young man, I vowed to never patronize that brand name again.  Though the company has since been resold to another national brand and I am sure those executives have all died off or been replaced, I still remain a prideful dissident.  Unless I am driving on fumes and there is no other choice in town, I will not gas up or otherwise spend my money with that company.

Impressions are stubborn things.   Once a judgement has been made about a company, it is very difficult to change it for another.  Of course, this goes two ways.  Unfortunately, the reflections we often portray to our patrons are not fair.  We can do one-hundred things right, make one mistake, and guess what they remember?  Furthermore, with the advent of the Internet, one blunder can quickly be known by thousands.

What kind of impression are you making on your customers (or potential customers)?  Though perfection is impossible,  It behooves us as business owners to always strive for the utmost in customer service.  Our reputation is on the line.

Now, go create some value!


Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach ( where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office ( which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.

4 thoughts on “Impressions Last Forever”

  1. Diana T. Jacob

    You are really a good writer and I so enjoy your views. You give great perspective to the appraisers. I think I’ve seen you in a class or other classes I’ve taught. I wanted you to know that I respect and appreciate your efforts to make this profession better.

    1. Diana:

      Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I did take at least one class from you this past year in Texas. It was a USPAP update and I remember being quite impressed with your teaching style and knowledge of the subject matter. Thank you for all you do for the appraisal industry. BTW: We will be speaking at the same conference in Vegas this year. I look forward to seeing you there.

  2. Ken MacDonough SRA

    Hi, For me the energy company is Exxon/Mobil. Ever since the Exxon Valdiz went aground in Prince William Sound, I have not purchased a drop of gas from Exxon or Mobil (now owned by Exxon). A top Exxon executive was questioned about that terrible oil spill. He said it was “the cost of doing business.” Not my business.

    Ken M.

    1. Ken:

      Not the one I was thinking of, but I do see your point. It is alson interesting to note that Exxon was told long before the spill that they should invest in double-hulled ships. They thought the likelyhood of a spill was not worth the cost. Oops.

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