I am writing this blog on the day my home is supposed to close, so I can definitively say that moving sucks. You would think it is exciting because, we found our dream home. The perfect size, a fantastic street, a big lot and it is completely new construction. It’s a dream situation. But, with this dream came a lot of stress. We had to put our old home on the market, get approved for a loan for the new place and pack up all of our stuff and move it down the street. All the while, we had to stay neat and “staged” in case a potential buyer was interested in looking. And the buyers weren’t biting as quickly as we had hoped. So, for the past few months, we’ve been saddled with two mortgages and dwindling hope that our situation would soon change. Finally, the low-ball offer came in and after some negotiation, we were under contract. Then it was the inspection, more demands from the buyers and finally (hopefully today), the closing.
Why should you care? Because honestly, our situation reflects a relatively “easy move”. We relocated just down the street, we could afford to keep both homes, the kids didn’t have to change schools etc. But, we were still stressed. So, you can imagine what kind of pressure a family is feeling when they walk into your office, looking for a new orthodontist after a move? Think of all of my stresses and add living in a new town, leaving your friends and possibly family, finding a good school, finding new doctors and finally (after you did all your research in your old town) finding a new orthodontist to take over Johnny’s braces.
I realize that when someone shows up to your office with brackets you don’t like, questionable bracket placement, broken appliances and the news that they “paid the other doctor in full”, it’s always a bummer. But, remember that your job is to make their life easier. Finish the case. Try to use their current brackets. Don’t tell the parent what a mess the kid is and how all the brackets are “wrong”. Maybe tell mom you need to reposition a few at the initial appointment (and then repo the whole arch if needed). Make the finances easy. Estimate the number of months left, and prorate your fee. Don’t make them pay a full fee again. Ease the transition into their new town and become a hero.