Melinda Brody and Company is a video mystery shopping company based in Orlando, Florida. Melinda has provided sales training and mystery shopping services for new home builders all over the United States since 1986
Melinda Brody, President of Melinda Brody and Company, Inc, recently answered some questions about being a video mystery shopper for her company. Here is what she had to say:
Describe the ideal shopper.
An ideal shopper is someone who is resourceful, thinks on their feet, very detail oriented, good with technical equipment, open to learn technical equipment and can trouble shoot when on the road and something goes wrong. Also someone who can subtly keep the shop on track and not meander onto a different subject that ends up taking the shop outside our 90 minute limit. Our average shop time is 42 minutes for a home builder shop
What training does a video mystery shopper need to have?
We support video training courses to train our shoppers such as Undercover Essentials, LLC run by Carrie Porhammer. She is conducting workshops nationwide to specifically train shoppers on video. Check out her site at http://undercoveressentials.org/
What types of shops does your company do? What types of reports are used?
Our company does 99% home shops. We do not require a report. Our reviewers score the video.All the shopper does is film and upload. We also have phone, internet , design center and competition shops . Occasionally, the shopper will be required to write a report because we don’t tape comp shops and also some clients are still unsure about video. We do try to convert them and once they try video, they never go back to written.
Are shoppers required to buy their own video equipment to do video mystery shops?
Shoppers need to have their own equipment as Independent Contractors. We lease the equipment and also are currently selling some of our used set ups.
What is the best way for a new shopper to get in the door and get a first assignment?
The best way to get in the door and get a first assignment is to be a trained video shopper or take Carrie’s class and become trained. Purchase equipment and commit to running your shopping as a small business.
How long after a shop are your shoppers typically paid? Do you use/require PayPal? Do you plan to?
Our shoppers are paid 30 days from the time the shop is processed. We offer PayPal but it is not required.
What is your biggest problem/pet peeve with shoppers?
Biggest pet peeve is “flakes.” This is taking an assignment and not following through. Waiting until the last minute to review things. A shopper called me the day of a shop (she was assigned 4) to ask me questions on equipment. She needed to be prepared several days prior to the day of the shops.
Any funny shopper stories?
When I started (1986), a shopper walked in and found a new home salesperson on the floor. She called me and thought he was dead. She went back in and heard him snore as he was FAST ASLEEP! Not a good day to be shopped.
At another shop we encountered a female rushing out to greet us looking very disheveled. We heard a male voice leaving through the back door. They were on a *date*!!
Another was my shopper was with a salesperson who, while demonstrating the rear of the home, fell in the pool. The salesperson jumped out and kept on talking!
What do you want shoppers to know?
Don’t be afraid of video shopping! If you tell yourself “this is difficult,” it will be. You do not have to do written shops to prepare for video. We have hired friends and people from an ad with absolutely no shopping experience and right out of the gate, they did great.
There is a learning curve involved but they are higher paid shops with no report and once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.
Thanks, Melinda, for taking the time to answer our questions. If you want to be a video mystery shopper for Melinda Brody and Company, you can apply here.