The East Hill Group knows how to go above and beyond

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By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

Bill and Robin Huyler, principals of The East Hill Group of Chadds Ford.

CHADDS FORD — Sometimes answering a customer’s question correctly is not enough.  When you fundamentally understand your customers, you can go above and beyond and not only answer their questions but can begin to anticipate their needs.

That’s the fundamental philosophy behind The East Hill Group, as managed by principals Bill and Robin Huyler, a husband and wife team and Chester County residents. East Hill offers a range of services for any property owner as their lines up of companies include a property management firm, a consulting accounting firm, and a real estate firm with inhouse title and mortgage.  With this broad range of services, they are able to assist individual home owners looking to buy/sell or refinance their home, homeowner’s associations with the management of their communities, and accounting, auditing and back office support offered through their accounting firm all with a firm understanding of the local community. 

“We view ourselves as partners with our clients and part of being a good partner is being able to have an in-depth conversation and not just answer their questions, but also take it to the next level, to make recommendations, based on our understanding of their needs and our own experience,” Bill Huyler said in a recent interview with The Times. “That’s vital. I think customer service isn’t just ‘can we answer your questions?’ in just one contact or one touch, it’s taking the time to understand what they are asking and why and get to the root of their needs.”

“I think it just really resonates when I get calls from clients, and it isn’t just ‘hey we responded to them.’” Bill Huyler said. “Or we responded to their email….that’s kind of baseline what you’re supposed to do…our clients appreciate us really giving back and giving them really detailed information as to what they should do, not just on a transactional level, but to make a reinforced recommendation as to ‘I know where you’re going, you’re probably going to want to avoid this issue or this situation, and here’s what we recommend.’ That’s one of the things that I’ve noticed a lot recently, a lot of comments and feedback from — we didn’t just do the work, we kind of took ownership of it. That’s what give us the most amount of pride — we took ownership.”

For all things real estate, The East Hill Group has you covered.

The logic behind that was simple: instead of chasing around to find solutions for everything from mortgages to maintenance, customers can make one call and address all of their needs, whether it’s to sell or buy a home, or help with the management of 300-unit housing development.

“We were originally a management company,” Bill Huyler said. “We started the real estate brokerage, we brought that on, and added additional ancillary services to make sure that instead of ‘Well, you have to call this person, or call this person’ it’s ‘I’ll be happy to help, let me transfer you’ — everything is in the office, everything is available to use. That way, if you’re buying a home — living in a condo, running a condo board, association board, or even a building owner, we just bring the right person in.”

East Hill has a team of professionals who can help address virtually any need.

“We offer management services for condos, HOAs along with real estate sales for someone looking to buy a home or sell their home,” Bill Huyler said. “In addition to things like if they want to refinance their home, we have an in-office mortgage company, we have our in-office insurance company and titles….so everyone is one door down from each other, so we all talk. We can make sure that we can offer our neighbors and clients the best service possible and give them the best rates.”

And, unlike some other options, East Hill is locally owned and operated — if you call, you’ll likely end up talking to someone who is not only a pro, but one of your neighbors.

“The best thing is that we’re local — we’re family-run, we have a couple of families working with us, so we’re all part of the local neighborhood,” Bill Huyler said.

To be sure, being local really matters to the Huylers.

“The first thing that we did once Robin and I acquired the company was — they were headquartered in Media — we moved it to Chadds Ford,” Bill Huyler said. “My twins go to Pocopson Elementary School and our two-year old is not far behind — so it’s a nice thing I’m 10 minutes away. It’s also that we know Chadds Ford, we love Chadds Ford, and we want to live here, we want to work here, and we want to play here. And being able to offer our services to the local residents was our vision when we moved it from Media.”

That local knowledge really has an impact on serving customers.

“We know the different school districts, the different communities,” Bill Huyler said. “We have a strong base from the management side in the West Chester, Chadds Ford, Kennett areas. And it reinforces our local knowledge. Not just ‘hey, this house has four bedrooms and two baths’ but it’s really understanding what our clients are looking for in terms of a move. Here’s school districts, locales, the best restaurants, sports — say if we have a client whose son is really good at football you better believe I’m taking them to Unionville,” he said, laughing and taking note of Unionville High School’s recent District Championship in football.

As important as local knowledge is, so too is finding a way to exceed customer expectations.

Both Huylers are passionate about their business, but also their community. As local residents — with kids attending Pocopson Elementary — they don’t just know the local community, they live in, which can make all of the difference when it comes to knowing the exact right solution.

“We want to be part of the community, we like to work for the people around here, but also give back, so we make it a point to get involved in local charities, whether its sleeping out on the streets of Philadelphia for Covenant House, or working with Philabundance and we do the MS ride, City To Shore, and we give to a local charity called Gethrr,” Robin Huyler said. “We try to find opportunities to connect with people.”

Although focused on the current business space, the duo seem ready to continue East Hill’s expansion.

“I think one of the things we’re going to do is to develop our accounting company, Creighton Financial; I’m pretty excited about it,” Bill Huyler said. “They have HOA and condo association transitions and back office support. Also, developing the real estate brokerage as well. Ultimately, I’ve been in real estate for 17 years, I love marketing and I love the sale, just the interaction, is the most exciting. The management company is kicking tail and taking names, but just letting those (the accounting business and the real estate brokerage) broaden is going to be a lot of fun next year.”

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