The few, the proud, the Marines.
Animal-vegetable or mineral.
Tom-Dick & Harry.
Stop-look & listen.
The three Musketeers.
The three Stooges.
Most of us have three names. First, middle and last.

Did you ever notice that things are easier to remember in threes? It seems that our brains are wired to do just that. And, smart speakers and especially marketers know and capitalize on this phenomenon.

We are even supposed to eat three meals a day. When I was younger, I thought that coffee and cream was a balanced repast for the 1st meal. I didn’t realize that there was only 2 and not 3 things in that breakfast. Now that I’m older and fatter wiser, I realize the error of my ways and have taken to putting fruit in my stomach first thing to break my fast, along with yogurt and bee pollen. I’ve been eating in threes for some years and didn’t realize how smart that I was.

I discovered this fact when I was reading a piece on risk reduction techniques for realtors. A very smart lady, Jan O’Brien, gives a list of 12 of these techniques. Number 5 on her list is the Rule of 3, or recommending vendors/team members to clients in groups of three.
This technique seems a little wishy-washy to me, and does not fit my direct style. But, it does make sense that if you qualify 3 vendors and recommend them to clients, they can’t come back later and make a fuss about you leading them down the primrose path to incompetence or poor service. ‘Cause you can always say, “Sorry, neighbor, I just gave you the list of names. I wasn’t endorsing any of them fellers.”

I’m an “all in” kinda guy. When I recommend somebody, I have a good idea that they can do what I’m recommending them to do. I’ll tell you, up front, whether they are a name that I picked out of a hat, or they are someone that I’d trust to do whatever they do for me. Yeah buddy…just like you, I’ve been embarassed by people before, but not enough times to adopt the Rule of 3 as my own.

In our litigious society, using the Rule of 3 is an effective risk reduction technique. And, although I don’t use it, it has its place. Now, before my insurance agent cancels my professional liability policy, I should disclose that as it relates to my inspection business, I don’t recommend vendors at all. I won’t recommend a contractor or handy-man to fix defects that I find. I won’t recommend a structural engineer, or a hvac or electrical expert, or a landscaper, or anybody to fix anything on my inspection reports.

I observe to identify defects, describe them, and recommend how to deal with them. By not recommending vendors for repairs, I adhere to State laws and InterNACHI standards and ethics and keep my reports unbiased. Inspectors that will recommend vendors should not be used or recommended.

The Rule of Three is a valid and useful risk reduction technique for Real Estate Agents and Brokers who recommend vendors or team members. The Rule of Zero is the only valid and useful technique for inspectors.

If you caint figure out how this relates to Common Sense Service Principles…your name could be Larry, Curly or Moe.