With last minute shopping for the holiday season underway, I’m making a conscious effort to shop locally to support our community. The Shop Local movement swept our city a few years ago. Between the newspaper articles, social media, radio ads, and strategically placed sidewalk signs, we were (and still are) inundated with the Shop Local call to action.
Isn’t it interesting that we have to be reminded to support our own people; our own businesses?
Back when I was a kid growing up in a small town, shopping locally was what we did. We didn’t need anyone to tell us to do it; it was simply how we lived. We walked from store to store to have our needs met. We had a clothing store, a furniture store, a jewelry store… you get the idea.
We shopped locally more out of necessity than anything else. We didn’t have the internet or big box stores like Walmart at that time. If we wanted something, we had to go to the specialty store to get it. Because it was a niche store, there was a nice selection and the employees were considered experts on their products. They knew a lot about their inventory. We didn’t need yelp reviews back then. The store owners sold quality merchandise because their reputation was what kept their doors open.
Things certainly have changed over the last forty years. Instead of specialty shops, we make one trip to one store to buy a lawnmower, groceries, light bulbs, a cell phone and then get our hair cut on the way out the door. The retail industry has been radically transformed, and along with that so has people’s shop local mentality.
The lines have been so blurred about where our products come from and who we are supporting that we no longer think anything of shopping online to buy the same cocktail dress showcased in a local storefront, or going to the big-chain retail store to purchase the same toy offered at our independently owned shop.
This applies to real estate, too. All the property information, specs, taxes, photos, everything is online. So you don’t need a local agent anymore, right?
Consider this: My clients were moving 90 minutes away. I tried to refer them to a local agent in that area, but they insisted I help them. I explained that I wasn’t an expert there, and that I was really nervous about any liability that may arise. The husband told me he grew up there, would do all the research, and we’d just make it work. Through the course of finding them a home, I found out that certain areas have non-potable well water due to a high sodium content, the septic must be pumped by the seller prior to the deed being transferred, and a certificate of occupancy must be issued for all transactions. What an eye opening experience!
Don’t assume that because someone is from the next big city over that they are better than someone in your own backyard. Just like back in the day when store owners were experts on their products, Realtors are experts on their local inventory and customary practices.
Support your community, support the business owners, and most importantly, shop local- even when choosing a real estate expert.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Amy@ProductionRealty.com