One of the criteria that home sellers use when selecting an agent to list their home is size of the agent’s company. Is it a national or international brand, or is it a local independent real estate firm? For some the question is, “should I be loyal to locals? 

We have been contemplating this concept of conscientiousness that also applies to selecting other service professionals and “shopping local”.  What does “support local businesses” really means?  

The conflict often arises when you consider that the national or regional chains that are present in your area are employing “locals”.  If we do not patronize the chains in favor of the local independents, will those employees be laid off?  Naturally, we want our locals to have jobs and we want local small businesses to thrive. 

This conundrum was clarified when we were asked to produce a large print copying and binding project for one of our clients with a tight timeline, including an overnight delivery. We considered the local offices of FedEx-Kinkos and UPS. Neither one of us were impressed with the level of service we had experienced there.  

Then, we asked our local printer who produces our sophisticated printing jobs, if he was also equipped to coordinate this kind of project including the overnight delivery.  When he said yes, we were overjoyed.  This meant working with someone whose work would represent our standards.  

He meticulously reviewed each page of the voluminous documents to make sure nothing was amiss and recommended the best binding solutions. One day later, we looked over the final product that he was about to ship. It exceeded our expectations. In this instance, we were loyal to a local establishment. 

Nordstrom’s, Apple, and Trader Joe’s are all “non-locals” that employ a large number of locals.  All three brands have outstanding employees who are well trained, and all three have excellent customer service.

We concluded that we are loyal to exceptional customer service regardless of the size of the firm. Marketing luxury real estate is all about superlative service. Only those who are willing to forfeit service for the sake of looking good in the eyes of their personal critics support local firms at all costs.