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The late great Steve Jobs believed that, like works of art, Apple computer chips should be signed by those who created them. While few customers ever saw the signed chips, the creators had a tremendous sense of pride about their work. If your real estate practice was a product would you sign it? Is it a work of art?

Recently, we enjoyed a pizza at one of our favorite restaurants, Industrial Eats, which is located about one hour up the coast from Santa Barbara, in the wine country It is worth the trip because the pizza there is the closest we have found to the best pizza in Italy. 

Before heading home, we each ordered espressos. After one sip we looked at each other with the exact same thought in mind: this was the best espresso we had tasted in he USA!  We looked for the server to ask if we could purchase some coffee to take home. She was at the massive espresso machine that looked like it was custom designed, imported from Italy and signed by the manufacturer, Salvatore.

Once we got her attention she told us that Salvatore is a local Italian craftsman who both restores and creates custom-built espresso machines for restaurants and home use by coffee connoisseurs. He also sources the coffee, composed of three kinds of beans, that he has roasted per his exacting standards.  It is called Tri Colore (like the three colors of the Italian flag-green white and red). 

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The next week we drove up the coast again just to meet Salvatore and his lovely wife Wendy who welcomed us with open arms, literally! They enchanted us with stories about Italy. And they showed us around their showroom/workshop while we sipped on espressos that Wendy artfully made for us.  We learned that they lived in our favorite Italian town of Florence where Salvatore made buckles and other metal elements for handbags and shoes for luxury goods companies like Ferragamo.

We wondered, in our age of automation and Artificial Intelligence, if Salvatore is the last of a dying breed of fine craftsmen who see their work as art, worthy of their personal signature. Or, were we witnessing the beginning of a new trend, spurred on by people seeking refuge from too much time in front of digital screens? 

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Salvatore informed us that many of his customers are creating “coffee rooms” vs. “media rooms” that are more conducive to the art of conversation. Salvatore’s spectacular custom-designed espresso machines and delicious coffee are certainly conversation pieces. They tell a great story that resonates with those of us who truly appreciate, signature-worthy fine craftsmanship.

Is your real estate practice a signature-worthy work of art?