Leave it to Beaver or Wal-Mart?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21

So....I've been thinking.  I know that might come as a surprise to some of you that know me, but it's true.  What have I been thinking about, you ask (you did ask didn't you)? How is our world changing from life as I knew it growing up in small town America? More specifically, how is Wal-Mart affecting our society?

We all realize the "Leave it to Beaver" days are long gone.  Wally and the Beav are grown and have kids of their own while Ward and June are probably in a Senior Assisted care home. Almost gone are the mom and pop stores that were the norm along Miner Street, Broadway and Main streets.  As consumers, we all love the concept of "rolling back the prices" but are we aware of the true cost of the Wal-Mart effect on our society?  I shop prices just like the next guy...and don't like spending more than I have to...but I've begun to wonder about the true cost of this mindset.

I would challenge you to walk the aisles in Wal-Mart and actually find a product made in the USA.  The philosophy of lowering prices daily comes with the poison pill of shutting down manufacturing jobs in the US.  It means we outsource jobs to India and Pakistan (have you tried calling a tech help desk for any computer hardware lately)? It means we are constantly buying out higher paid, long term employees to re-hire younger, cheaper replacements. This philosophy means we travel out of town to buy a refrigerator at Circuit City from a kid with a pierced tongue, instead of shopping local from a small town store who will deliver and install for $30 more.  The low prices at any cost theory, means the clerk is earning minimum wage and possibly a side of fries, after 5 years of work.  It means you can no longer go into an office for Pacific Bell, Pacific Power or your Satellite TV company to ask a question or dispute a bill.  We have outsourced and downsized our way to a society built on 800 phone numbers and the Internet.

What we fail to take into account when price shopping ONLY is the SERVICE we receive. What a perfect segue...I know you were thinking "what does this have to do with real estate?"  As an agent fighting to survive in the current market, the aspect of SERVICE is what sets us apart from the crowd.  I provide a service to my clients...I offer them my direct phone number where you can call and not fight through the "press 1 for English" frustration of voicemail hell.  The landscape of home buying is changing...much like the rest of small town America.  It's going the way of the Internet.  It's becoming a "search the web" for the best deal, in the best neighborhood, mentality.  Buyers and seller alike are questioning the value of the role of a professional real estate agent.  For sale by owner listings are everywhere. What they often fail to remember is the service provided by the professional.  Ultimately, should one of the most important decisions in a persons life, be minimized to the results of a Yahoo search engine?  Without a doubt, the complexity of the current real estate transaction should involve professional counsel for all parties involved.  The stakes are too high to go it alone.

As that landscape changes, the agents that adapt will be the ones that survive.  With a focus on service, we can set ourselves apart.  By providing professional guidance counseling for clients, we offer value.  The first step for me, as a professional agent, has been the development of a high quality, professionally designed website.  I hope you will take the time to visit http://www.siskiyouhomes.com/.  My vision is to provide my clients the ability to educate themselves on real estate related issues, while also making available current listings in our market. 

I hope you might think twice about shopping local, buying American and supporting the mom and pop shop down the street.  You might just make a friend and a contact that will do business with you in the future...and preserve the Cleaver family for one more season.

Comments (1)

Dwayne West
Atlanta Real Estate - Canton, GA
Canton Georgia Real Estate
This is a very good point you make. This also applies by banking with the small town bank. They have there finger on the pulse of the local community.
Feb 21, 2008 11:29 AM