Why LOCAL Matters

By
Real Estate Agent with Las Cruces Homes and Land

I am a huge - HUGE - supporter of our local businesses here in Tucson. Today - local saved me from a literal headache.

So, there I was, in my downtown office, getting ready to start working on the offer paperwork for my first time homebuyers. I had some gunk on my glasses so I took them off and cleaned them up. The next thing I know, they're in two pieces. The nose bridge thingy (I'm sure there's an official name for it) snapped off from one side of the frame. Now, my eyesight isn't horrific but it's uneven with my right eye being worse than my left. Yes - panic set in. 

I tried typing with one side on - no dice. I pulled out my clip on sunglasses and it kind of worked but the glasses kept slipping down/up/to the side. With no super glue around, I headed to the website of my favorite LOCAL eyeglass place which is only a couple of blocks from the office.

*GASP* They weren't open and wouldn't be for a couple of hours. I couldn't get in the car and head to their other shop so, as I usually do, I headed over to their Facebook page to express my sadness that they weren't going to be open for a while. I didn't think anything would come of it so, as soon as my amazing hubby got back from showing homes, he sat down and finished the paperwork for me...as well as sitting with my clients and going over everything with them. I can explain the contract pretty darn well, but reading it upside down WITHOUT glasses - yeah, that was going to take a miracle.

After all of the paperwork was done, I headed back over to Facebook to find that the OWNER of my great little shop, Lesco Optical on Congress, had replied to say that he would be in the shop an hour early to take care of my problem (only about 20 minutess from when I checked the wall.) I jumped up and got down there as fast as I could.

Problem solved with new frames. AND, since he didn't have my frames in stock... AT NO CHARGE TO ME.

Now - let me ask you this? Would a large national business be able to do that? Would you have been able to get a hold of the local owner thru social media? If you had, would that owner go out of his way to make it work for a client? I have to say No. 

I see it all the time on Facebook and Twitter - folk desperately reaching out to companies for help in resolving something. I've retweeted many times and I've even originated some of them (I'm looking at you, Cox Communications and Bank of America)

Here's to you, LESCO OPTICAL and Sergio. You saved the day and me from the headache I could feel coming on. You showed me exactly what local service is all about. I am SO glad you are a part of the downtown community!!

Lesco Optical - 25 E Congress

Lesco Optique
D
owntown at 25 E Congress 520-624-7658
South at 502 W Ajo Way 520-434-2020

Comments (44)

Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Emmary~ That's amazing and kudos to you for recognizing them! I love local vendors too!

Jun 22, 2014 02:16 PM
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Hi Emmary. Thanks for sharing this great story and Kudos to Sergio @ Lesco Optical for stepping up to take care of you! 
Bruce

Jun 23, 2014 12:26 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Local is good.  I imagine that shop has a client for life in you.

Jun 23, 2014 05:25 AM
David Landau
President, Newtown Board of Realtors - Newtown, CT
RE/MAX Right Choice

I always support local, and dont mind paying a little extra if I have to.

 

Jun 23, 2014 06:53 AM
Sharon Sanchez
Ace Home Realty - Carson, CA
Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate.

I'm glad it worked out.  So often, we forget about the little guys.  The local anything.  Local may be more expensive, but it sure is worth having them around. 

Jun 23, 2014 07:57 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Unfortunately, many small sized businesses are challenged because of their restrictive buying power but providing superior service has a value and it's that added value that we as agents must broadcast to secure business.

What extra added value is included with your business that is useful, important and easy to access for your customers or clients? Promote that and you'll be successful, won't you?

Jun 23, 2014 08:27 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

Yep, doing business with "Locals" helps! I had a Local Music store (instruments) and many times went out of my way to help customers.

Jun 23, 2014 12:16 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I hope agents  remember this lesson when choosing a real estate photographer...All too often they immediately go for one of the big national tour companies.  I offer stills and video at reasonable rates - though there is no way I can do it as cheaply as some of the big brand names.  BUT....

  • If there is a problem - I will go back and reshoot at no charge.  
  • I take the necessary TIME with the shoot and the  processing so quality control is always there.  
  • It is not a crap shoot as to who you will get when you call me.  
  • And last but not least, as someone who has sold real estate, I have no heistiation reccomending agents who go that extra mile for their client.  

Yes, I do expect to be reasonably compensated for my work.  I have a busniess to run with a lot of overhead in the form of technology.  I have to make a reasonable profit to put food on the table and pay the bills. Many who work for tour companies are making less than minimum wage once expenses are added in.  Do you really expect anyone to go out of their way to do an amazing job when they are barely making enough to put gas in their car - let along food on the table?

Jun 23, 2014 01:18 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

^^^Is that a comment or a cheap advertisement?  Was there a webinar recently, teaching people that blog commenting is a platform to tout your services?  Stick to promoting yourself on your own content, Ruthmarie Hicks.

Jun 23, 2014 01:26 PM
Thom Abbott
MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Emmy, you have to love the small local business. It's hard for them to compete. 

Case in point, I was home in Montana this past week. Wanted to get some mulch for my Mom for her planting beds. I went to the local Ace Hardware store and about had a heart attack when I saw pine bark mulch at $5.99 per bag. Home Depot would have it for about $3 a bag. Hard for the local guy to compete. I did find another store in my small town and got if for $4.69 a bag. If Home Depot would of been close, I fear I would of headed there! 

And what's up with this Ruthmarie chick? Nothing like a litte (LOT) of self promotion! 

Jun 23, 2014 02:21 PM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Hi Emmy - I am with you and prefer working with local businesses. They provide personal service on so many levels!!!

Jun 23, 2014 02:32 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Three cheers for Lesco Optical - and for you for making their great service known to all.

Jun 23, 2014 02:43 PM
Samantha Smith
214.422.0729 www.SamIAmHouses.com - Rowlett, TX
Sam I Am Houses, Simply Texas Real Estate

Local Business are WONDERFUL!!! High 5 to Lesco Optical!!!  I'm sure that the owner Sergio, did this great service to you without thinking of the extra promotion you'd be giving him/his business but more out of the kindness of his heart ~ knowing that you were in a bind & needed him and he being able to HELP you. But knowing you, I'm sure you gave them huge props on Facebook & Twitter which will be seen by lots & lots of people :)

@RuthMarie Hicks ... did you really meant to post your comment here & not on another blog about Photography, being Resonablly Compensated or about people who work for Tour Companies that are making less than minimum wage???

Jun 23, 2014 03:26 PM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Support local when at all possible.  Heck I even have produce I pick up from a local farm via a CSA share.  

Jun 23, 2014 08:25 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

This is a great way to support and thank them for being so good at what they do.  I'm like you Emmy, without glasses and contacts, I can't do a thing.  Can't even hear, because I need to see to read lips.  

Jun 23, 2014 09:18 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Great shout out forthe local business owner

Jun 23, 2014 10:51 PM
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Definitely a great example of supporting local business and living in a community where having good relationships really matters.

Jun 24, 2014 12:25 AM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Actually, it was a general comment...AR is far too broad to advertise a very local business that way and if you looked at my page I have over 600,000 points on AR so I am a long-time blogger, just not so much recently on this platform.

What I have noticed as I switched from real estate sales to photography is that many agents preach the "local markets" mantra.  I did it as well when I was selling real estate.  And there is a good and valid reason for that.   People covering wide swaths in densely populated areas can not get to know any area as well as someone with a smaller footprint and that can create problems, particularly for buyers who are not very familar with an area.     

What I'm suggesting is that agents practice what they preach when it comes to their own businesses.   Most local businesses, are going to have to charge a bit more than a big-box anything.  That includes printing, web design, photography - you name it.   Yet I find the very agents who brand themselves as "local, local, local" and preach the benefits of same make a beeline for the lowest price they can get when it comes to ancillary services for their own listings - spurning the very local businesses they tout so highly. 

 What I am doing is pointing out that this goes beyond eye glasses.  It goes straight to your own businesses and who you hire.  I am pointing out that if you practice what you preach, you should be looking to local talent as much as is possible. Whether it be photographs, prints, online marketing - you name it.    Because every time you use an national brand for that sort of thing, you are hurting your local economy. 

And the problem is a serious one.  What I have learned from being on this end of the business is that local merchants going out of business right and left because of these big-box companies who are using volume and market share to crush the local guy.  This is particularly true of print marketing right now - at least in my area.  Photographers got hit before I was doing it professionally, but I'm hearing about the carnage from those who survived it.  Many are dancing on the knifes edge.

It will cost you a bit more to use these local merchants.  But using local talent puts money back INTO the local economy far more effectively than using a big-box anything (even if its brick and mortar).  In the end, everyone is better off when local merchants are not going out of business right and left. 

So think about who you are using and why.  Are you truly supporting local merchants when it comes to your business practices?  I find in my area that the vast majority are not. 

 

 

Jun 24, 2014 02:20 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Ruthmarie - your point & the point of this post is well-received.  Using local businesses and providers whenever possible is not only good for the local economy, but also in relationship building.  Emmary & I both belong to Local First Arizona, and utlize products & services in our area as much as we can.

My objection to your earlier comment was based upon it reading more like an advertisement couched in a comment.  It really does read that way.

Jun 24, 2014 04:07 AM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

It is great when you come across a business that really cares about their customers.   Lesco Optical is one of those.

Jun 24, 2014 01:29 PM