Oh how much fun it is to call a national company through their 800 number, and follow the myriad of voice automation nightmare to try to get to the customer service agent that specializes in your need. Why do we punish ourselves doing this, when there are many benefits on many levels to do business locally instead? Buying local truly benefits you and the community where you live, and here are some reasons why:
Local service is better service
A national corporation does not have as big of a vested interest in being accountable to you as a local business does. If you’re not happy with the way a national company is treating you, that company can do better to absorb any negative feedback you may offer them. Not so with a local business. Local businesses have more skin in the game when it comes to being accountable and treating their customers fairly. It’s a great leverage tool for you as the consumer to be able to talk to your local business face to face, versus over the phone or by email – especially when there is a problem that needs an immediate fix. Big business also comes with the burden of bureaucracy, local small business does not.
Your business benefits the local economy
When you are buying local, you are doing a wonderful thing for your community – you are doing your part to help offer stability to the community where you live. Each time you do a transaction with a local business in your area, you are potentially circulating your money several times through your own community. When you keep your money local, you are contributing to job growth, supporting local non-profit organizations, and making more potential for tax revenue that benefits Police, Fire, Education and other services.
Invest in your community legacy
This is essentially what you’re doing when you buy local. This community is your home, with growth and stability equating to your community’s value. When you make purchases, you should look at your activity beyond what the product or service is, you are investing in the present and future prosperity of the community you live in. This benefits just about every aspect of your community – including job stability with growth potential, stability and increasing Real Estate values, and generations of residents that will choose to remain in their community because of prosperity.
Let’s relate this choice of doing business locally to being a home buyer. I have hopefully made some compelling points for you to consider as a consumer, and how you help your local community by being a home buyer is no exception. I’m going to start with saying that it’s a great thing to have resources catered specifically towards the benefit of veterans and their families. That being said, veterans and their families offer something unique in return to companies that cater to them – low risk. Veterans are a low economic risk, and a low insurance risk. It’s a sensible business decision to offer products and services that are provided to veterans only. You are doing them a favor by being a consumer of their products – but they are not really doing you any special favors that other local companies can’t also provide for you. When you are getting qualified for a loan, and you have to speak with someone outside of the state you live in to do business, how confident are you that they have your best interest at hand? Do they understand your market, or how a delay in closing will affect your purchasing power? Which community will benefit when your loan finishes funding, yours or theirs? When there are issues to resolve, it makes a world of difference to be able to have a trusted professional you can meet with face to face. The relationship creates a degree of accountability and trust that you will not experience from an out of area lender, and at the end of the day, a local lender is going to offer you more peace of mind than a possible slight difference in interest rate from someone you’ve never personally met.
Home sellers should be concerned about how their choices affect the local community as well. Be careful when committing to a national company with a relocation plan or “Exclusive Program” that chooses your Real Estate agent for you – especially if they are offering you rebates or cash to entice your commitment. Take time to research their program online, and see what consumers are blogging about with the experience. If the company is choosing your agent, it means that the agent has willingly paid a fee to the relocation company to be guaranteed your business as a package deal, instead of allowing you to interview them and choose them on your own. If you are looking to gain the best value from the sale of your home, what impression does it leave you about your chances when the agent is willing to discount themselves before you hire them? How much time, effort and investment are they going to make in the successful sale of your home if their financial incentive for your success has been marginalized? And don’t forget the most important question – is the agent benefitting your local community?
If someone you know needs help with buying or selling, or a referral for a reputable repair company/handyman, or would just like to know which home improvements would net the best resale value, please let them know about me! I’m never too busy for your referrals.