As Realtors or Investors, we are technically each small business owners in charge of our own success, so we completely understand the excitement, fear, stress, and pride other small business owners experience. We also believe these small businesses make our communities stand out. They provide a variety of outstanding products and showcase the incredibly talented makers and designers we have around the country. I have been planning my day of shopping, and I felt compelled to write a blog to help all of us in the real estate industry promote these businesses to incoming residents and visitors to our towns.
Next Saturday, November 25th is Small Business Saturday across the country. Whether you’re staying close to home or will be away visiting family and friends, you can get out and shop these wonderful establishments. No matter where you spend your holiday weekend, you will likely have access to some seriously fabulous local businesses carrying home decor, stylish clothes for the whole family, gourmet foods, toys, books, and many other unique gift ideas. Not only can you knock out some holiday shopping, but I have found tremendous client gifts in local shops around my city. I love to give a gift that highlights what the area has to offer, especially to new residents. There are also many businesses that provide gift ideas that aren’t things. Consider giving a gift card to a local restaurant, golf course, a dance studio, a yoga package, or a spa day. These businesses are all locally owned and operated as well, so it would be a fantastic business move to introduce yourself and become friendly with the owners and managers. You never know what a little networking and friendly conversation could do for your business. These individuals are entrepreneurs who are generally well-known in the community and may be able to introduce you to potential clients.
I encourage all of you to venture out and do a little holiday shopping at your local favorites. You may even discover a few new gems as well! So, in the spirit of celebrating next week’s Small Business Saturday, I’d like to share just a few of the benefits of shopping local — some of which could make a positive impact on your real estate business.
Make a day of it. Enjoy breakfast or brunch at your favorite local eatery. Then stroll through your favorite stores with your favorite people at your own pace — there will be no crazy lines or mad dashes for “deals.” Keep your eyes peeled for people you know. I often see colleagues and past/present clients when I get out for days like this. It’s great for your professional “image” to get out and support community events.
Local support. By shopping small, you’re also helping support your local schools, fire departments, and city or town governments. The majority of the taxes that small businesses pay go into local government to pay for things like sidewalk paving, community safety, education, etc. This comes full circle in real estate because those amenities are highly valued by those who are buying property in a community. Buyers want to live in an area that has those kinds of amenities.
You’re helping raise your property values. It’s common knowledge that communities with vibrant, lively social and retail scenes are more desirable for new residents. These advantages could lead to a nice increase in home values. This point has definitely become a reality in my hometown. Our riverfront shopping area with several restaurants, a coffee shop, and a new ice cream parlor has become the “hot spot.” New boutiques are opening monthly, a running and biking trail has become a huge success, and homes in the area are selling for triple the price they were five years ago. This location is also seeing a renewed appreciation for the old, historic homes that are being lovingly restored and renovated (then sold for insane prices for this market). The bottom line? People WANT to live there and will pay the rising costs.
You support your neighbors. Locally owned businesses are run by people we know. When you spend your money in a local shop or restaurant, you’re supporting, sometimes literally, your neighbor or a business owner who lives in your town. Not only that, you might be supporting a client or potential client. Earlier in this article, I mentioned introducing yourself and getting to know local business owners. If you support their life’s work and get to know them (without a personal agenda), when the time comes, they will happily and willingly refer new clients to you. This happened to me a couple years ago. I was thrilled and so proud when the manager of my favorite local shop sent a buyer to me because I often bought housewarming gifts for clients from her home décor boutique.
You’ll have a “Wow, where’d you get that?” moment. These are the best. Local makers and curators are fantastic at bringing unique, high-quality goods to our small shops. The staff members in these stores are also knowledgeable and passionate about their goods, so let them help you pick the perfect gifts for your loved ones and clients.
Why do you shop local, and what are your favorite locally owned establishments? I’d love to know — especially if they have an online shop! Share with me and our other readers to we can all get out and support local shops next Saturday!