Friday, August 30, 2013

Real estate is a local business.

(I wrote this for the Equity Northwest Blog and thought I would re-post it here.)

How often have you heard the expression, "real estate is about location, location, location"? If we are to take this idea at face value, then real estate is a local business. Local companies are much more in tune with the neighborhood trends, community developments, municipal and county regulatory and legislative agendas, and other important facts about the area. It stands to reason that working with a local real estate professional in a local company is a good idea.

This blog has been established to get good real estate information out to the public. We often post tips about home care, and local market trends. Today we will talk about the importance of local businesses and local professionals.

When choosing a real estate agent, buyers ought to think about the local aspect of real estate. Will this person understand the immediate market they are interested in? Is the company they represent a locally owned company or a national franchise? If the latter, then are they at least locally focused. Purchasing a home is most likely the single most expensive thing most people will ever buy. It seems obvious that care and attention to whom trust is placed to represent that transaction is paramount.
Local is critical because the difference between a "house" and a "home" is local. Building a home from a house is done with family, friends, neighborhoods, schools, churches, clubs and services. Local, local, local is as important as location, location, location because knowing the right location requires a local awareness.

If moving from Portland, OR buyers should consider carefully before using a dual licensed Portland agent for a Clark County home purchase. Although Portland is just across the river, it is a state away. Real estate in Oregon is conducted in a similar fashion but there are many different facets and nuanced subtleties that can be significant enough to bring about pause.

It's been more than a decade since Gene Thompson left one of America's largest national real estate firms to open his own brokerage here in Vancouver U.S.A. Equity Northwest Properties has always adhered to Gene's idea that real estate is a local business. One of the advantages to large national chains has always been resources. But national chains are typically run from a corporate office in some far away place. Local branches are often force fed a staple diet of the latest corporate headquarters buzz program. As we turned the century over to a new millennium many of those "resources" began to become widely accessible through the ever present internet technology. Now smaller, local companies have similar access. The resource edge offered by the big national brokerages has eroded significantly since 2000.

That has allowed companies like Equity Northwest Properties to thrive. Local Realtors® working local markets with a local corporate policy is pure bliss. This local minded business model has allowed Gene's company to evolve into one of the region's largest independent brokerages with offices in Vancouver, Camas and Kelso. Between the three offices are affiliations with the two largest multiple listing services in the Pacific Northwest, both the RMLS and NWMLS. That makes Equity a very local company with a regional reach. This is a powerful combination.

In conclusion buyers and sellers should strongly consider the local aspect of real estate when deciding upon whom they will hire to represent them. The best decisions are made with the best information and real estate information is local to the core.

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