Imagine that you’re sitting at your desk at your executive 9-5 position, working on a spreadsheet, when your boss comes by and asks if you would mind making a fresh pot of coffee.
“No worries,” you say, “was just thinking it’s time for a second cup, too.”
The boss thanks you and goes back to their office.
Toward the end of the day, the boss comes by again, this time to ask you if you’d mind sweeping and then mopping the front entryway tile floor, because during the course of this rainy day lots of clients muddy boots have come in and out of the building where you work.
“Um, OK, I guess,” you say, not wishing to make waves but not really sure this is part of your job description, but whatever.
The boss thanks you and leaves for the day at 5PM.
The first thing the following morning, as soon as you settle down at your desk and open that spreadsheet again, the boss stops by. She’s carrying a couple cans of paint, brushes and paint rollers, and she tells you that as soon as you finish that spreadsheet, she wants you to paint the front and back doors of the building (“…and don’t forget the trim!”).
Then when you’re finished painting, she said she wants you to check and clear all the downspouts, mow the lawn all the way around the building, spread some black mulch in the flower beds, oh and give all three bathrooms a fresh coat of paint (“Eggshell on the walls and flat on the ceilings, please.”).
Of course this scenario sounds ridiculous, right?
We really can’t imagine anyone would ask an executive that was hired to do a “desk job” to also provide all of these other services that a professional could and should be doing (in addition to the job for which they were actually hired, and for no additional compensation, either).
As a REALTOR® and professional Property Manager, there’s a trend I seem to be hearing and personally seeing more of lately: real estate agents providing painting, furniture moving, landscaping, cleaning, staging, handyperson and other services to clients in order to help sell their own listing.
On the surface, it may seem like a really good (and really nice) thing for a REALTOR® to do for their client. They’re going out of their way to help their listing client make their house look and be the best it possibly can (and help themselves, of course, by making the listing more desirable and probably sell quicker).
But is it really a good thing?
One of the biggest, most highly touted (especially on social media) movements right now is #SupportLocal #ShopLocal #SpendLocal #SupportCommunity etc.
You know what REALLY supports local businesses and the local economy? Hiring landscapers, cleaners, movers, stagers, painters, handypersons, electricians, plumbers and other local professional service providers to PROVIDE LOCAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.
When local service providers are busy, it means they’re making money, which in turn allows them to support the local economy as well, and buy things like groceries, cars, movie tickets, paint, landscape supplies, oh and homes listed for sale by REALTORS®!
The best way to support local businesses is to hire local businesses!
So, fellow REALTORS®, the next time you’re about to pick up a paint brush, push a lawnmower or empty a garage for your client, STOP. If you’re a homeowner and you’re about to ask your REALTOR® to provide, free of charge, one of these types of services, STOP. (Maybe you’re an investment property owner who is “just going to have my family member take care of” the cleaning / lawn care / furniture moving, etc. STOP.)
Stop and think about the actual negative effect you’re having on the local economy. Think about the many instances where you’re LITERALLY snatching dollars from the hands of a local service provider.
As a REALTOR®, the best thing you can do for your clients is to let them know that the local community is important to you, and by hiring local service providers, it supports the local community. Then give them the number of a trusted local service provider.
(Oh, and yes, as both a licensed PEI REALTOR® and Property Management company owner, I’m happy to say that I walk the walk: I DO hire local service providers, because supporting my local community through my actions, not just my words, is important to all of us. – JS)