Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Buying local

I was at Legacy Place last week and saw signs for the newly to be opened Amazon Book Store.  When Legacy first opened there was a Borders Book Store.  This quickly went out of business as have many smaller and more local bookshops in malls and suburban shopping centers.  It is ironic that when Amazon came to the market the primary goal was to be an online resource to buy and sell books and it is now reestablishing itself with a storefront bookstore.  This store will be opening soon.

In the travel industry, for example. for a while consumers only booked travel through online sites.  I. for one used hotels.com until I ran into an issue with an overbooked hotel in NYC and had a difficult time reaching a real person to relocate us to a comparable hotel.  This was not a successful venture and I now book my hotels directly when I can.

In the real estate market, internet sites such as Trulia, Redfin and many others had for awhile made buyers think everything could be done online for real estate transactions.  Several small realtors have either lost market share or have merged with the larger players.  After going through a do-it-yourself phase clients have come to realize the value that a realtor can add to become an advocate and help with details required for a smooth transaction flow.  Realtors provide many services that cannot be done online.

The same phenomenon has been happening to other businesses as well.  Many online and cyber business have effectively hurt the local economy.  Many small mom and pop stores have a hard time facing the competition of online vendors who undersell their products.  Although the cost may be lower, I try to think about keeping the local vendors in business when I can.

Perhaps the internet and cyber transactions have expanded too quickly and consumers are now realizing the value of human contact for their business transactions.  Why else would Amazon be opening a storefront venue?  Although I am now with a larger real estate firm,  each office specializes in the local community and places high value in providing services that will benefit the community.  Next time you think about cyber Monday or going online think about the importance of human interaction and supporting the local businesses near you.

Wendy recently joined Coldwell Banker Needham.  She has been a realtor for over 8 years and knowing the area quite well can share a hands on local perspective.  She has also recently earned the SRES  designation and looks forward to helping other baby boomers as they approach their next transitions.  Feel free to contact her directly or click here http://www.wendybcb.com if you would like to learn more.