First, I don’t know about other’s experiences in blogging, but stumbling upon Rain City Guide over a year ago or so and Dustin’s introduction to me of the world of moving away from a static glorified business card (called a website) to that of the dynamic and interactive world of Blogging has had a tremendous impact on me and as a small business owner (like everyone here).
For example, I’ve been able to make contacts with people whom I would never have had the chance to without the platform of blogging, both personal contacts and business contacts. Today, I got a chance to head back to my old stomping grounds in Seattle due to a courtesy signing with a client who teaches at Seattle University. After finding a parking spot, I headed over to the campus and walked to the School of Engineering to meet for our appointment. After about 30 seconds, I realized I was talking to an old neighborhood acquaintance whom I have not seen for over 30 yrs!
Inspired, after the appointment, I drove up Madison St. towards 19th and headed North towards St. Joe’s School on 19th and Aloha where I went to school as a kid. On the Northwest corner of 19th & Aloha is a small building where I was given my first job as a skinny, messy 70’s style haired bloke. The impact of that first job is really what set the stage for the foundation of work ethic and character building.
My first job was given to me by the late George and Evelyn Benson of Benson’s Mission Pharmacy on Capitol Hill. For those unfamiliar, George Benson was a long time pillar of the Capitol Hill community and a respected Seattle City Councilman. You want to talk about customer service? I distinctly remember George pulling up in his car to hand deliver a prespcription for my mom or dad at our front door a few blocks away. Those were the days of intensely personalized service. Mission Pharmacy and the Benson’s are no longer, but the windows I washed and the sidewalk I swept are still there as they were 30 years ago.
I headed over to my old house where I grew up, drove around the front of the home, got out of my car and headed over to the steps and walkway that wind up to the front door, but I stopped short of that trek—memories just racing through my head. Walking back to my car, I then drove around to the alley, which really was “our” front door entrance. Peering through my passenger door window I stared up into my old bedroom window and into the back yard. I was too embarrassed to walk up and knock on the door. Perhaps another day.
Part of the motivation for telling you this is about finding out who you really work with and the idea of “trust.” Does it matter to you? Trust in real estate is the glue that keeps customers coming back to you. Trust to do the right thing. Trust to work in the best interest of our mutual client.
When you strip away all the marketing persona and fluff in our industry and get to know potential new clients in a transparent and personal way, giving a glimpse into what makes you tick, warts ‘n all, it is remarkable how quickly you forge trust in the person standing across from you. Finding a common denominator and building trust with a potential client on a level that has nothing to do with business has been exceptionally fruitful.
Since the beginning of this year, just days ago, through blogging, I have reunioned with two old childhood friends and received fruitful clients. When you strip it all away I’m not terribly different than any other agent or loan officer trying to make a living. On Thursday, I headed out to brokers opens to meet some new people in the business who work in our area and I bumped into an old “acquaintance” whom I met at college in 1985. I haven’t seen her for 21 yrs. The funny thing about the meeting was that she (the agent) mentioned to me “ya know, I just speak my mind, and I wanted to you to know that I had a crush on you way back when we were freshman.” What a Brokers open and what a week.
Dustin, although I’ve never met your family personally, thanks for introducing me to a way that a small fry can compete with the Goliath’s.