There’s always something to howl about

An educated consumer is someone’s best customer

Having been a BHB devotee since nearly the blog’s birth, I’m honored to be here.

If you grew up in the Northeast, you probably recall Sy Syms, owner of Syms clothing outlets, with his ubiquitous television commercials. Sy would end each commercial by saying: “An educated consumer is our best customer.”

Greg’s description of me – an educated consumer – called to mind Sy’s trademark phrase.

I was fortunate to buy my first home through Fortune got me a lovely home in central Phoenix, and an education in how a real estate transaction ought to be handled. The home I sold (with Cathleen and Greg’s help) when my wife and I moved to North Carolina. But the education is forever.

I do not believe the three North Carolina realtors we unceremoniously rejected for not meeting BHB standards thought that an educated consumer was their best customer. C’est la vie.

In thinking about marketing my law firm and how to apply various insights from BHB, it occurred to me that my realtor friends don’t know how good they’ve got it. I know there are plenty of gripes here about the NAR. But it could always be worse: You could be operating as a licensed attorney, subject to the stultifying and onerous limitations on marketing and business development imposed by state bars.

So with that in mind, I expect to get more out writing here than I can possibly offer: bringing insights I learn here from your world to help remake my world.


7 Comments so far

  1. Greg Swann September 25th, 2009 10:32 am

    I’ve carried Sy Syms around in my head since I was a kid prowling the streets of New York. That dictum — “An educated consumer is our best customer” — informs everything we do in business.

    I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have you writing with us.

  2. Sean Purcell September 25th, 2009 12:18 pm

    Welcome Damon,

    I’m excited to hear how you adopt and adapt strategies from the BHB to your own law practice – especially when it comes to marketing. Don’t make us wait too long!

  3. Keith Lutz September 25th, 2009 3:22 pm

    Welcome Damon,

    I remember that phrase growing up too! Remember “Crazy Eddie” and his phrase. (it has no value to this conversation, just popped into my head!).

    Would love to know some of the education you recieved. This way I can apply it!

  4. Bob Gibbs September 25th, 2009 4:41 pm

    Hi Damon,

    I appreciate your observations. As a Realtor who worked in the corporate world for many years, I am amazed how few Realtors actually appreciate an educated client to work with. Maybe it is a situation where they feel threatened but I feel that an educated consumer will know what they want when the want it and will not be as interested in opinions as is the case with the uneducated consumer. I don’t mind doing the educating but it can be extremely time consuming.

    Thank you

  5. James Boyer September 25th, 2009 7:33 pm

    Welcome to the bloodhoundblog. Where the writing is for the most part very interesting and usually very informative.

  6. Greg Dallaire September 25th, 2009 7:35 pm


    Welcome to BHB we’re delighted to have you on board!

    The way Greg Swann handles business makes sense. I’m big on a being an actual consultant to my clients not some pushy over zealous sales person.

    When you educate your client, you build a client for life which is an obivious testimonial for you and Swann’s relationship.

    I love educating people on the real process of a real estate transaction. It’s the best way to build a business! It make take time but the rewards will be longstanding.

    Can’t wait to hear from you again!

  7. Damon Chetson September 25th, 2009 10:26 pm

    Thanks to all for welcoming me!

    Would love to know some of the education you recieved.

    Not quite sure I can fully detail everything I’ve learned. But I guess I’d sum it up as this: I learned not to settle. I think a lot of people are accustomed to pretty good service in a lot of areas of their lives. But then when they go to buy a home, and encounter a really awful real estate agent, they think to themselves, given how many horror stories they’ve heard about real estate agents, that maybe this is just the Way It Is ™, so suck it up.

    What I learned when I encountered Greg is that there is no reason to settle. What I never told Greg is that prior to finding him, I actually was working with one other agent (who was nice, but pretty lazy) and had called yet another real estate agent (who promised to get back to me in a week or two).

    Then my loan agent recommended Greg. Not knowing the protocol, I gave him a call and he was ON THE JOB by the end of the day. It was like night and day. I don’t want to spend my whole tenure here simply praising BHB, but I was truly impressed.

    So my biggest lesson is that there was no reason for me to settle. In the end, the real estate agent we used in NC was good, but not BHB good. So I did not get exactly what I wanted. But I did have the guts to tell a few pikers here to take a hike.

    You know what, whether you’re buying a $125,000 condo, a $250,000 starter home, or a $2.5 million spread in Paradise Valley (or pick your locale), it’s serious money to the buyer and the seller. And there’s absolutely no reason to settle.

    And you know what, when I sold that Phoenix house a few years later when we relocated to NC, and Greg told me he’d sell it, but that I had to put down a retainer/deposit to cover his marketing costs, I didn’t blink an eye.

    Incidentally, when, upon finding the home through Greg, I called the agent I had never met in person and who had asked me to wait two weeks, he berated me on the phone for violating our “understanding” (nothing had been signed) that I would wait for him to find me some homes to look at. For some people, that’s the Way It Is ™.