Discover how your local boutique agency can offer you the most value, flexibility, and insight into the New Orleans market.
Just like anything to do with sales and marketing, the real estate industry has undergone drastic changes in the past decade or so, in large part due to the proliferation of all things Internet. Many aspects of the day-to-day nature of the real estate business have changed, including access to Realtors across the country, service, prices, and real estate professionals’ access to listings. For instance, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is now available online to all accredited Realtors, which means that every agent has access to the same information whether they work in a boutique agency or a big-box national chain.
The word “boutique,” when applied to a local real estate agency, means that as a client you’ll receive attention customized to your specific goals and needs, with the benefit of a deep, micro-level knowledge of the local market, neighborhood by neighborhood.
There are many distinct advantages of working with a boutique agency. One is the familiarity with the local market, which allows agents to use local insight and strategic negotiation skills based on that knowledge to ask the right questions and obtain actionable data about the homes for sale.
Other advantages include a more flexible commission structure than larger companies can offer due to lower overhead, and the hands-on experience in renovations and remodels (with the specifics of the local market in mind). In addition, smaller local real estate agencies are not typically driven by quotas and sales goals as much as larger-scale businesses. Lack of that kind of pressure results in a more personalized real estate approach and better customer service.
There are some other aspects, tied to the ones mentioned above, that help form the complete picture — which the client should consider before hiring an agent to represent them — whether you’re selling a home in New Orleans or are buying your first house.
More Money Stays Local
The business of real estate is local by nature. When you work with a large national or even a regional brokerage, however, a portion of every single transaction might be going to the company coffers in a different city, or to an owner who lives and works outside of New Orleans. Everyone on the Satsuma team lives, works, and spends their money in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. When you go with a local brokerage, your money stays local. It doesn’t get sent out of state for the benefit of a different community.
You Can Talk to the Actual Owner
Being able to communicate directly with the owner of the agency that represents you has several clear benefits. For one, the owner is a member of the local community and has a reputation to uphold, which means that it’s in their interest to build and maintain trust with their clients. Dealing with them directly, without a middle person, allows you to cut through the red tape and corporate chain of appeals and accomplish your goals quicker.
Flexibility in Processes and Approach
As a boutique firm, Satsuma is not held back by a rigid corporate structure and national trends that have nothing to do with local markets. In fact, our smaller size allows us to be more flexible, managing each client based on their specific needs and capabilities. Certain commission structures and types of paperwork must be handled at a corporate level. With the owner and operator of the business in town and regularly at the office, we guarantee that our clients remain our top priority.
Using Local Vendors Instead of Out-Of-State Big Corporations
At Satsuma, we try to use local vendors to keep money in the local community, including marketing companies, office supplies, inspectors, appraisers, and lenders. We’re big on pushing “Shop Local!” and we practice what we preach. We care about New Orleans, not just our bottom line.
There are so many reasons for “staying local” and supporting locally owned businesses, including:
- Protecting New Orleans’ unique character
- Building stronger communities and contributing to local causes through locally owned businesses
- Decisions made on a local level, by people who live here, impact the community as a whole
- Keeping the money local goes a longer way — by creating and supporting jobs, investing in neighborhoods, and funding city services through taxes
- Fostering innovation and competition
- Providing better, more diverse product and customer service choices because locally owned businesses cater to the needs of their customers and their own, not to quotas and sales plans dictated from an office elsewhere.
We’re passionate about the New Orleans real estate market and are here to guide you with care and integrity every step of the way. If you want to learn more about how we can help with your New Orleans real estate needs, please contact us with questions or to speak with one of our experts.