This spring marks my 30th year in organized real estate (oddly, aside from crime, the only profession that feels the need to let people know we are organized). As mine was a family business, it was not uncommon for former clients of my father to wander into the office when the circumstances of their lives required the services of a Realtor. In an age in which database management amounted to dropping by unannounced every few years, one would think remaining top of mind with a former client was no easy task. But it was common, and I took it for granted. Thirty years later we still get on average at least two or three people a year who make a point of letting me know that the reason they are giving us their business today, is because they felt they were treated well 40 years ago – when I was in 5th grade. Such a heightened sense of loyalty is an interesting thing.

When we were in high school, my cousin, a year my senior, got a part time job at Eatons in downtown Guelph, site of the current Sleeman Centre. Eatons was, by our familys standards, a high brow place. Nonetheless, my father began to patronize Eatons because he felt an obligation to spend his money with someone who was employing a family member. As extreme as it may seem, I recall my father buying his underwear at Eatons years after his niece had moved on. Yes, Zellers had cheaper underwear, but Eatons spent some of their money, and therefore some of my dads money on employing his family. That debt needed to be repaid.

“Such a heightened sense of loyalty is a curious thing indeed.”

Such a heightened sense of loyalty is a curious thing indeed. Ridiculous? Maybe. But I have come to believe that those with a heightened sense of loyalty are repaid in kind, as are those with the inverse view.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Neumann