• Shannon Kelly

How a small wine shop helped me see that discount agents are not my competition

I recently popped into Farmstead Wine shop in Montclair on a Friday afternoon to get some help choosing a nice red to sip during the coming rainstorm. Happily, I'd made it just in time to catch their $1 tasting flights.The gentleman pouring started in what I saw as reverse order, red to white. He explained that the white we were ending with was one that would ruin anything that came after it. Had it been me, I would have just gone from white to red as I know to do. I enjoy learning and welcome the input of those more seasoned than I, especially when it comes to expanding my wine repertoire.

We got to chatting and I mentioned that I'm in real estate. That's when he asks the question so many of us get these days: What do I think of the rise in discount brokerages? He went on to qualify his question stating that he's not interested my defense of my professional position, but a discussion about the discount options available and their place in the industry.

He drew a similarity that rang true when he said big box stores like BevMo and Total Wine have put many small wine shops out of business. While it's true that Compass, who is not a discount brokerage, has been busy gobbling up other companies (large and small), I haven't heard of places like Redfin forcing out other brokerages (buying them or taking over their market share).

My take on it is that discount places have a home in today's market. There are clearly people who use them. Just like there are times when I want to pay less and so I'll go to BevMo or Total Wine. But more often than not, I prefer the smaller wine shops because I appreciate the guidance and personal attention I get there, and the selection of things that just aren't available at the big box places. The service I get from the small shops is incomparable to that at the big box stores. In a similar way that going to Ace Hardware will get you actual assistance versus Home Depot, where you better know what you need and where to find it.

So, while there are people who will choose to pay less (and let's be real, it's not a whole lot less when you really crunch the numbers), there are plenty who appreciate true, full service and having one person to call throughout the process. There are two markets out there and I want to work within mine as much as that type of client prefers my service from start to finish. If you're curious about what the actual differences are, what I offer which discount places don't, give me a call -- I'll always be the one answering. I'm happy to help you make your best decision.


Tel: 510-922-0212​


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CalBRE #01299940

4200 Broadway

Oakland, California