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Lessons from the Red and Black Cafe in Real Estate

facebook logoSocial media is clearly here to stay and the local story of the Red and Black Cafe drives home the point for small businesses, which all Realtors are.  If your Realtor is not using social media, they are becoming increasingly likely be missing a segment of potential buyers for a listing.  If you are a Realtor, pay attention! Like all things real estate, I want you to know I am a Realtor through my fan page and other social media sources but I also want you know that I have a life and provide interesting content.

Without going into the right or wrong of the Red and Black Cafe, here is what happened according to the media: a uniformed police office bought a cup of coffee, he stopped to talk to a customer and then one of the co-owners came up and asked him to leave because his uniformed  presence disturbs his clientele.  The story was published by the Oregonian and other news outlets and social media has taken it from there.  Red and Black Cafe has a fan page (a few days ago it had 741 fans).  Less than 48 hours ago someone started the Boycott Red and Black Cafe fan page.  Right now Boycott has 5984 fans compared to the Cafe’s 995!

The Cafe’s core has rallied and added 200 fans but I don’t think many of us would feel they had won the “any publicity is good publicity” battle at first blush.  They may win the war though.  The story should fade away and they will have attracted new clientele that otherwise probably wouldn’t have ever known they existed. They aren’t reticent about the decision to ask the officer to leave from what we can tell so it is not a case of, “I said something but wish I hadn’t and now am paying the price for it.” I actually think they may be thrilled.  I’d guess that 99% of the boycotters were never going to visit a vegan cafe in the first place.  But what if it was a service that appealed to the masses?

This post is much more Realtor-centric than most but a lot of our readership is made up of real estate professionals that span the breadth of knowledge regarding social media.  You could replace the cafe with any Realtor and the story would remain pretty the same.

Count at publishing: Boycott 6242 – Cafe 1011.

And try to thank an officer for what they do today.

5 Comments on “Lessons from the Red and Black Cafe in Real Estate

  1. Good post, Charles. It’s a shame that an employee (or even worse, management) would feel that the presence of a peace officer would disturb other customers. Now, out of principle, I ‘liked’ (became a fan) of the boycotters.

  2. I don’t have much time for internet arguments, but I wanted to briefly voice my support for the Red and Black Cafe.

    The police exist to reinforce the dominant power structures. The people currently in power in our society want to KEEP their power, and the police are there to help them do so.

    The police attack, murder, imprison, harass, and terrorize our communities, and do so with little compassion, transparency, or oversight. This is what they do. This is their job.

    I do not want the police in my community, and I certainly don’t want them in my community cafe.

    I’m feeling especially articulate about this right now. I’d urge people who perceive the police as “peace officers” to seek out other perspectives. This is a very emotional discussion — let’s do our best to keep our humanity and understand.

  3. Hah, I meant to say that I’m NOT feeling especially articulate. Even more true than I thought.

  4. I agree that this isn’t a place to discuss the right or wrong of the specific incident. My interest stems more from the viral nature of social media rallying for or against a small business. Red and Black Cafe has more than doubled their fan base by adding 1000+ fans since the story broke.

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