What the Restaurant Industry Taught Us About Real Estate

What the Restaurant Industry Taught Us About Real Estate
I’ve said for years that everyone at some point in their life should work in the service industry. You can learn a lot about people, business and hard work. Many of the members on the Blythe Team have worked in the restaurant industry in the past. I thought it would be fun to chat with them and see what skills they learned from that industry that contributed to their success in their Real Estate career.


This was the most common answer among our team members. “Some clients prefer to be pampered and guided through each step while some are more independent and prefer to hear from you only when necessary” wrote Matt Edwards, the Blythe Team Office Manager. Fabian Thomlinson called this “Chameleonzing yourself” which makes since. “I think the main thing I have learned that can relate to the Real Estate Industry is how to interact with all different types of people” said Maddie Thibault. I think there is no question learning how to serve different types of people is vital in all businesses.


“Being able to juggle many clients at once while making each feel like they are your top priority is important” comments Matt. Waiting on many tables during a lunch/dinner rush is very similar to working with many Real Estate clients when the market is hot and you have time sensitive deadlines. “Making sure everything was done correctly and in order up to the check (or closing date in Real Estate) is crucial!” says Kyle Fagan.

Managing Expectations 

“People will wait patiently 45 minutes for a meal if they know upfront the kitchen is a bit behind. If you tell the guest 40 minutes after ordering the kitchen is slow they will more than likely be irritated. “Good communication can set proper expectations for clients which makes their experience far better” states Chad Blythe. Communicate often and accurately and you will be better off in real estate and the restaurant industry. 


Believe it or not, networking is very common in the restaurant industry. This goes for co-workers at the restaurants along with regular customers that visit. Chad Blythe & Kyle Fagan each sell a handful of homes a year to connections from their restaurant days. Fabian also has seen many networking benefits from her past career. “Working in the restaurant industry for me has opened up a lot of social doors”.


This applies to both industries. In one, you are dealing with people’s food and health, and the other with their safety, security, comfort and wealth. Both are experiences that need groups of honest people to guide them through. “Being brutally honest even though it is a hard conversation to have sometimes is required.” says Kyle Fagan. Our job is to tell people what they NEED to hear even if it’s not WHAT they want to hear. “You don’t want the salmon today” is just as important as telling a buyer “that low ball offer is going to offend the sellers and you may lose this house”.  We do our best to treat our clients like family and make sure we are giving good advice. Sometimes though we get difficult clients/customers. Maddie Thibault states it well when she said “Just because you “work for them” doesn’t mean they have the right to be mean and disrespectful to you”. We love almost all of our clients, but in rare cases, we will let a client go if they aren’t aligned with our principles. We must be true to our families, team members, and ourselves. 

Building Rapport 

First impressions matter. The way you initially present yourself is KEY in sales just like when you introduce yourself to a table of customers. Your client/customer will always remember how you made them feel initially” Fabian says. You only get one chance at a first impression so making it professional is vital. This goes for your greeting, handshake, and attire. Most high-end restaurants require a pristine uniform. While the members of the Blythe Team do dress casual sometimes we are always presentable and professional. 

Team Work 

We have developed a “small boutique family-style” Real Estate Team. We work together to better serve our clients. When the market is busy we only have some many hours in a day and we rely on each other to help. Whether that being showing homes to buyers for another agent or running signs and lock boxes to homes for a team member. The best restaurants in the world have many members working for the customer: cooks, expos, managers, servers, bussers, host/hostesses, food runners and more. Having a team is always better for a customer/client.

We are very proud of our team because of the great members of it. They are some of the best and hardest working people in the industry. Many of them learned much of their skills from the restaurant industry and we are grateful for those experiences. Written by several Blythe Team Members

Chad Blythe
Kyle Fagan
Fabian Owen 
Matt Edwards

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