Sometimes you make a connection with somebody, and you may not quite be sure why. Other times you know very well why the connection was made. A helping hand for a person who is new to your community may be all that it takes.
Last year, I was contacted by a Realtor who had just moved to Houston. She was looking for an inspector, and she stumbled upon me. To be honest, I probably was given the job because my price was right, and nothing else. Like many inspectors, I have a little packet, which I give to my clients at the end of an inspection. It is a getting to know your neighborhood type of thing. I list various bits of useful information. Among this material is one simple little web address that made all of the difference in the world. It made my connection to this young woman.
Having come from California, she was not familiar with the greater Houston area. She had settled in the city of Humble (north of Houston), but she was showing a home in Deer Park (southeast of Houston). She was looking for her own connection with her client, and she found it through me: taking her client to a good local restaurant. She accomplished this by going to a website that I always recommend: B4-U-Eat.
This is a site where regular people write reviews of the different locales around our community. Houston is a dining town. We are just behind New York when it comes to the number of times per year we go out to a meal, and in the number of eating establishments. Knowing the experience of others is a great way to sift through these places to find the one where you want to eat.
Anyone can write a review (they even let me write one, so that shows you that anyone is welcomed). There are a few rules. Criticism needs to be constructive. They do not allow rants. They allow for differing opinions, so they do not want you to be disrespectful to other reviewers either.
By the next house that I was inspecting for her, she was a pro. She knew the neighborhood, and she could impress her client by taking them to the best place to eat. I do not know if other cities have such a site (and I never have checked if this site has expanded its coverage), but we in Houston, who are in love with food, have a place to seek out that favorite eatery of a neighborhood, or to discuss our own dining experiences.
My clients, who know of this site, have said that they know that I am a foodie, when they saw that I listed this site. As an inspector who travels all over the greater area here, I need a way to find the best meal out.