As real estate professionals, taking part in the community and serving others is central to a long-lasting practice. After all, agents are in the business of homeownership, building a financial future, and helping their clients begin new and fruitful chapters. With that in mind, how might an agent deliver that spirit of service in a broader sphere?
The truth is, charitable giving offers nothing but upsides. Contributing to a worthy cause is a noble and meaningful endeavor, but it also presents positive byproducts for the giver: tax write-offs, name recognition in the community, and the ability to expand your network. If charitable giving is an idea you’ve toyed with, or a practice you’ve engaged in only now and again, here are a few ways to make it a foundational element of your business and a win-win for all.
Find causes that speak to you.
Donating funds or resources can feel anonymous if you’re divorced from the organization you’re working with. While national and international charitable organizations are certainly effective and worthwhile, you might consider partnering with local chapters of those organizations, or identifying hyper-local organizations that address need in your state, county, town, or even your own neighborhood. The first step to establishing a charitable relationship is to find a cause that you genuinely care about. For many, animal rescue is a tangible cause where resources and volunteership are always welcome. For others, children’s health and advocacy is a calling. Regardless of your personal passion, participation can be big or small. From sponsoring a local youth sports league to partnering with an area animal shelter for their annual spay-a-thon event—there are all sorts of ways to make a difference.
Unite your team for the common good.
One way to make charitable giving a staple is to do it in arm and arm with others. Supporting a local cause is a great way to bring your team together in a unifying capacity. Hosting coat drives in winter, blanket drives for local animal shelters, or backpack drives for needy students at the start of the new school year—all are straightforward and highly useful, direct ways to give to your community as a team. It’s also important to set collective goals as a way of keeping people motivated and accountable over time. Offices are productive, but often hectic spaces. Injecting a collective goal with a positive, tangible result can create an ambiance of goodwill and generosity—both of which are worthwhile attributes to cultivate as the leader of your team. Lastly, consider timely giving as a way of connecting your team to their community. Natural disasters, local fundraising drives, and improvement funds are all direct ways your team can contribute, while they themselves reap the benefit in the community.
Include clients in the process.
You’ve likely heard of charitable donations made in the name of your client as an alternative to the classic closing gift, but there are a few ways you might update this method of giving. For starters, consider including your clients in the selection process. Do they have a special cause that’s close to their hearts? Likewise, you might consider making regular, consistent giving a part of your routine post-closing. Instead of following up with your yearly poinsettia plant or pumpkin, you might find a cause in their neighborhood or township that you can support in their name. It’s wise to choose something apolitical, but a cause that’s hyperlocal to their area demonstrates unique thoughtfulness.
There are plenty of ways in which society as a whole can benefit from charitable causes that build goodwill in the world, support those less fortunate, and bolster a positive future. Incorporating charitable giving in your business model is a generous way to make this mentality a central tenet of your team and a defining characteristic for your clients to remember.