Tis’ the Season of Giving
Real estate firms give back to their communities by helping maintain a vibrant real estate market. Fix and flip investors renew housing stock, and commercial lenders facilitate transactions that would otherwise go no where. But this does not come close to the ways real estate firms and agents find to give back to the communities that support their livelihoods.
1: Food Drives
Branded grocery bags distributed through an area may not always come back filled with can goods or other non-perishable items, but they do put the firms name in front of prospective clients. This does not need to be a seasonal activity either. Local food pantries will accept donations at any time of the year.
2:Habitat for Humanity
Can there be a more natural relationship than for a real estate firm than to participate in a Habitat for Humanity project? From financial underwriting to swinging hammers, the opportunity to build reasonably priced homes is a great opportunity to add value to a community and build brand recognition. If the firm is large enough it can undertake the construction of an entire home
3: Toys for Tots
This seasonal drive sponsored by the United States Marine Corps Reserve collects toys for children whose parents cannot afford to give them presents at Christmas. The real estate office can be used as a drop-off location, and agents can be involved in various Toys for Tots fund-raising activities. Depending on the proximity of the office to a military installation, this can be a very effective marketing strategy.
4: School Supplies
With cuts in education funding in many school districts, students are being asked to bring a list of basic supplies at the start of the school year. This is another seasonal need that creates the opportunity for distributing branded shopping bags. Door-to-door distribution of the bags in mid-summer is relatively easy, particularly in northern climates.
5: Special Olympics
This program that brings the joy a sports and competition to the developmentally disabled is heart-warming in its own special way. There are a variety of ways to get involved, from volunteering at Special Olympics events to fundraising for trips to larger competitions. Firms sometimes arrange for outings for Special Olympians, such as trips to professional sporting events.
6: Personal Needs
With escalating medical bills, it is becoming increasingly common to see fundraisers for individuals in a close community that are stricken with dread diseases. A firm that takes on such a cause takes on a real challenge because of the intense personal nature of the fund-raising. A patient who succumbs to the illness can take an emotional toll on an office while requiring special sensitivity on the part of the agents who attend any final services.
This short list only scratches the surface of ways in which firms can get involved in giving back to the community. Each agent in a real estate firm probably has a charitable cause that touches their heart, and the firm can have a rotating drive focused on each in turn.
In addition, each community may have a special annual event, such as a holiday parade, that can be supported by the firm. With such events, a good rule is that the more personal the involvement the more effective it is. Time spent volunteering is more valuable than financial contributions, and puts the face of the firm’s agents out into the community.