While you review 2019 and plan for the year ahead, ask yourself: Have I given back to my community?
As a real estate agent, your community is as much your product as is an individual home. If you pride yourself on knowing what’s going on around town and about the many amenities available to new homeowners, you owe it to yourself to make community service part of your business plan. Giving back is not only the right thing to do, but active community involvement provides an excellent opportunity to do what you do best — networking.
Here are four of the benefits of making community service an integral part of your business plan in 2020.
1. Extend your reach beyond traditional marketing
When it comes to traditional marketing, we all use the same channels. Whether it’s drive time radio or a booth at a local community event, you’re going to be there and so will your competition. Hopefully, you have a strong message — one that will help you stand out from the crowd. By volunteering, you are opening the door to a number of new opportunities and extending your reach. Whether you volunteer to pick up trash, work at a soup kitchen, or plant trees at a local park, you and your colleagues in company t-shirts send the message that you care enough to give back, while simultaneously promoting your business.
2. Open doors by aligning with the right charities
If you’re unsure what charity you and your brokerage should support, consider a housing initiative like Habitat for Humanity or Coalition for the Homeless. Aligning yourself with charities focused on your industry will put you in contact with like-minded individuals. Not only can you sell homes, but you can also help build them for those in need. This is something any potential homebuyer can get behind.
3. Make connections by serving as a board member
Become a member of the board of a local organization you’re passionate about. Serving on a board can be a great learning experience. You’ll be challenged to work within the group to find solutions to new and exciting business problems. You’ll also have the chance to meet, network with, and cultivate relationships with other professionals in your area who could become new clients or referral partners.
4. Meet the growing expectations of your employees and clients
Philanthropy has become a critical component of many of the largest and most successful companies in the country over the past 25 years. It has also become a requirement of many employees. According to a 2017 survey by non-profit America’s Charities entitled Snapshot Employee Research: What Employees Think about Workplace Giving, Volunteering, and CSR, “71% of employees want to work for employers who have missions and values that align with their own values.” Whether it’s a workplace giving program, the ability to use work time to volunteer, or matching gifts for employee contributions, employees want to work for an employer that gives back. At the same time, more and more socially conscious clients are looking to the businesses they support to support their community on an ongoing basis.
The Bottom Line
As a member of a community, each of us has a responsibility as part of “the social contract” to give back, to help those in need, and to contribute where we can to the greater public good. Writing a check is a good thing — charities are in need of funds all year round —- but don’t let an opportunity to build on your brand’s success get away. Get involved and give back.