Giving to charity is a rewarding experience in more ways than one. Making it part of your business model can also be a good marketing strategy. To get you started, here are some tips for building charitable giving into your real estate operation.
1. Commit a Percentage of Commissions to a Dedicated Cause
Donating some of your proceeds to a worthy cause improves your brand’s image. Consider letting clients have a say in where the money goes and donating in their name. This can help strengthen your business relationships.
Also, when it comes to donations, consider putting a face to your project. Suppose money from a new purchase goes towards building homes — shout out the family to let them feel the impact they made by working with you. You may even want to pitch your stories to the local media. The more exposure the higher chance you have of attracting new clients, and it may inspire other real estate professionals to follow your example.
Looking for ideas for a cause? Since you spend your career helping clients buy, sell and rent real estate, consider donating to Give Back Homes. If you want to perform manual labor within your charity work, then this is a good opportunity. Habitat for Humanity builds houses for deserving families around the world.
Some of its current locations include Mexico or Haiti on top of its numerous local branches. Become a member to offer financial support or get hands-on with construction. When building the homes, make sure to wear layered clothing and closed-toed shoes.
2. Real Estate for Rehabilitation
Looking for a way to help your clients and the community at the same time? Real Estate Rehabilitation may be an option for your real estate business. This program helps support the Salvation Army rehabilitation program. It connects people getting rid of items with representatives who will sell them at a thrift shop. All profits generated go toward funding rehabilitation programs.
You can use this organization to help your clients get rid of items when they move. Instead of being thrown away, they will go toward a good cause. Donating unwanted items is especially beneficial for people who are downsizing. Deciding what to give away can be tricky — suggest they give away old books or shoes.
To get involved, go to the company’s website and order a marketing kit. This includes cards to hand your clients with all the essential information on them. You can also schedule a pick-up online if that’s more convenient.
3. Network With Other Real Estate Professionals
Another way to get involved in charity work is to join forces with other real estate agents. Strengthen connections with other professionals while making the biggest impact your business can have on a charity of choice.
Creating a collaborative effort with other real estate professionals in your region can have tenfold the impact of an individual effort. To start, reach out to connections in the industry expressing a desire to volunteer or fundraise for a local cause — whether it be volunteering at a soup kitchen, raising money for a housing advocacy organization or another effort.
4. Partner with Other Local Businesses
Teaming up with local businesses is a great way to gain more exposure for your brand. You could organize a fundraiser at your favorite local restaurant, then a portion of the proceeds donated to your organization of choice. These partnerships aren’t as time-intensive for you and can help boost local businesses and charities simultaneously.
As is the case with other tips in this list, working with outside professionals is a good networking strategy. For example, you could make a connection and help gain a foothold with local commercial real estate tenants and buyers.
5. Establish a Donor-Advised Fund
Looking to support a charity and need an efficient way to do so? A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a fund sponsored by a public charity to manage donations. It also allows you to receive tax deductions and recommend grants. The benefit of the DAF is you can get a tax deduction right away and can recommend grants on your schedule.
Real estate professionals who are dedicated to a specific cause might fund a DAF to be a streamlined option for giving. It allows you to be more involved with funding a charity and play an important part in its growth. This strategy is best for businesses that need to offset a year with high earnings.
6. Host a Community Event
Real estate professionals can leverage their community ties to hold a special fundraising event. This can even attract new business prospects. When determining a cause, make sure it’s one you’re passionate about and that relates to your organization.
As a real estate agent, you could focus on issues such as homelessness. Once you have a cause in mind, work with other nonprofits to help spread the word. It’s important to learn what charitable organizations in your community need from this event to help them most effectively, whether that’s money, supplies, more volunteers or all of the above.
During the event, share stories about your volunteer experience. Also, consider turning the event into an annual activity, such as a charity 5K race. This will compound the impact of your charity and help the drive become a community staple for years to come.
Giving Back With Your Real Estate Business
Donating to charity is a worthy cause and makes you stand out from the competition. Finding ways to get started can be a little tricky, so consider these tips for your next mission.
About the Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, an online resource for the real estate market. Her freelance writing has been published by the National Association of REALTORS®, Insights for Professionals and other prominent industry magazines.