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Pay It Forward: How Real Estate Agents Can Leverage Their Charitable Endeavors

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A big part of life as a real estate agent is getting out and about in the community, looking for places where you can plug in and be of service.

The majority of your service to your community must remain in the assistance of buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. But leveraging opportunities through involvement in other aspects, such as local charities, will increase your presence and open doors that expand your business network—so long as you don’t hide your profession!

Whether you’re currently active in charity work or are looking for a way to give back, your good work can also help make a big impact. Surprising to many agents, because their real estate persona is very public it often equates to a local celebrity status, which can be leveraged to help promote great organizations.

If you’re already involved in charity work, don’t hide it!

Many real estate professionals might find it distasteful to talk about leveraging charity work, believing that it smacks of insincerity or false motives. In reality, however, promoting your work with a local charity brings as much—or more—attention to the charity as it does to you.

This is the thinking when celebrities become ambassadors for charitable organizations or serve on the board of a non-profit—their presence brings attention to the good work of the charity and encourages others to donate or participate. In addition, by highlighting the work they’re doing, they spur their fans and followers to join in.

It can work the same way for you and your team or office. Whether you sponsor a little league team or cook for a soup kitchen, you can bring attention to important local issues and inspire others to take action in the community. When you gather a whole group to help out, you expand the impact and the power of your collective presence to amplify the message.

Aside from the promotional benefit of charity work, there’s the personal benefit. Not only does your work with a non-profit raise your profile, but it also connects you to the community where you work, makes you a more well-rounded person, and helps to give you some perspective on your own life’s challenges.

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If you’re not yet involved in charity work, here are some things to consider.

If you’ve been feeling the need to take a more active part in good work in your community, here are some ways to get started and some ways to bring balance to your charitable and professional lives.

Find your passion

Want to ensure that you stay faithful to your commitment to charity work once you get started? Center your work on your passion and you’ll have all the motivation you need. Love animals? Volunteer at an animal rescue or work with a preservation organization. Love the outdoors? Volunteer for trail cleanup at a local park or nature preserve.

Of course, real estate is one of your passions, and there are many ways you can put your knowledge to use. Work with a local organization on issues of homelessness or affordable housing. Serve as an expert on the board of a local charity, advising them on property acquisition and management. Combine your professional expertise with your charitable work to maximize the impact of each.

Post on social media

Don’t be afraid to post on social media. It won’t look like you’re bragging or selling—it will look like you are an active and involved member of your community, which you are. Focus on others to make sure you’re making it all about the charity and not about yourself. Interview the director or another worker. Show the great work that’s being done instead of being a talking head.

Consistency is an important part of effectively highlighting your charity work. Show yourself just once bagging groceries at the food bank and you seem like you’re looking for attention. Highlight the work the food bank does week after week and you promote the charity while demonstrating your ongoing commitment to its mission and message.

Mix hands-on work with sponsorships

It can be difficult to take a hands-on role in a local charity when you’re already overwhelmed with work commitments. In order to bring balance to your charitable endeavors and prevent burnout, balance your hands-on, time-intensive charitable commitments with less time-consuming sponsorships.

Sponsor the local little league team, the high school baseball team, or a fundraising fun run in your community. You’ll get a logo and a mention on the uniform, t-shirt, outfield sign, or flyer while providing much-needed financial support that makes local programs and events possible.

Working with a charity—whether as an active participant, a board member, or an event sponsor—gives you the opportunity to develop greater empathy and connect with people throughout your local market. As you then turn the lens of your social media onto the charity, you win new friends, fans, and followers for your favorite cause and for yourself. That’s a real win-win.

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