Giving Back: Three industry experts share their strategies for charitable giving

November 2, 2016 by Gina Thelemann in Articles 

Making initial contact can be difficult for agents no matter how long they’ve been in the business. We’re not here today to tell you to cold call 100 people, or to door knock until your spirit’s broken. Instead, we polled three industry leaders who told us how they use charitable giving as a way to perform outreach.

When you do good, you’ll feel good -- and when you can talk with local prospects about things other than your business, they’ll be likely to remember your name when it comes time to buy or sell.

Shannon Brooks

Agent, Engel & Volkers Downtown Minneapolis

Each fall and spring, I drop off branded grocery bags to all the homes in my farm, and I door knock to drop them off and ask for any non-perishable food donations they could contribute to local food shelves. It started off with basic paper bags, but now it has evolved into a branded bag with my name and brand, and my lender and title partner’s brands, too!

This started as a great way to help my own community but after I shared it with other agents locally and nationally, I realized it was a great strategy for agents who don’t like to door knock in a traditional sense. Going door to door to sell yourself can be difficult, but when you’re working on behalf of a community need, it’s easy to speak with each homeowner and make an impact.

Heather Cox

Agent, Modern Broker, Visalia, California

Before the start of school this year, I held a school supplies drive in my market area. I sent out a branded postcard asking for specific supplies that were needed in Tulare County schools. It was a great way to engage my target audience while promoting a worthy cause. Resources get depleted in classrooms as the school year wears on, so I know teachers would love to come back after holiday break with a refreshed supply of art supplies, paper, and math and science tools.

My school supply drive was so successful that I am now hosting a pet supplies drive in my market area. Many people are strapped for money around the holidays, and sometimes pets' needs can be secondary. By collecting pet supplies for my local SPCA chapter, I feel I'm doing my part to help local animals. I've gotten a lot of donations, which is my goal.

Steve deGuzman

Principal Broker, Engel & Völkers Denver South

Engel & Völkers is an international sponsor for the Special Olympics, so we were connected with our local chapter through that. I was one of the first people to do silent auctions for restaurant openings, years ago, so I’ve continued that practice now that I’m in real estate. We just hosted the grand opening of our office in September, and we were able to hold a silent auction where the proceeds went to Special Olympics. We even had two gold medalists from our state attend the event and help us with the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was fantastic.

Last, I’m working with the Denver Nuggets to put together a partnership between them, the Special Olympics, and other local business owners. So we’re buying a block of weekend tickets and we plan to, on behalf of the Special Olympics, bring kids to Nuggets games who wouldn’t be attending otherwise. We’ll also be able to bring Special Olympians to any of the games, as well. So it’s a great way to show community support while getting people involved in the Special Olympics at a younger age.

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