As any real estate professional can attest, there's more to success than selling houses. And as we continue to navigate the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever that agents across the board commit to consistently doing the right thing while staying front and center in the communities they serve.
During RISMedia's webinar—"Service Before Opportunity: The Ultimate Guide to Business Building"—panelists Anthony Marguleas, founder and owner of Amalfi Estates; and Josh May, team leader of the Josh May team at RE/MAX Grand Rapids, shed some light on how giving back plays an integral role in the way in which they run their businesses.
Moderated by Verl Workman, CEO and founder of Workman Success Systems, and sponsored by BoomTown, the webinar focused on flipping one's mindset so that service precedes opportunity.
"I truly believe you can have it all," said May, who lives his business life by the three Cs: the client experience, the culture and the community.
"If I can look at every angle of my business and be involved in those three things, that's where I want to be."
With 20 years of industry experience under his belt, May is more committed than ever to running a great business while being very community oriented.
To that end, he focuses on three distinct areas of consistency, beginning with how real estate professionals can be involved in supporting businesses in their local community. From there, it's all about planning events and inviting clients to partner with these organizations while determining how to partner with local boards so that it's not so overwhelming.
"It's as simple as identifying who you are and what brings you, as a business owner, passion and joy," said May.
While May and his team haven't skipped a beat throughout the course of the pandemic, he points to an event that he and his team were part of last year in conjunction with the Power of Education Foundation as just one example of the community coming together for a good cause.
"When we heard the story of a landlord who was about to pull the plug on a school in Haiti, which would have left 200 students displaced, we decided to create an event to try and buy the school in one night," explained May.
"We were a small piece of the $100,000 we were able to raise that night," said May, who encouraged attendees looking to give back to not overthink it. "You have to start somewhere. Choose a project/group/community commitment and make it a non-negotiable item in your business."
A true believer in giving back to the community, Marguleas and his team have committed to giving 10 percent of their commission from each sale to one of five (soon to be six) charities in their local area—donating $1 million since 2015.
"It's nice selling houses, but the reality is, with charitable giving, we've touched another thousand families," said Marguleas, who wholeheartedly believes that we were put on Earth to make a difference by giving back and making the world a better place.
While buy-in is critical, it's also important to choose something that will resonate. "It has to be authentic and genuine," explained Marguleas, who is ideally looking to support charities where 72 - 85 percent of the money raised goes directly to the charity.
But it doesn't end there. In fact, the firm's giving culture has also been a contributing factor in the company's growth over the years.
"We've hired a lot of millennials and Gen Zers, and we've found that 72 percent of Gen Zers felt that a job that impacted causes important to them was very important," said Marguleas. "We also found that 45 percent of millennials and Gen Zers will take a 15 percent pay cut for a job that makes a social/environmental impact."
Having learned a lot along the way, one thing that hasn't changed is the fact that charitable giving provides a deeper bond with the client.
"I believe that you make a life by what you give," said Marguleas. "We are a charitable business that specializes in selling houses, and that distinguishes us from other salespeople in the industry."
"From the beginning of the pandemic, we felt compelled to pay it forward, and we've been able to provide 40,000 meals to those who have been hit hard by the shutdown," concluded Joanna Harrison, content strategist for BoomTown.
"This topic is super ingrained in our DNA as a company. One of our core values is to create amazing experiences, and I think that goes beyond our employees and clients, but to our community as well."
Watch the full webinar below:
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