Five Years of Give Back Homes: Lessons Learned and How You Can Apply it to Real Estate 

Giveback Homes: Five Years of Giving

What I’ve Learned & How You Can Apply it to Real Estate.

For five years, Giveback Homes has been providing step by step instructions on how to make giving part of your everyday real estate business, for five years we’ve been sharing the stories of realtors, brokerages and companies across the country who have taken our advice and are now making an impact both in their communities and throughout the world. For five years, I’ve witnessed just how much heart this industry really has. And for that I’m grateful…

Here are some lessons I’ve learned in five years of giving that you can apply to your real estate business today:

No Such Thing as a “Selfless Act”

There is no such thing as a “selfless act” because no matter what, your body is engineered to make you feel good when you do something for someone else. Consider the last time you helped someone that wasn’t expecting it at all. It can be small like when you acknowledge someone with a smile or give a few dollars to the homeless person you walk by every day.

Do you feel good afterward? Even if it’s brief. It’s because there’s a chemical reaction occurring inside of you, endorphins rush through your body, and they make you feel good. That’s why its human instinct to help each other. And whether you do something small or big, you end up having a little more pep in your step, you’re smiling you feel good.

  • For Real Estate: This industry relies on self-promotion, so why not make it for a good cause? So many are worried about what others will think about them, that it’s preventing people from promoting their good deeds or even from doing anything to begin with. If we can all agree that there’s no such thing as a selfless act, it’s therefore impossible to judge anyone’s motives for helping a person or cause. So every real estate agent and company should be aligned with a cause and they should be shouting it from the rooftops. Yes, you’re helping the cause and it feels good. Yes, there’s also the potential for you to build new relationships, create goodwill for your brand, and maybe even receive some nice PR for you and the cause you’re helping. The very best scenario would lead to more business for you which means you can increase your giving efforts year after year.

It’s Better to Inspire Than to Ask

Very rarely do we at Giveback Homes directly ask people to donate to a project. We always try to come from a place of the story, by sharing examples of what people have stepped up to do and that drives more donations than simply sending out an eblast with a link to donate. Jessica Northrop, a real estate agent in Denver, CO first traveled with us to Nicaragua in 2016 to help build a home for a family in need.

Jessica shared every step of her journey with her friends, family, clients on social media. She never asked for donations, she just shared her stories. After then something really cool happened, Jessica’s vendors, clients, and friends started to reach out to her, asking how to donate or get involved in her next project. Since then, she’s gone on to completely fund another home for a family in Nicaragua and funded two build days in Denver to support affordable housing projects.

  • For Real Estate: There are plenty of strategies and tactics that help agents gain new business, but ask yourself how can you come from a place of inspiration as well. Consider sharing compelling stories about your community, your clients, or yourself that will inspire people to want to work with you instead of continuously asking them to work with you.

There’s Power In Experience

My favorite part of the job is getting to lead people on Build Trips to Central America so they can experience, first-hand the impact of Giveback Homes. You can’t really explain that feeling when you come face to face with a family that can never pay you back for something you’ve helped them with, especially when that something is a safe home.

These kind of Giving trips are still not a common thing for people to do, most can hardly find time for a vacation. But finding time is easier than you think to make both a vacation and a Giving Trip are entirely possible.

  • For Real Estate: I give this advice to everyone in every industry. Take the trip – Go to a country you’ve never considered to help a family that you’ve never met. I guarantee that experience will change your life. As agents you have a huge advantage because you’re mobile, you have teams that can help you back home, and you can close deals from your phone. It’s entirely possible to create your own experiences and adventures that also help make the world a better place. We are currently leading Build Trips to Central America for Concierge Auctions employees as part of their Key For Key®  Giving Program. And if you prefer to stay local, Phil Greely, an agent in Seattle, WA is preparing to climb a mountain to help support affordable housing in Seattle. These kinds of experiences will be the things you’ll remember most and the things you’ll most likely be remembered for.

Legacy Is What Connects You to Humanity

Legacy is something we don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about, but the reason we are all here living our best lives is that everyone before us aimed to leave us, this place, better than they found it. We are the amalgamation of billions and billions of legacies that have taught us how to be better people. Legacy is what connects you to humanity and it always has to do with making a difference in someone else’s life, not just your family, but with bettering the human race.

  • For Real Estate: Do you think your clients will show up to your funeral and tell stories about how you were really organized and never late to an appointment? Probably not likely because as important as those things are for your business today, they won’t be part of your legacy. You all are in the business of helping people find their homes. A home in itself is a legacy and you get to help bring that to life. But beyond your own personal success, what will your legacy be? how will you be remembered?

Get in the habit of reminding yourself of our humanity – that we are all just doing our best to leave this place better than we found it.