Updated: Oct 16, 2018
Making "Good" Money in real estate as a real estate professional means cashing commission checks. It means creating financial stability for today and financial security for tomorrow. But it also means, taking a humanistic approach to business growth and sustainability. It can represent a specific strategy and commitment to using "corporate social responsibility" or CSR to create profits.
Real Estate is all about profit margins, return on investments and dead lines. It is a business where you will not survive without a regular stream of clients. A CSR strategy not only supports growth it enhances brands. Let's be real, real estate professionals sure could use some brand enhancing. CSR isn't something you throw against the wall and pat yourself on the back. It isn't you volunteering at a food bank and posting 20 pictures on social media. It isn't saying telling people you are a good person. A CSR strategy must be the linchpin of a brand. It must represent the core of your values, purpose and mission.
CSR is easier shown versus told. Using examples of the Tarah & Damon team, hopefully a blueprint of a "Making Good Money" brand will be laid out
THE TARAH & DAMON CSR STRATEGY
1. Innovation: CSR is a tool to stand out among the thousands of other real estate professionals in the Central Virginia region. It creates a clear brand proposition while providing our clients with better services. We use our vendor inclusion project to create a service benefits for our clients. It allows us to increase our efficiency and effectiveness by having key working relationships. By engaging diverse populations, we are able to generate unique ideas and service approaches. It also affords the ability to reach more potential clients through referrals without the expense.
2. Brand Differentiation- There are thousands of agents doing the same thing. Websites, business cards and yard signs all look the same. It is hard to set yourself apart from such a large crowd. Some agents use services others use reduced commissions to create a brand difference. Every day, Realtors fight to create a unique brand proposition especially over social media. Using CSR we are able to create conversations about the needs of clients and not our successes. We use Instagram as a tool to highlight our values, service and results from that service. We do not use it to highlight the homes we sold. This fight for difference often results in spending thousands of dollars a year trying to stand out. CSR is a long term strategy that creates the ability to use service, dedication and passion as tools to build a one of a kind real estate brand.
3. Stability- Real Estate is an up and down industry. You have hot markets, slow markets and the constant fear of an economic crisis. When home sales become slow, realtors don’t make money. CSR allows us to build deep lasting relationships with communities. By servicing others we are constantly keeping in touch with neighborhood changes and the needs of families. Regardless of changes in market or technology, nothing can replace real life connections. We realized the best way to make those connections is through education. We created the Academy as a vehicle to engage potential clients and support past clients in their journey as home owners.
4. Longevity- CSR is a specific approach to look at our company’s long term viability. We focus on how to service the needs of community and how we connect those needs to the services we provide. This is our secret plan to stay relevant and in touch for years to come. It is a strategy that can direct future growth.
5. Staying Engaged- Real estate has its high and low moments. Some transactions are tedious and take every ounce of our energy. When we are lucky we have transactions that are smooth as silk. Either way, the business is taxing and takes a toll. CSR gives us a break from the mundane, it creates a reason to fight for our clients beyond the sale. It gives us something wonderful to focus on while we are working towards getting to the closing table.
6. Our Voice– Sure we talk about houses, property values and our day to day work. But that isn’t who we are, it is only what we do. We prefer to talk about reducing poverty, wage equality and social justice. Unfortunately, those conversations alone, don’t help us grow our business. CSR, gives us the freedom to talk about the issues we care about while selling more houses. It provides us the opportunity to talk about issues people face instead of how many sales we’ve had. Our voice reminds our clients of who we are inside and out.
This is my truth about why I am committed to running a socially responsible real estate business. I hope other real estate professionals begin living their truth by embracing socially responsible strategies to business development.
This approach isn't for everyone. It also isn't a charity approach to service. You can be profit driven and purpose driven at the same time. You can have goals of outselling everyone and have a goal of fighting inequities. This approach takes time and a level of self understanding. Your passion may change, but your purpose must stay the same. It is the only way for the CSR strategy to stick.
For us , "Making Good Money" is how we fight.