As the real estate market continues down the road to recovery, more and more individuals are becoming comfortable with the idea of buying or selling home.
Take a moment to consider, as a REALTOR®, what steps you are taking to connect with homebuyers and sellers in the current climate? Where are you going to find your leads? How are you differentiating yourself from the pack in such a competitive industry?
There’s the traditional way to market yourself, sending out a flyer or postcard showing all your recent listings with a large “SOLD” banner across the images, or, if you are one of the lucky ones, you build your client base off of tried and true methods such as references and word of mouth.
But instead of relying on these two age-old methods, why not try a different strategy, one designed to entice a new wave of home buyers and home sellers in a positive way?
The Giveback Homes movement aims to do just that and change the world, one home at a time. We recently sat down with Blake Andrews, Giveback Homes founder, who is leading the pack of social do-gooders in the real estate industry.
Audie Chamberlain: What was the inspiration behind Giveback Homes?
Blake Andrews: I had traveled to Nicaragua a couple times while working with TOMS shoes, and I saw how tragic the living conditions were. Families live in structures made of wood scraps and plastic tarps … overcrowding, dirt floors, nothing to protect them, and no real way out. I told myself if there was ever a way to give back, I would start in Nicaragua. Everyone deserves a safe, decent place to live. Now with the help of real estate agents and mortgage brokers, we’re able to help people who have never even dreamed of owning their own home. Giveback Homes not only gives back to people of Nicaragua, but it also gives REALTORS® a new way to differentiate themselves.
AC: How will my customers know I am a Giveback Homes member?
BA: Most realtors don’t realize this, but we actually provide a marketing service for our members. There’s a small fee of $50 a month to be a member of Giveback Homes. This fee covers public relations efforts for our members — where we pitch their story to their local media — access to our in-house design team for help with ads, listing pages, business cards, social media support, the rights to our logo, a profile on the Giveback Homes website, and the support from our team to brand yourself as a member of Giveback Homes. We’ve also been able to donate to over 10 charities this year, including relief for the Philippines after the typhoon. So the membership fee goes a long way.
AC: Where do you see Giveback Homes in the future?
BA: Ideally, realtors across the nation will want to be a part of this movement and join us in our efforts to build sustainable living environments for those in need. We have a real opportunity to leave a social-good footprint in this world. Our challenge is just making sure everyone is aware of this service and how easy it is to make a real difference in the lives of others by doing something you do every day, selling homes.
Here’s what some of their recent members are saying about Giveback Homes:
“When I moved into real estate as a career it was quite empowering. I was able to take control of my time, use my abilities to help people market and find and the perfect home, and my income potential became limitless. Having this type of lifestyle as a REALTOR® is important for me so I am able to give back with my extra time and resources. Partnering with Give Back Homes allows me to bless people who are held back from lack of shelter. I know that through my success as a REALTOR® I am not only taking control of my own life, but help others do the same.” — Jessica Foote, Del Mar, CA
“I have a pretty well-oiled machine going here. I keep repeating what I’m doing and it’s worked for me for years. I do think it’s important to give back, and I am so thankful that I’m in a position to do so. But it’s also important to give responsibly. What I liked most about Giveback Homes is that through them and their partnership with Habitat for Humanity, I know exactly where my donations are going, to the field, to the people that need it most, and I can give any amount, at any time.” — Raju Chhambria, Palos Verdes, CA
“Being a member of Giveback Homes adds a whole new layer to the way I market myself. I’m not just a real estate agent anymore, now I’m also a humanitarian, and I’m able to pass that on to my clients, giving them a new value. Just by choosing me as a their REALTOR®, they’re creating social change; it’s incredible. I love sharing my story with my clients and letting them know that part of my commission is going towards providing less fortunate families with a safe, decent place to call home. That’s something not a lot of REALTORS® can offer.” — Rogers Healy, Dallas, TX
To learn more about Giveback Homes and its mission, go to: www.givebackhomes.com.