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Charitable Giving: Help Your Community—and Your Business!

John Michailidis, the owner of Real Property Management Sarasota & Manatee, shared his insights on his company’s mission for giving back to the community and how charitable giving should be part of every rental property business on Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show.

Here’s an excerpt:

In 2017, Americans gave $410.02 billion to charity: that was the first time the total of the nation’s philanthropic efforts exceeded $400 billion, and it’s 5.2% above the total the from year before. As you well know, our economy is pretty great right now. The historically low unemployment, solid stock market, and favorable economic conditions likely all weighed into the historic total that was donated. But is there something more at work? Perhaps a cultural shift? Or a more pervasive feeling of “we’re all in this together?”

Hello, and welcome to Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show. I’m Jon Forisha, and on this episode, we analyze the link between real estate and giving back. And what it can mean for your business and your community.

In real estate, everything you do is about serving your community: your business comes from the community around you, but your whole job is also about creating a community in both a literal and figurative sense. On the CE Shop Blog, we’ve talked a lot about how essential real estate agents are to their neighbors, but going beyond just brokering the deals that result in houses changing hands, many agents make it a fundamental part of their business about giving back.

It may seem absurd to a brand new agent that they’re expected to give back to their community before they’ve even sold enough houses to live comfortably in their new profession. But philanthropic events can also generate new business. Networking is a huge part of any successful business, and unless you’re a magician of a salesperson, you’ll have to come up with some creative ways to connect with new people and turn them into leads.

Taking part in a charity near and dear to your heart is a great way to meet new people and get on their good side before you even discuss selling their house. But, staying active in and around your community is also a fantastic way to stay top of mind.

In any industry, a massive part of marketing efforts is to create brand awareness, and real estate is no different. It’s not easy to tell when someone is searching for a new agent. It’s not as obvious as a head wound or a missing eye or a tail. And since you never really know, then all you can do is constantly make yourself available and top of mind. Doing so by doing good in your community is pretty much the best possible outcome. And thus, you have many agents making philanthropy a key part of their business.

John Michailidis is the owner and broker of Real Property Management Sarasota & Manatee in Florida. And like many real estate professionals, he’s made philanthropy a key part of his business.

Here’s John:

“So, all of our people when they come on board with us are shown our company vision-mission-purpose board, which states the ultimate purpose of my business, ‘To ‘further God’s Kingdom through example and service.‘ It is not a test. They are not required to agree with that statement personally, but I do feel it’s only fair that they understand where I’m coming from as a business owner. Mutual respect is so important.”

“We have a few different charities that we continue to give to financially. But absolutely, that is the purpose of my business. It’s not to enrich me. Do I want to live a good life? Yeah. Do I want to have nice things? Do I want my people to be well-payed? Yeah. But that happens by providing great service and by giving back to the community because everything we get is a blessing. In my personal opinion, from Jesus Christ. That’s not everyone’s opinion, and I get that.”

There’s a term called “social currency,” defined as the actual and potential resources from presence in social networks and communities, including both digital and offline. When a company takes a stance on something, and their consumers then feel a sense of value when associating with that brand, it generates invaluable word of mouth.

[Consumers] get something out of the transactions while also providing something for someone else.

At this point, you’re likely thinking you’d love to give back somehow, but that donating your fee (which amounts to your paycheck), is unrealistic. The nice thing about charity is that every little bit counts, even if that means just donating your time to making a difference.

Real estate agents are often the heart of their community: over the course of their career, an agent can have an enormous impact. Conducting business ethically and charitably can leave an impression that lasts far beyond an individual company, or even a lifetime.

Listen to the full episode about Giving Back from Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show.

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