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More Than Volunteering

by Chicago Agent

Helping to improve your community improves your bottom line


By Aaron McManus

A few short years ago, real estate values were shooting through the roof. The market carried many agents to a great deal of wealth, but now we’re forced to change the way that we conduct ourselves. Residential real estate has become a serious business, and current economic trends have many Americans frightened by the storm clouds on the economic horizon.

America’s financial future should not be seen from a bust or boom perspective, because it is about polarization. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Smart agents who understand what’s taking place are more in demand than ever. By working strategically to develop your community, you become a valuable asset to everyone around you.

1. Understand sustainable development. Everyone’s talking about going green, but few understand the social considerations. It is essential to change our environmental impact, but sustainable communities are more than just healthy neighborhoods, they retain value. Read up and ask questions of those who are in the know.

2. Learn your role. Real estate agents create their communities. You’re not just someone who sells houses, you impact the lives of everyone around you. Predatory behavior has built a bad reputation for us, but excellent agents are intrinsically involved with ensuring that their communities remain stable.

3. Seek out knowledge partners. You can’t know it all, but you can learn how to find the answers to any question. There are outstanding nonprofit groups and organizations working hard to improve the lives of others. Use them to educate yourself and to build your business. Create partnerships to bring in funds for them and clients for you, that way everyone wins.

4. Build campaigns. A campaign is more than a marketing piece or a press release, it is an integrated and well-structured plan. It encompasses assessments of risks and benefits and thoroughly considers how the target audiences will receive it in order to create results. People will rally and support a campaign, because it gives them something to believe in and work toward. A campaign creates hope. In these uncertain times, hope is more valuable than gold.

5. Keep commitments. You make promises each day to yourself and those around you. Use caution, and commit sparingly. Insert time into the equation, and think before you decide. Your decisions create the way that others perceive you. When you create hope, disappointment stings harder if you don’t pull through. Don’t make promises that you can’t deliver.

The best way to begin the process is to plan. Don’t dive into action. Stand at the edge first, and dip your toe in the water. Consider yourself, and what you want to be. What are your goals?

People with written goals earn 10 times more than those without, but only 3 percent of the population has taken the time to write them down. It is essential that you invest in yourself, and know that your biggest asset is your time.

We all have to make decisions about our legacy. It is a lengthy process, so be patient. As real estate agents, we can step into a position of power. Real power comes from knowledge, and intellectual capital is a recession-proof asset.

In this age, we are brokers of information. Our services are entirely intangible, because we deal exclusively in the realm of the conceptual. Economics and ownership are only concepts; for proof, look at how they differ in each country around the world and through history. However, these concepts shape our world.

The role of the real estate agent will be critical in times to come. By learning how to provide real value to our communities, we become the architects of a new way of selling real estate. When this new perception is integrated with a concrete plan, we are able to create real accomplishments that positively impact the lives of those around us.

Everyone wants to believe tomorrow will be bright and sunny, but few strategize for rain. When you plan for a picnic, you have to know what you’ll do if it rains. By working to create sustainable communities, you provide shelter for your neighbors, just in case it storms.

Aaron McManus is a consultant with over 10 years of experience in green real estate. He is currently selling a green real estate brokerage in Chicago, a national green real estate franchise model and consulting services. He can be reached at aaron@greenkeyrealestate.com or 773.895.4253.

COPYRIGHT 2008 AGENT PUBLISHING LLC

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