Tips for giving back to your community this holiday season

Real estate professionals play a pivotal role in their communities. And among every community, there are those who go above and beyond to make a genuine impact in the lives of their neighbors. 

In fact, 2022 has been an exceptionally busy year for real estate professionals when it comes to community giving. According to the National Association of Realtors CARE (Community Aid and Real Estate) report, Some 85% of Realtor associations held events that encourage their members to volunteer and 79% engaged in charitable giving. 

In the midst of the holiday season, there’s no better time to give back, and this year, real estate professionals are making all kinds of inspirational gestures, donations and participating in acts of service. From volunteering to hosting, organizing and donating, the tips below can help real estate professionals bring impactful positivity to their communities as we march through the holiday season. 

Make “yes” your default answer 

The season of giving is all about being open-hearted. That often starts with a simple ‘yes’.  

“Make ‘yes’ your default answer,” said Jennifer Barnes, Realtor and 2022 NAR Good Neighbor Award winner. “When you open your heart and mind to possibilities, opportunities just magically show up.”

If you’re not sure where to start making a difference in your community, look for opportunities and jump on any chance to help. When you go into giving back with an open mind, you’ll find ways to make an impact in unexpected ways. 

Align your passions with the needs of your community 

Getting involved in community giving doesn’t feel like work when you’re passionate about the activity. When thinking about ways to show your community the gratitude you feel, it can be as simple as asking yourself a few questions. 

“Ask yourself, ‘What lights you up?  What makes you grateful? What hurts your heart? What stirs your soul?’”  Barnes suggested. “The answer to any of these questions will lead to finding your way to make your difference in the world.” 

Aligning your own passions with your community giving can go beyond bringing positivity to your neighbors. When you genuinely care about the organization you’re getting involved with, you’ll benefit just as much as those on the other end of your services. 

It’s also a great way to introduce yourself as a local real estate professional who really cares about fellow community members. Being a positive presence in your community is something people will remember and when it comes time to hit the housing market, you’ll be top of mind for those who helped in their time of need. 

Pinpoint an unmet need in your community 

From food drives and free meals to targeted community events, door-knocking campaigns and partnering with local shelters, there are seemingly endless ways to give back. But every community is different and the needs of your community’s members are unique. 

You know your community best and pinpointing an unmet need can be an excellent way to kickstart your holiday giving this season. Look for sectors of the community that have been neglected or that don’t have a set organization that’s aimed at helping them. Ask your neighbors what’s lacking in their lives this holiday season. Find a niche and make it your mission to meet the unmet needs of your neighbors. 

“When you shift your focus from success to service, your work will instantly have more meaning,” Barnes said. 

Remember that small acts can have a major impact 

When it comes to giving back, there is no act too small. The feeling that you’re not doing enough should never prevent you from getting involved, especially during such a difficult time for so many Americans. 

“It doesn’t have to be something big. What if you just did one thing a day to lighten someone’s load, to lift someone’s mood, to improve someone’s life? What if your daily goal was to be the cause of happiness in just one other person?” Barnes noted. 

A seemingly small act of kindness can be big for the person on the other end. As a real estate professional, your reputation is largely built upon word of mouth and when you make someone’s day with a small gesture of help, word will get around. Not only are you making a positive impact one small deed at a time, but those small deeds can also add up to a big reputation for being a stellar community member. 

Barnes says it best: “When you shift your focus from success to service, your work will instantly have more meaning.” 

This year has been turbulent for the housing market and many Americans have personally felt the strain of tight economic conditions. As pillars of their communities, real estate professionals should always be looking for ways to get involved and improve the places they call home. While these tips are great for the holidays, they also apply year-round and should be top of mind for all industry pros.