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Charitable Realtors: Ideas to Improve Karma and Help Those in Need

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By : Andy Asbury    99 or more times read
For many of us in the real estate industry, this past year has been a difficult one, with stagnating housing markets and economic ups and downs. You've likely had to overcome many challenges this year, and are feeling grateful for having either survived or thrived in an otherwise gloomy climate. If you're like me, you're not only thankful for your success, but you're now wondering how you can help those in need in your community.

As a realtor, there are many things you can do to have a positive impact on your community. You can participate in organized events such as charity golf tournaments, marathons, or fundraiser dinners. You can even start your own event like Linda Covino did in Medford, Massachusetts. She started an annual Dancing with the Realtors competition, based on the popular TV show, "Dancing with the Stars". Dancing with the Realtors has turned out to be an entertaining and successful event that in 2007, raised over $20,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

Other charitable programs include "Bowl for Kids Sake," which is a national fundraiser that has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters for over 40 years. There's also Habitat for Humanity, which is always looking for volunteers to help build affordable housing. Rally your co-workers and volunteer a few hours each month to help build homes for those less fortunate than you.

One philanthropic real estate agent named Gerald Leonard has decided to donate approximately 50% of all his commissions to charity, while passing on the tax breaks to his clients. You can follow Leonard's lead by donating a certain percentage of your commissions to local or international charities of your choice.

If you're not ready to hand over half your commission just yet, and don't have time to start your own nonprofit organization, there are acts of kindness that are smaller in scale, but still valuable in their own right. For example, consider placing a bin in the office to collect nonperishable food items to donate to the local food bank, or collect toys, spare blankets, and outerwear for emergency shelters.

Other ideas include participating in a walkathon to raise money for cancer research, donating blood on your way home for work, and registering to become an organ donor. If you'd like to be part of the planning committee, become a board member for an organization whose cause you're really passionate about. Another idea is to visit places like retirement homes or hospitals to provide companionship to those that feel alone.

By volunteering your time and money to help those in need, you're doing your community a favor, and enriching your own life. If you believe in karma, you'll definitely improve yours by acting selflessly, and you'll also find the experience to be invaluable in terms of personal satisfaction. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to learn new skills in a supportive environment, as well as the chance to network with like-minded people. You'll be expanding your circle of influence, which could lead to new clients down the road.

As a real estate agent, you're in an excellent position to get out there and make a difference. Even if you haven't had the best year, you can still give someone a hand that really needs it, and improve the lives of both of you in the process.
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