Now more than ever, a dedication to corporate social responsibility is in the forefront of the average consumer’s mind when it comes to choosing with whom they do business. In fact, according to a study done by Cone Communications and Echo Research, an astounding 90% of Americans would switch to a brand supporting a cause they care about.
While often associated exclusively with larger corporations, the importance of implementing some form of social responsibility extends well beyond that and is just as important, if not more so, for the success of smaller brands and businesses, including real estate agents. In fact, the research found that businesses that are not socially responsible may be jeopardizing their customer base, proving that a dedication to philanthropy is no longer simply considered a kind gesture, but has now become an expectation by the consumer.
Hand in hand with positive philanthropic acts comes the good PR that follows and the ability to build a brand around that good will. For real estate agents, however, there’s a very fine line between branding oneself as philanthropic within the community while also maintaining humility when publicizing it. Understanding the delicate nature of this situation, PinRaise, Inc. has developed their Agent with Heart™ program exclusively for real estate agents to not only make their mark in the realm of social responsibility, but to also be individually recognized for it.
Through Agent with Heart, realtors donate a portion of their commission to their client’s chosen nonprofit at the close of escrow. With each donation an agent makes, PinRaise launches a round of social media marketing across all major social sites in recognition of the donation. Donation amounts are always decided by the realtor and are never made public.
The publicity that Agent with Heart offers their agents with each donation is key to the success of realtors seeking to make an impact within the community because it assists them in building a brand around being philanthropic, while also generating a buzz about their individual generosity online. Because much of the business realtors generate comes from referrals and recommendations, the positive PR that follows a donation is of the utmost importance.
Additionally, a credible third party source like PinRaise sharing news of an agent’s philanthropic gestures across outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram not only assists in spreading the word about an agent’s good will, but also creates a ripple effect where those posts can now be shared by that agent, their followers, etc., further strengthening an agent’s brand. Being able to develop a reputation of giving back within the community leads to building a strong network of people who will speak highly of an agent because of their goodwill, helping them to stand out from the competition in a positive light, all while attracting new clients.
The Agent with Heart program also gears its agent publicity toward capturing the eye of one social responsibility advocacy group in particular, millennials. According to the Cone Communications research, millennials correlate 85% of their purchasing patterns with the community efforts a business is making. Additionally, they make up 66% of first time buyers in the United States, and 34% of overall homebuyers. After reviewing those three statistics, it would be remiss of any real estate agent not to recognize the importance of capturing the millennial market with social responsibility.
Through the Agent with Heart program, agents are able to uniquely appeal to the millennial generation of homebuyers by individually branding themselves as an agent willing to “pay it forward” and give a donation to the local community. Agent with Heart also understands the research-driven tactics behind the purchasing decisions of millennials, and acknowledges the value in each individual donation promotion across all social platforms; the more visibility an agent receives for the generosity of their donations, the greater the appeal to the millennial market.
In an ever-changing time when consumers are actively seeking businesses to do more for the community, it’s important for real estate agents to step up to this call to action. Branding oneself as an agent who makes a positive impact within the community isn’t just good for the community itself, it’s also good for business, and the Agent with Heart program has perfectly mastered the art of combining philanthropy with good PR.