Doing good in your community is good for you and good for business. The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky tells how to get started on your charitable journey.

This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.

With vast networks, local connections and their pulse on the community, real estate agents are uniquely positioned to make an impact beyond assisting their buyers and sellers.

From volunteering with local organizations to createing change in your neighborhood to seeking opportunities on a national scale, there’s no shortage or need for good.

Here are some tips for finding a cause that’s right for you and getting started on your charitable journey.

Stay true to yourself

When agents are figuring out what charitable outlet they want to invest their time in, I share my No. 1 piece of advice: Follow your passion. What do you care about? What work would fuel your spirit and bring joy to your life? Whether it be helping animals, volunteering to build affordable housing, cleaning up the beach or fundraising for public health, choosing something that you authentically care about will help inspire others.

Our philanthropic partner at The Agency is Giveback Homes, and every year we host a series of “build days” in the regions we serve. Through our partnership, this has been an amazing way for our agents to give back and serve their local communities, especially since as agents we’re passionate about providing housing for all walks of life.

Use your talents

You don’t need to throw a fundraiser if you hate event planning; don’t choose to do a charitable triathlon if you don’t like exercising. Leverage your wealth of talents to create impact. If you love writing, assist a charitable organization with its blog or marketing efforts. If you have a background in construction, do a build day.

Bring your skills to the table — you have plenty of them. Real estate organizations are a great place to start for those (like you!) who are passionate about the housing industry. Groups like Inman have endless tools and education platforms on a national level; you’ll see some at the upcoming Inman Connect New York.

Find small opportunities for big change

Making an impact doesn’t have to require 20 hours a week of your time. As a busy entrepreneur hustling in your real estate career, you may not have that, and that’s OK. But don’t let it stop you from getting involved.

Look for small opportunities that you can devote your energy toward: a local canned food drive, the volunteer day at your child’s school or an afternoon picking up trash at a local park. We host engaging philanthropic events throughout the year to raise money for our upcoming build days.

We’ve hosted boot camps at Barry’s and bartending events where myself and our managing partners are shaking up cocktails to raise enough money for our upcoming build day. We’ve even rappelled off buildings to fight homelessness in partnership with the Union Rescue Mission for their annual Over The Edge event. Not only do these events get us to our goal, but they also celebrate our culture of giving as a company.

These things matter and will propel your momentum into more activities, connections and ideas.

Doing good is good business

As The Agency’s president, Rainy Hake Austin always says, “In the end, doing good and being good is good business.” Through your philanthropic efforts, you’ll become a more closely knit member of your community and the world — it’s a win for the good of humanity and for your own abundance. You’ll meet new people, be exposed to new spheres, and, ultimately, grow your business.

Remember to remind people that you are a real estate agent. Have your business card on hand, and intentionally make connections when you can. We also try to pay the inspiration forward by providing our staff with paid volunteer time off so they can donate time to causes near and dear to their heart.

You have a valuable service you can provide to people in your community and business. Not to mention, your charitable endeavors may be a great opportunity to plant seeds that will grow into business down the line.

Tell your story

Telling your story is part of your opportunity for impact; share what you’re doing, and express why you’re doing it. It may just inspire others to make an impact themselves!

Leverage social media to post pictures, share real-time stories, and tag the people and organizations you are working with. The world wants to hear it.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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