Tactful ways to market your community-service efforts

Getting involved in your community is an organic way to grow your sphere. Not only will you meet people who may turn into referral resources, but you’ll also attract likeminded consumers who choose you because of the causes you support. Make your sphere a little wider by letting more people know about your philanthropic activities. Here are a few tips for using your community-service commitment in your marketing.

Highlight your efforts on your website. Add a section to your website about your service activities. Make it just as prominent as any other section and don’t bury it under “About me.”

Share photos on social media. Don’t just tell people you’re involved—show them. You don’t have to say much when you share pictures of you building a home, painting a school, or walking shelter dogs.

Ask others to get involved, too. If you’re hosting a service event or even just planning your regular visit to the local retirement home, let your contacts know they are always welcome to join you and how they can help, too.

Tell us about it. Email us if you’d like to share the ways you help out and how it has benefited you and your business.

Get to work with your fellow REALTORS®

Many local associations of REALTORS® organize community-centered volunteer events and fundraising. Your brokerage or franchise may be another source that organizes community-service projects. Check with your local association or brokerage to find out about opportunities you can be a part of—or take the lead on—in 2018.

Summer Mandell

Whether you already volunteer or you’re thinking 2018 is the time to answer the call of your community’s needs, formalize your community-service intentions in your business plan. Why? You’re more likely to do the tasks you’ve taken time to write down. Plus, research shows consumers gravitate toward and often buy from community-minded businesses, so including it your plan can enhance your overall growth strategy.

Treat community service just like any other item in your business plan like marketing, budgeting, and operations. Here’s what to think about when formulating this portion of your plan.

Think about problems

Pinpoint the area in your city where you want to focus your service. This is probably your farm area or the neighborhoods where you work most often. Then research what problems exist there that interest you and that you can help solve, such as education, homelessness, community revitalization, and disaster preparedness. If you have trouble finding a cause, see what local nonprofits are working on.

Think about relationships

Grab a piece of paper, draw a circle, and write your name in the middle. Draw lines away from the circle and add important potential partners who can help you solve those problems. It might be a religious organization, a civic organization, a professional association, a bank, other businesses, and so on. And don’t forget colleagues, friends, family, and even past clients or current prospects. Give yourself a solid hour with that piece of paper or until it’s full.

Think about action

Just as you would in any other section of your business plan, identify the specific actions you need to take to help with the issue you’ve chosen. List your mission, goal, objectives, strategy, and tactics. Remember, the more specific, the better.