Last Saturday night I had the privilege of hosting the Make Bullying History annual north shore gala dinner. It was a fantastic night at the Greengate Hotel in Killara, being involved as the MC was something I thoroughly enjoyed.
Real estate agencies are known for being supporters of the local community across Australia. It’s not surprising: a recent survey suggested that 89% of consumers today rank your community engagement highly when considering who to purchase from. But with the importance of having a shop-front location in every suburb diminishing, how do you stay relevant to the communities you serve? How do you make sure you’re selecting the right community engagement projects and why does it all matter?
For me there are a number of key considerations you need to address before activating your community engagement strategy.
Look for causes that you’re passionate about
Supporting something that your passionate about is always a good place to start. For example, I’ve always been a passionate sports fan and I believe that sporting clubs play an important role in supporting young men and women. Sport teaches young people great life skills, so sponsoring Gordon Rugby club has been a good fit for me personally. Gordon Rugby benefits from our financial sponsorship, which directly supports their senior and junior programs. It’s a something I’m passionate about and means much more to our business than just some arbitrary sponsorship.
Potential employees care about what you support
It’s not just your customers that value your community engagement. I’ve written before about the Millennial generation and what they want out of an employer. Beyond what it is you do, they place a huge amount of importance on the causes you support. Millennials want to feel connected to these causes and the values your business represents. A number of studies have shown the link, and its something you need to consider if you want to hire the best new talent coming through.
Involve your current employees in the process
I also encourage my employees to engage our business with causes that mean something to them personally. One of my agents that lives and works in the Wahroonga area is incredibly passionate about her local community, actively involving herself in a number of local initiatives. When she approached me about Curran Property becoming involved, I jumped at the chance. I want our employees to have a say about what Curran Property should support, it’s an important component of our corporate culture.
It’s important to be a leader
Being an entrepreneur is a tough gig; you’re often pushing the boundaries in pursuit of your business goals. I’m grateful to have received great support for my business from the communities I serve and as a business leader I enjoy being able to reciprocate. I think it’s important to show leadership in all aspects, not just in my business life. Causes such as the anti-bullying message from Saturday night deserve support from business leaders; if Team Curran can help by using our skill sets to raise money then I’m very happy to be involved. We won’t be the leading real estate brand we want to be without showing leadership in the community.