REALTORS® Build Communities is a phrase that connotes much of the collective impact that housing and all types of commercial business properties have within communities. That may seem altruistic, but just as applications for NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards are coming in, NAR Commercial learned of an organization that is doing well by doing good.
Michael Pink of MAP Real Estate Inc. in Chicago, has been a tenant rep for nearly 25 years. Over a decade ago, he and his wife, Sharon Porter, who handles the administration of their brokerage, embarked upon building their community. They had three objectives at the time: develop their business, differentiate themselves and add a component that would make them feel really good about being in commercial real estate.
The keystone of what they’ve built was giving part of each of their commissions to a charitable organization of their client’s choice. Beginning in 1995, that’s just what they started doing and, from that simple idea, Investing In Communities® (IIC®) was born. Today, IIC® is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization – a unique endeavor that turns business transactions of socially conscious people directly into philanthropic events.
Here’s how it works. Real estate professionals who wish to grow their businesses, increase exposure and have a positive social impact can become IIC Real Estate Members and have their contact information added to the IIC® searchable database. REALTORS® are joining the brand new social enterprise and, along with nonprofits, business professionals, and individuals, will help their communities and empower consumers to become philanthropists at no personal cost. IIC® leverages resources from real estate transactions to generate unrestricted funding for nonprofits, and IIC Friends get involved when they have a real estate need and use IIC® Real Estate Members to handle the transactions.
Michael didn’t quite envision how personally rewarding it would be to be involved in this win-win-win scenario. He’s enabled a law firm to give funds to help stop Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), knows how appreciative teachers were upon getting funds to support art in schools, through Art Resources in Teaching, and cheered as Dreams for Kids used funds to empower at-risk youth and those with disabilities. These are just a few of more than a hundred initiatives that Investing In Communities has produced. There will be many examples of how REALTORS® are helping their communities, and we wish all of you good luck as Good Neighbor Awards are conferred next month.