BLOG POST BY LAUREN LEAL, DIRECTOR OF ENGAGEMENT AT THE NEWS FUNNEL
From produce to fashion to green-building standards, it’s safe to say the fiery force behind social responsibility is much stronger than a seasonal trend. Transparency and accountability in a brand hold so much weight it can actually swing a client’s decision to work with one brand over another. A recent study shows 90% of the consumers in America would switch brands to support a cause they care about.
While it’s typically associated with large corporations, integrating some philanthropic element into smaller organizations is equally important. Afterall, social responsibility extends to every individual. Those companies who are not engaging in social responsibility are totally jeopardizing their customer base. How can your brand hop on board?
Create a Socially Responsible Mission
How the company runs on a daily basis is just as important as the check they send off to a local non-profit. Social responsibility should be part of the DNA of your business. It should focus on authenticity, minimizing harm, thinking locally, focus on efforts to promote passion among your team, and transparency. These values should infiltrate your brand and shape everyday choices made by executives, managers, and employees. Of course, this will look different in every industry. In commercial real estate, it can be something massive, like a pledge that all newly constructed buildings will run on renewable energy by 2050. But an annual community engagement project or Day of Giving campaign also holds an important weight in the eyes of potential clients.
Educate Your Team
The road to social responsibility is not easy and you can’t do it alone. Call in all backup--you will need the support of your team, and maybe even of an expert if you’re making this shift in an established company. Everyone needs to not only stay informed but also passionate about the new values integrated into the mission.
Do your part to keep everyone informed. Hold meetings (with some snacks, if you can swing it), and send out emails and memos--energize the office! Motivate everyone to promote the sustainable shifts and be able to answer customer questions. If the team is jazzed, members will throw out ideas and hold their work to the values they preach.
Establish Attainable Goals
Of course, we would all like to end homelessness, but that is a massive undertaking that a single real estate agency doesn’t have the resources to achieve. And that lofty goal has been thrown around so much with its pals “ending world hunger” and “starting world peace” that they have become cliche buzzwords in PR. Instead, suggest your team volunteer for homebuilding humanitarian projects in your community. PinRaise has developed their Agent with a Heart program, which makes a donation at closing to a nonprofit of their client’s choosing.
In an ever-changing time when consumers are actively seeking businesses who do more for the community, it is important for commercial real estate agents to step up to this call for action. Branding yourself as an agent who makes a positive impact on the community isn’t just good for the community itself--it is good for the agent and the clients they back.
Need help with your social media strategy? Contact Jen@thenewsfunnel.com to learn more. We manage some of the BIGGEST brand’s social media in CRE and more importantly WE GET RESULTS.