A story about "cause marketing" is in this month’s Realtor Magazine. Village Real Estate and our commitment to our community through The Village Fund was featured on the last page of the article. Click here to check it out, or read the text from the article below.
Reaping the Rewards:
Passion for a good cause helps the community; it also reinforces business success.
By Robert Freedman
Mark Deutschmann, CRS, GRI, broker-owner of Village Real Estate Services in Nashville, Tenn., integrated charitable giving into his operation by giving a 5 percent equity stake in his company to the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation. The foundation takes its share of the company dividends and cuts checks to dozens of organizations whose missions are closely aligned with the smart growth focus of Deutschmann’s company. That focus – walkable communities, historic preservation, inclusive land use, sustainable economies – is charitable. But it also directly impacts the environment in which Deutschmann’s company does business.
"Our corporate mission is to counter sprawl and move Nashville back toward its downtown core," says Deutschmann, who launched his brokerage in 1996. Today, the company does development, home finance, escrow, rental management, and commercial brokerage in addition to residential sales.
Last year the company’s dividends to the Tides Foundation, coupled with donations from the company’s 190 sales associates and their customers, totaled $220,000 and helped to fund 75 nonprofits. Associates can recommend which recipient organizations they want to receive their funds and tie these choices into their own marketing efforts.
In one case, Deutschmann’s company helped an environmental group raise money by donating Village Real Estate’s commission on one property to the group. The company later received referrals from members of the nonprofit.
"I do think that consumers, particularly those tied to some of the groups we’re supporting, think, ‘Wow, they’re doing a great thing; I’d like to sell my house through them.’"
For each and every one of these brokers, doing good is its own reward. Still, by being out in their communities, employing their own marketing muscle to promote charitable causes, and gaining positive brand recognition as a result, these companies are helping themselves do more business.