4 people in a circle hands in center - group effort

Last week, I wrote a blog post asking, “What does your firm do to pay it back?” In the post I detailed some of the work that brokerages are doing in their communities to tackle homelessness and support local nonprofit organizations.

I also asked for stories from other brokerages and received a couple of responses worth sharing.

One of the terrific responses I received came from Peter Mosca of Century 21. C21 is one of real estate’s most iconic brands that’s inching close to its 50th Anniversary (founded in 1971). I don’t have any C21 offices in my local market, so I was unaware of the depth and breadth of their penchant for giving and community participation. But I wasn’t surprised. My life-long experience with real estate agents is that they are some of the most community active and generous people in the business world.

Peter shared that last year, Century 21 universally raised more than $3 million for Easterseals alone. Easterseals has been around for 100 years now. It provides exceptional services to people with disabilities, including education, outreach, and advocacy to help those with disabilities live, learn, work, and play in their communities.

That’s a big number, $3 million. But here’s a bigger number. The Century 21 partnership with Easterseals started in 1979, and since that time, C21 independent franchisees and affiliated sales professionals donated $123 million to Easterseals.

For 40 years, Century 21 and its sales professionals have been giving back to their communities in a remarkable way through Easterseals. Michael Miedler, president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate, describes their effort as being “relentless corporate stewards” in supporting Easterseals. He gives credit to his team, noting this fundraising effort “is baked into our culture of helping to build better communities in which our brokers and affiliated agents live and work.”

The leadership of Easterseals describes what Century 21 has done as an “indispensable resource to more than 1.5 million children and adults with disabilities, including veterans and seniors.”

In a news release, Century 21 shouted out to their top three brokerages fundraising efforts:

  1. CENTURY 21 Town & Country; Utica, Michigan
  2. CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company; Dallas, Texas
  3. CENTURY 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd.; Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

CENTURY 21 Town & Country in Utica, Michigan raised almost $1.5 million alone, and they’ve been the top fundraising C21 brokerage for Easterseals for 22 years straight!

Moreover, is this statistic: our neighbors to the north are crushing it for Eastseals as well.

Eleven of the Top 21 leading Century 21 brokerages raising Easterseals funds are Canadian firms.

This effort is so impressive that I want to share Century 21’s full “Top 21 List” of brokerages that raised funds for Easterseals. It also illustrates this point: you don’t have to live in a big market to make a huge impact as a brokerage when you pay it back.

Utica, Michigan has a population of fewer than 5,000 people, according to the 2010 Census. In the area, they have five offices and did a little more than 2,100 sides last year, ranked 444th in the REAL Trends 500 list.

And that’s what’s so cool about the list of their Top 21 Easterseals fundraising brokerage offices. You’ll see a lot of smaller towns on this list. Hopefully, this will serve as a wakeup call to brokerages who are not paying it back or think they can’t make a difference because their community isn’t “big” enough. Again, you don’t need to live in a big city; you only need big hearts.

The “Top 21” North American Fundraisers for Easterseals last year:

  1. CENTURY 21 Town & Country; Utica, Michigan
  2. CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company; Dallas, Texas
  3. CENTURY 21 B.J. Roth Realty Ltd., Barrie, Ontario, Canada
  4. CENTURY 21 Dome Realty Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  5. CENTURY 21 Scheetz; Carmel, Indiana
  6. CENTURY 21 Frontier Realty; McMurray, Pennsylvania
  7. CENTURY 21 Fusion, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  8. CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd., Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
  9. CENTURY 21 Foothills Real Estate, High River, Alberta, Canada
  10. CENTURY 21 Bamber Realty Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  11. CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Markham, Ontario, Canada
  12. CENTURY 21 Heritage House Ltd., Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
  13. CENTURY 21 American Homes, East Meadow, New York
  14. CENTURY 21 Peak, Woodland Hills, California
  15. CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold; Southampton, Pennsylvania
  16. CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd., Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
  17. CENTURY 21 Green Realty Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  18. CENTURY 21 Tenace Realty, Coral Springs, Florida
  19. CENTURY 21 Professional Group, Inc., Ocoee, Florida
  20. CENTURY 21 Heritage Group Ltd., Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
  21. CENTURY 21 North Homes Realty, Inc.; Everett, Washington

More good deeds

One more short story worth sharing comes from Sheryl Whitehurst, a managing broker at RE/MAX Traders Unlimited in Peoria, Illinois. Sheryl writes:

“Our Company has a Community Relations fund which is funded by monthly agent donations. We have a Community Relations committee that evaluates requests for donations. Some activities we are involved in yearly, others are as the need arises. In addition, every agent contributes out of each commission check to a fund for the local Children’s Hospital. We also host Blood Drives three times a year at our office.”

More proof that across the nation, both franchises and local brokerage owners are doing a lot of great work to pay it back in their communities. I hope these stories will inspire your brokerage. If you are not doing something in an organized way to pay it back to your local community, then create something powerful today. If you are doing something, great! But I will bet, based on the examples from Century 21, you could do even more.

Please share what your brokerage is doing to pay it back in a comment below or send me an email: kevin@wavgroup.com.

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