Attending community events and associating one’s brand with local charities has long been a strategy for real estate professionals to market themselves; however, those who take the extra step in making volunteering a part of who they are and start a nonprofit of their own are few and far between. But that’s just what Dan Spransy did.
Nearly two years ago, Spransy, broker/owner at Realty Executives Cooper Spransy in Madison, Wis., launched Before 16. The 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation matches host families with international orphans who are almost 16 years old—the age at which most adolescents around the world are forced out of the adoption system.
"When these kids are hosted, the chance of them finding a family goes from around 1 percent to upwards of 70 percent," Spransy tells Housecall. "Given that around 60 percent of the girls [that age out of the system] end up in prostitution or sex slavery, and many of the boys in the criminal world, I look at it as we are literally saving kids' lives."
And Spransy has been successful in leveraging his position at his brokerage to benefit his efforts. Many of the initial host families at Before 16 were families within his brokerage—at a cost of $2,950 for four weeks, this is no small sacrifice. Also, most of the dollars the foundation has raised have come from the Realty Executives community on a local and international level.
"I have been able to speak at our regional gathering [about Before 16], as well as at the Broker/Owner Conference for Realty Executives International," says Spransy.
David Tedesco, CEO of Realty Executives International, has also gotten involved. In addition to personally asking Spransy to speak at the Broker/Owner Conference, Tedesco has also made a generous donation of $10,000 to Before 16.
Tedesco tells us that, at the corporate level, he feels it's critical for Realty Executives International to lead by example and seek out opportunities to make a difference.
"Giving back is part of the fabric of Realty Executives, and I'm proud that our brokers and executives make it a priority to help those in need within their local communities, from holiday drives to building homes through organizations like Habitat for Humanity," says Tedesco.
Dan Spransy and Realty Executives have stepped up in many ways to help change the lives of young people around the world. In addition to assisting with fundraising, brokerage members have also hosted and adopted children themselves—an act that shouldn't be understated.
And although not everyone can make such a monumental effort, every brokerage should be making a difference in the community. What charities are you personally involved with?