Four tips to help make your volunteer time count

One thing many of us REALTORS® have in common is how much we LOVE to give back.

Visit any local charity event or school function, and chances are, there’s going to be at least one REALTOR® donating their time.

Volunteering is an amazing way for real estate professionals to build relationships, expand your network and most importantly, play meaningful roles in the communities where you work and live. While some of us embrace this boots-on-the ground approach, others will donate a portion of their commission to a worthwhile cause. Some of us do both!

Regardless of how you choose to give back to your community, you want to be certain of two things:

  1. Is it beneficial to the organization you’ll be volunteering with and to your community?
  2. Is it a wise use of your time and/or money?

These are two important questions to ask yourself when you’re looking at volunteer opportunities. You want to be sure you’re being of service to your community as well as utilizing your time and resources wisely.

As past President of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), a former VREB Director and Co-Founder/Director of the Good Game Charity Society, I’ve learned a few things about making the most of your volunteer efforts.

1.Choose an organization or cause you’re passionate about

Not sure if you should help feed the hungry? Tutor kids? Coach a football team? There are hundreds of causes and organizations out there that need help. I suggest finding one that speaks to you and means something to you on a deeper level. When it’s something you care about, you’re more likely to be consistent—plus you’ll have more fun. When you’re having fun, you’ll do a better job and will leave a greater impact.

2. Make sure you have a job to do

You don’t want to show up to an event only to have your hands in your pockets, shuffling your feet—or worse, feel like you’re in the way.

Find out exactly what your job will be. Ideally, it’s something you—and only you—can do well. You’ll feel better having made a difference and they will be impressed.

3. Ask questions

If someone calls and asks for you to donate your time or money, it’s OK to have questions. Don’t hesitate to ask what the time or financial commitment is, as well as any other expectations they may have of you.

While some people will want to do a one-off event, some will want to dedicate a portion of their time on a weekly or monthly basis. The choice is yours, and there are benefits to both.

4. Use your network

So, you’ve asked all the right questions and the volunteer gig doesn’t sound like a fit for you. You can still draw upon your own network and provide a great referral to them of someone who you believe would be a better fit for the role.

If you’re not sure where to start, you could also reach out to your local real estate board or association and put your name in for a committee—an amazing way to get involved and learn more about our ever-evolving industry.

Whatever you choose to do, just get started. Find fulfillment now. You’ll be glad you did and your community will thank you.

The CREA Café team is responsible for the official blog of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The CREA Café is a cozy place for CREA to connect with our valued members and friends by sharing our thoughts and insights over a virtual cup of coffee.

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