As a Real Estate Agent, you hold a certain position in your community—you literally know it inside and out. That can give you a unique perspective on its needs and the resources necessary for meeting them.

Like many Real Estate Agents, you probably support local organizations with donations or by volunteering your time. While such philanthropy has always been considered a good way to build awareness for your services, it may not be as effective in generating new leads as taking a cause-based approach to marketing.

Cause Marketing Defined

The difference between philanthropy—periodically giving time and money to causes or participating in events—and cause marketing is that the latter is part of your business strategy. It’s giving that occurs automatically, each time a client does business with you.

Increasingly, companies across industries are adopting this approach because of the importance many consumers now attach to how a company’s operation reflects its commitment to social responsibility. When given the opportunity, the majority of people, especially among the youngest generations, want the money they spend to also have a positive social impact.

Merging Your Giving Activities into Your Business Strategy

Companies that pursue this type of marketing strategy tend to choose alliances with nonprofits that help reflect their firm’s commitment to the community they serve. Generally, they see it as an authentic extension of what they stand for and what they do.

Consider two examples from other industries. Fast-casual food retailer Pret A Manger Ltd. is a global company built around the premise that all the food it serves is made daily from fresh ingredients. To ensure this, it clears its shelves each night, donating the unsold food to local charities. Similarly, Toms, the footwear company, donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every retail pair it sells. In both cases, the interests of customers, the firm, and those in need are consistently served by the business strategy.

In an industry where the “product” is a commission, some Real Estate Agents have begun marketing their services with the promise that a percentage of their proceeds from each closed transaction will be donated to a nonprofit.

Whether they choose to support homeless shelters, local parks, or some other cause, it can create that same type of seamless connection for clients. The client benefits from knowing social good results from the transaction, the Real Estate Agent still generates income, and an organization all parties can feel good about receives a donation.

It’s a Delicate Line Leading to Your Bottom Line

Incorporating acts of kindness into the way you conduct your business has always been a good practice. After all, people tend to remember and repeat stories involving acts of kindness. When you go a step further and find a way to align your bottom line with those acts, your story is an easy one to tell and retell… even in your own marketing material and on your website. It can also help distinguish your services from those around you.

Ultimately, the act is its own reward. However, if done genuinely and routinely, these acts enhance appreciation for genuineness of your firm’s commitment to the community.