Being a real estate agent isn't entirely about money. At least it shouldn't be. Making money as an agent is actually harder than some people imagine, and it definitely is a job. Making a living is not the only reason I chose this career. Sure I love real estate and taking care of my clients, but what I also value is having time to spend with my family, and time to devote to giving back to my community. For me, having time and giving back are what is more important than money. Being an agent is one way to lead a fulfilling life, not just a profitable one.
As a member of Lawrence Board of REALTORS® Community Relations Committee, there are several local projects that we coordinate each year to give back as an organization. We start the year off with Yard Sale which benefits a local charity, Family Promise. Family Promise is a local non-profit that benefits families that find themselves in a situation of need. This year on a brutally hot June day, we raised over $3,300 at the sale! Unsold items were donated to the Salvation Army. I love this event because it benefits the community and it's also a way to find a second life for the items donated by our clients.
After the Yard Sale is over, the Committee turns it's attention to two more events, the Charity Golf Classic and Toys for Tots. The golf event benefits a few selected families that have been identified by Salvation Army and the local Housing Authority as being in need of assistance. The goal is to provide the families with financial and other help to lift them out of the cycle of poverty.
My favorite event each year is Toys for Tots. I'm a sucker for Christmas and for helping kids. Each year thousands of kids get a little something for Christmas that they may not have had otherwise. I love volunteering to help local businesses drive donations to the event, but more than that I love devoting some time to volunteering at the Toys for Tots store during December. Being able to help parents pick out Christmas presents for their children is an incredible experience. As business winds down towards the end of the year, I can't think of a better way to spend some of the time a career in real estate affords me.
Beyond my commitments to the Community Relations Committee, I volunteer with Douglas County Senior Center. Three days each week I deliver lunch meals to senior citizens in Lawrence. It's always good to stop what I'm doing, slow down, and spend some time doing something that makes a difference in someone else's life. Real estate can get very busy, it's easy to lose focus of what's important. Delivering lunches is a way for me to stay grounded and remind myself that time is what's important.
My office in Lawrence, Stephens Real Estate, is involved in the community in many other ways and I try to get involved in as many things as I can. This year I'm on our United Way team, and we're just now gearing up for some events to take place this Fall. Being a real estate agent is a great life, but it's only as great as the time it allows me to do the things I care about. Spending some of that time giving back to my community is a job perk that I think few have in this modern age. Finding a way to be grateful for what I have in my life, I can't imagine it any other way. . .