In case you missed yesterday’s post, you should read it before reading the rest of this. It’ll make a lot more sense.

Yesterday’s post left us at our first year of Thanks&Giving. Today is our second year & what a difference a year makes!

Press Fast Forward, Again

In the year since our first Thanks&Giving, a day where the funds raised by our agents are distributed, a lot has happened. We’ve grown by over 100 agents, opened a 2nd office, have our 3rd office opening next month, started a luxury brand, & introduced a revolutionary process of communication for agents that informs, educates, & builds value in Realtors. It’s been a great year.

All that said, today is the day I’ve been most excited about. I’ve been excited about it for a couple of months. Before we get to that, though, let’s take a step back.

Hitting Rewind

After doing so well in our first year, & facing the challenge of having a charity partner that made no sense for our new location in The Woodlands, we needed a solution. In the short-term, we decided to get involved with the local food bank near the new office. That said, we knew we needed to start figuring out a long-term plan for the future. We were kind of right back where we started. We had an incredible number of options in front of us & had to figure out what was right.

Remember yesterday when I said a seed was planted? Here it is…

Why Don’t People Buy Houses?

“Helping People Find Their Way Home®” is the mission of our brokerage. So, we started there. We started by asking the question, why don’t people buy houses? Our thought process was if we could fight the root cause of why people don’t buy houses then we could break cycles of generational poverty & create robust, thriving communities for decades to come. So, why don’t people buy houses? No, seriously. We had no idea. Do you? It’s a bit of a trick question.

Nailing Jell-o To The Wall

We set out to answer the question. We just didn’t know how. I reached out to some friends in the non-profit world. I reached out to NAR’s economists. I reached out to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center’s economists. Here’s the problem: there is no one reason why people don’t buy houses. There are a bunch of reasons why & each is its own riddle. Trying to solve this problem is like trying to nail jell-o to a wall.

Fortunately, Texas A&M’s researchers helped give us a starting point. They basically broke it down into two pieces.

The first was a lack of financial education. This is an American problem because we are absolute shit at educating our kids on financial literacy. Seriously do your kids a favor & teach them about finances.

The second reason was lack of education, a very nebulous explanation because there could be a ton of reasons for that. If you ask a food bank, it’s because kids are hungry. If you ask a housing charity, it’s because of lack of a place to call home. As it turns out, every charity in that arena is solving the problem & they are all right & they are all not completely right.

So I Got Drunk

Truth be told, I met a group from an awesome charitable organization & we all got drunk. It was pretty amazing. I got the insights I needed from some very, very smart people. I left that meeting with an awesome buzz, a ton of excitement, &, more importantly, direction. They also helped introduce me to some people who introduced me to some people who solved our problem.

But First…

I’m gonna take a minute & brag on my people. They are amazing. One of our core values is ‘Committed To Our Communities’, & they have embraced the hell out of it. Not knowing what was going to happen when we set up the foundation, our agents have raised over $87,000 in two years. We set a goal to put a quarter of a million dollars back into the community in the next five years & are on pace to reach that lofty goal early.

Today we wrote checks for almost $40,000! We sponsored summer camp for Cy-Hope again, renewed our scholarship for entrepreneurs, sponsored a calf again at rodeo, & are matching wreaths for Wreaths Across America again. In addition, we sponsored the Montgomery County Food Bank, Habitat for Heroes, & the Katy Bubble Run (for our upcoming office).

Do For, Not To

We have a business philosophy at CB&A, Realtors called “Do For, Not To”. The idea is pretty simple. We want to create awesome experiences by doing for people & not doing to people.

Here’s a hard truth. With underprivileged kids, there is very little done for them. Almost everything is done to them. The worst part is that they have no choice, no say, & no ability to exit. We are going to change that to the extent that we are able. We are going to go out of our way to do for these kids. We want to change their lives for the better, forever. We want to break cycles of poverty. We want to create a ripple effect that impacts everyone in the community.

So, He Finally Gets To The Point…

Today we committed an additional $50,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide one-to-one mentorship for kids in the communities we serve. Through their Beyond School Walls program, we will be able to match our agents with kids that need them. It gives us the opportunity to do so much more than just write a check. It gives our agents the chance to truly change the paths of kids with limited options, for now, not forever. That changes today.

I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am overwhelmed by the continuing generosity of our agents. I am overwhelmed by the fact that I am able to go to work at my dream job every single day. I am overwhelmed by an extreme sense of hope for the future. I am overwhelmed.

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