Community Engagement

As we set up our business to be successful, I think it is important to also understand the value that businesses place in our culture and in our localities. What we can do as business owners, especially those of us who are successful business owners, to help; and while helping promote our business, to also help those folks who need the help. There are organizations like Habitat for Humanity who go out and build a house for a family, the community gets together, it sponsors that people work together for a common good. I think that is pretty cool. But what can we investors do similar to that? Could we buy a house and give a house away? Absolutely, if we bought enough houses. Could we start a one-on-one program where maybe for every house that we buy, we donate $1,000 to a homeless shelter? Wouldn’t that be kind of cool?

Think about that one for a second. For every house you buy, you give away money to a homeless shelter or a women shelter or men shelter so people that do not have homes have a place to stay, have a place to eat, have a place to live, whether it is, permanent or temporary. When we do these kinds of things, if we do them silently, that is okay. But we probably ought not to do it silently. We probably ought to let people know that we are doing it. I mean, first of all, we have the choice to do it or not do it. It is not something we have to do, so we are doing it because we want to. So, because we want to and it is a good cause, yeah let’s tell someone about it. Let’s tell the news that we are doing it. Let’s tell our clients that we do it when we advertise. I think it will be just a really cool thing. For every house I buy and sell, I donate $1,000 to Habitat for Humanity’s project. Or, you will start doing some self-sponsoring.

Maybe we want to do Christmas drives, you know, start a local toy drive. There are all kinds of toy drives already, but kids need more toys. You are a successful investor, why don’t you start another program that says, “I Buy Houses Annual Toy Drive” — get it on the news. Yeah it is going to take a couple of years for it to take hold. People will help you. People will help donate toys, and the key focus points is two things — kids that did not have anything for Christmas are now going to get toys, and your name is going to be recognized as the company who sponsored it. Outstanding!

I remember the years that I used to sponsor grammar schools, so I was the school’s sponsor. So if they needed something and it was not in the budget — by gosh, I got a phone call. But I gave them pencils, I catered lunches, I even dressed up one year as Santa Claus and gave away some bicycles to a classroom. And these kids were so happy to see Santa and man, what a cool thing it was. The schools were in the neighborhoods that I wanted to buy houses in so naturally it had some benefit to me, besides making me feel really good about it. But we can start promoting ourselves, promoting our brand, and start being interactive with your community. Pick a charity, any charity! Just pick one and let them know that you are going to be a gorilla investor and you are going to help promote them. All charities want your help. Find one, pick one. Maybe they have some that are really dear to your heart.

Maybe you have someone in your life, relatives or friends, who have died of cancer. Maybe you need to go to the cancer walk every year and promote it. Be one of the major promoters. I mean, guys and gals, we make a ton of money buying houses. Let’s start giving some of that money back, my goodness gracious. There are not a lot of people that make the amount of money that we make. And it is going to feel really good and it is going to help our business prosper. It is why we are in business.

You know, I remember the time that I walked in the grocery store on Thanksgiving, and I bought everybody groceries. Now, I was not crazy. I only took $5,000 with me, but I spent $5,000 buying everybody’s groceries that day. I have bought 22 cars, I believe the count is currently, for people that I do not know or I do not know well. They needed a car, they could not get around, they could not get to work, they could not get into life. I bought them a car.

When was the last time that you have been interactive in the community? You have presented your brand in a positive light, you let people know that the reason you could do these things is because you are a real estate investor? What a cool thing. Become active. Do it on purpose.

You know, I always tell people to look and wear and dress like a real estate investor, so people know you are a real estate investor. I think it is important that when you are walking around, people know it. You know what? If you see someone that needs help, help. It goes a long way in the community. You know, if you have the red shirt that says “I Buy Houses” on it and you just helped someone, that person may or may not need anything that you have in business. But someone that saw you do that, may. They may see the guy or the gal over there that is helping someone for whatever reason, dressed up in an “I Buy Houses” shirt, and it is going to click. Next time they need to sell a house maybe they will think about you. Maybe they are going to start bragging about you. “I saw this guy or gal, he must buy houses for a living, and he was helping these people.” What a cool thing.

The last time I saw the Girl Scouts, I bought all of the Girl Scout cookies. And I just get to do it. I get to have fun. You know, I think I still have Girl Scout cookies. I do not think I will ever eat all of those Girl Scout cookies. Let’s get involved. Become part of the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the social clubs, the political clubs. Get your name out there. Tell people what you do.

We talk about social and cultural goals all the time. Well, what better social goal is there than to be in the Young Republican’s Club or the Young Democrats Club or the Old Republicans Club or the Old Democrats Club or some club that is going to define who you are and at the same time, define to who you are with who you are. So here you are: you are an investor, you are profitable, you are a gorilla investor, and you are leading the pack. People want to appreciate you, they are going to notice you, and they are going to tell people about you. You know, start doing stuff like that.

If anybody is reading this, and after it is done, they do not do this — shame on them. When you are done reading this, I want you to call your local news, radio stations and TV stations because you are a gorilla investor, and you know what? Each one of those news stations, radio and TV, they need local experts in the marketplace who they can talk to when there is a real estate event that needs an expert opinion. Yes, I know. I just asked you to become an expert in real estate and be on the news when the news needs an opinion about people who buy houses and what a community involvement positive that is. Do you realize, guys and gals, for a second that we are buying a house that has been run-down? The people that owned it cannot afford it.

We are buying that house in that neighborhood. That neighborhood does not want that house. They wish someone would come in like us, buy that house, fix it up, or sell it to somebody who is going to fix it up, beautifying the neighborhood. What a powerful, powerful, powerful thing that we can do by getting involved in our community, but we need to tell people that we are doing it! And that self-promotion will now promote for us when we start doing it on purpose and people start seeing the event and they can start counting on us doing it. You will get people to call you who will tell you as I have “I called you because you bought a house around the corner and you did such a great job, I thought that you can take care of my house too.” Isn’t that great?

And again I mentioned earlier the one-on-one programs. Man, find something. I am going to give, you know, $500 for every house I buy, I am going to give $10,000 for every house I buy, whatever. I am going to give a percentage of every house I buy to something. Not just do it like “Well, I don’t know who I am going to do it to, so I am just going to give all the money away to some charity and let them take care of it.” No. Pick a charity, get responsible, become part of the charity. Tell the news, which have you called as the expert, that you are doing this. They will write an exposé on you, they will interview you, they will put you in the newspaper. Man, they want people to do things like these. Let’s do it!

People will actually be attracted to your business model. And if you are sitting there in front of the seller and the seller says, “Why should I pick you over this other person” and both offers are equal, then you can look at that other person, and you can ask him this question: “Mr. and Mrs. Investor, when you buy this house, how much of the proceeds are going to go into the local community from a charity perspective? Because I know from every house I buy, I donate some of those proceeds to folks and families who are homeless, in shelters, in some sort of a situation where they do not have anybody else to count on and I am proud to say they can count on me.” Let us do this stuff. Okay?

Man, if you do not learn anything else from me in life, understand that you cannot take it with you. It makes you feel so much better when you do things for people. And do not do them for the wrong reasons. Make sure it is a business decision, it is responsible. What you do is responsible to the society that you are in, the locations that you are in. Do not harm people. It is not ego driven, but there are rewards to doing it. And there is a difference between doing something because it is ego driven. Like, “I want to tell the world that I can do all this” is different than doing something to help somebody, and then telling the world that you did it. So make sure your priority is first in “I want to help someone” and not in “I want to help myself.”

Man, visit a hospital if that is all you can do. Wear your “I Buy Houses” shirts. Tell all those nurses and doctors in the hospital that is what you do and just say, “Hey, if there is anybody here that does not have a family, I just want to come and sit with people.” Go to an older folks’ home, do the same thing. Say, “is there anybody here that does not have family visiting them? Does anybody need me to read to them, talk to them?” Man, these folks would love to have your company. It does not even cost anything. You just have to do it. Get your brand out there. Get your person out there. Tell people that you are a community-aware person and that you want to help. Do it. That is all you have to do. Just do it. Get out there and volunteer yourself to help people. And doing that will, in turn, help you.

I hope you take this one to heart, guys and gals. I really do. I have spent my entire life focused on helping people. It is all I really want. I just want to help. I want to be able to give back to somebody something that I was gifted to have and it just — I could tell you it feels good. Man, let it feel good for you too.
Until next time. You guys take care.

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