This year we see a re-orientation of life toward family, friends, community and nature. As Realtors we are active contributors to our community. As such we have an important leadership role to consider. Are we agents of change?

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Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends says consumers are seeking connection with brands. You are a brand; your real estate practice is a brand and consumers are looking for meaningful ways to connect with you.

“Brands can practice stakeholder capitalism and connect with consumers by demonstrating authenticity, empathy and a commitment to both stakeholders and communities,” says the Deloitte report.

Here are five things that you can do to connect authentically with your clients and your communities around Earth Day.

1. Tell your clients that climate change solutions matter to you.

Find ways to tell personal stories of your experience of climate change. The best way to do this is to share stories. For example, I often refer to times when I was a kid, when the ski season was longer and the lake was frozen earlier and later in the season. Stories are personal to you, so choose something that resonates with you. If you speak about your personal experience, your clients we’ll have an easy time connecting with your ideas and sharing in your experience.

2. Do something in your community about the environment.

This could be as simple as planting a tree or driving less frequently. An important part of this is connecting with your clients, so find ways to share your action in order to inspire others to be part of the solution.

3. The health of your local economy is vitally important to your real estate practice.

Local amenities, including stores and restaurants, contribute to the quality of life in your neighbourhoods. Find ways to personally support small local business and help your clients to understand the value that local businesses contribute to real estate. Communicate your commitment to the local economy and encourage others to do so too. This will give you an opportunity to authentically connect with your clients in order to deepen your trust within your community.

4. Eighteen per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from residential property.

Homeowners care about the health of their communities, their family and the environment. Connect with your clients and help them find ways to make their homes more energy-efficient. If you don’t know where to start, check out the new Real Home Collective podcast.

5. In 2020 and 2021 we have seen incredible changes in economics.

There is a clear global shift away from single bottom-line economics toward inclusive equitable and climate-friendly capitalism. Environmental sustainability goals (ESGs) have become a prominently discussed feature of financial products.

Examine your business and imagine how it scores on environmental sustainability goals. Consider incorporating ESGs into your brand. This can be as simple as declaring a goal and then following through. For example, you might choose to plant a tree for every listing. If you decide to do that, make sure you share your story so that your clients can understand that your actions show your caring and commitment. In this way you involve your clients in your goal achievement and maybe inspire them to get involved.

Real estate is an amazing business that thrives on human connection. Your business is built on these connections. This is an opportune time for you to integrate community values of health and sustainability within your brand positioning in order to deepen and enrich your community and the relationships you have within it.

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