Commissions for a cause
Real estate agent Anne Fish has given 10% of her commissions to good causes for as long as she has worked, and now she is making that a formal program that she hopes other Realtors and the buyers and sellers of real estate will join.
Fish, an agent with the Jackson office of Engel&Volkers, has pledged 10% to charities and nonprofits in the area, is giving her clients a hand in directing the money and hopes that will increase what’s donated.
The more formal approach, she said, is a way clients from outside the area, people new here, can begin to put down roots.
“You’re not just buying a house” when you move to Jackson, she said. “You’re buying into the community.”
For buyers, she said, “it gets them involved, introduces them to the community ... people don’t know this community if they’re from California or New York or Texas.”
Fish is encouraging that initial involvement by directing half her 10% donation herself and giving buyers a chance to say where the other 5% goes. She’s ready to provide a list of likely beneficiaries: Among recent recipients of her donations are Special Olympics, Dancers’ Workshop, the Teton County Sheriff’s Auxiliary, Horse Rescue, Dog Is My Copilot, Climb Wyoming, Central Wyoming College-Jackson, the Teton Regional Land Trust, Community Entry Services, Kiwanis, pARTners, the Children’s Learning Center, Pet Partners and Good Samaritan Mission.
Last week she handed a $10,000 check to Old Bill’s, the Jackson umbrella group that distributes millions of dollars in aid every year.
But it’s not all big bucks: When Fish gave a $325 check to the Teton County (Idaho) Animal Shelter “they were almost in tears” for even that much support.
Fish’s sales in the last year have ranged widely: She sold a $315,000 condo in Victor, Idaho, and a $6 million house north of Jackson. She said she has sales pending that amount to about $7 million. Commissions are in the 5% range, minus expenses.
Fish is working with a real estate colleague in Virginia who had a similar idea; the two were put together by a mutual friend. They plan to call the effort What Matters Real Estate Partners.
Fish knows many real estate people already support a variety of causes, but she said a buy-in by all of them would be huge: Sales this year by the 600 members of the Teton Board of Realtors are estimated to hit about $1.8 billion.
— Mark Huffman