Helping Hands: IREM Chapters across the Country Make a Difference through Community Service

By Mirel, Diana | Journal of Property Management, November-December 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Helping Hands: IREM Chapters across the Country Make a Difference through Community Service

Mirel, Diana, Journal of Property Management

Time is not money--at least when it comes to community service. More than 65 million Americans engaged in volunteer work between September 2004 and September 2005, according to information from the Corporation for National & Community Service. Nearly 28 percent of volunteers reported contributing between 100 and 499 hours of service free of charge in 2005.


It might seem little time exists for such good old-fashioned altruism in the real estate management business--where dealing with tenants and residents, solving problems and juggling responsibilities is more than a 9-to-5 job.

Real estate managers are finding the time, though--whether it's to swing a golf club for a cause or show off handyman skills to fix a property in disrepair. As a result, they're experiencing personal and professional rewards.


Many professionals are able to commit more time and resources to community service projects in part because of supportive employers or industry associations.

Companies and professional associations recognize they can make a difference in the communities they serve. Therefore, they facilitate opportunities and offer resources for employees and members to do good works through thoughtful community service programs.

"Companies have a responsibility to their shareholders, but part of that responsibility is to ensure the communities where they do business are the best they can be," said James van der Klok, vice president at United Way of America, which works on community service projects with corporations nationwide.

Companies bettering their communities might be indirectly improving their bottom line at the same time. Socially conscious companies often benefit from improved public image as well as stronger local communities made up of consumers and potential employees.

Eight out of 10 Americans said they trust companies supportive of service-oriented causes, according to the 2004 Cone Corporate Citizenship Study, commissioned by Cone Inc., a strategy and communications agency engaged in branding and marketing companies. In addition, 74 percent of survey respondents said a company's commitment to a social issue influences which products and services they recommend to others.

Professional organizations are similarly attempting to shed a positive light on their industries through socially responsible causes and programs. Many IREM chapters facilitate community outreach programs to demonstrate their commitment to society and not just the industry.

"It's important for these [industry] organizations to show everyone else we're not just about property management, but we care about people too," said Chris Thomas, CPM and president-elect of IREM Chapter 64 in Arkansas.



While organizations and companies may have much to give, deciding where to allot their time and money can be difficult. For real estate professionals, the perfect community service initiative might involve improving a property or choosing a cause directly affecting a colleague.

The success of any community service initiative hinges on choosing a mission that makes sense and sparks passion, said Julie Dowrey, IREM associate executive for IREM Chapter 24 in Indianapolis. She said picking the right cause will inspire more people to volunteer.

"People have to find something that is a natural fit, something that speaks to them in terms of what they do for a living," Dowrey said. "If you find the right place and the right [cause], you can get your members to join in on anything that makes sense."

The Indianapolis chapter's Closets for Coburn project made sense for its membership because it involved improving a property's living spaces, Dowrey said. The property--Coburn Place Safe Haven--is a transition home for women and children who are homeless as a result of domestic violence.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Helping Hands: IREM Chapters across the Country Make a Difference through Community Service


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?