Coldwell Banker Elite agents are thankful for opportunities to give back
Since 1980, Coldwell Banker Elite’s team of experienced Realtors has helped countless families buy and sell houses. But built into the culture at this family-owned Fredericksburg business is an understanding that ensuring those houses become beloved homes requires a commitment to work for the betterment of the entire community.
“The idea of giving back is built into our nature, and there are so many different areas that our agents are involved in,” said Kevin Breen, Coldwell Banker Elite Broker Owner. “I walk into our offices and I’m usually tripping over boxes of food for a food drive or something else an agent is working on in the community—there is always something going on.”
Nearly two years into a pandemic that has created many new needs in the Fredericksburg community, Breen and his team say the desire to strengthen the community through service is as strong as ever.
“Each day those outside of our company see our agents and staff helping their clients buy, sell, rent or lease home, land and commercial space. What often goes unseen is the deep connection we have within our community. Those associated with Coldwell Banker Elite are standing outside of department stores collecting school items for children who need them, volunteering at the SPCA to help care for future companion pets, volunteering to clean up area parks, collecting food for the food bank and gifts for families who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas and so much more. The staff and agents serve in leadership roles and on the boards of directors for countless non-profit organizations in our area. The list of giving and volunteering is extensive. This is the manifestation of a culture of servanthood and giving back to the community so that those who are struggling with food insecurity, housing and basic life essentials can know a better life.”
— Matthew Rathbun, Executive Vice President, Coldwell Banker Elite
Helping people is job No. 1
The Coldwell Banker Elite approach to real estate is about forging relationships with clients, seeking first to understand their needs, then working with integrity to meet those needs. That same approach drives much of the charitable work Coldwell Banker Elite agents do in the community, from raising funds for Habitat for Humanity, to volunteering at the SPCA, to organizing cleanups to protect the Rappahannock River led by Realtor Sarah Hurst.
Many of these efforts are driven by the diverse interests and backgrounds of the brokerage’s team.
Breen, for example, came to the United States from Ireland in 1971 on a track scholarship at East Tennessee State University. Out of appreciation for the impact that running had on his own life, he helped the Fredericksburg Area Running Club establish the Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix race series.
This series of competitive races has helped thousands of area residents make friends and stay active over the nearly 40 years it’s been going. But more importantly to Breen, it’s served as a launching pad for additional races that benefit charities throughout the community, including Rappahannock Court Appointed Special Advocate (RCASA), the Mary Washington Healthcare Regional Cancer Center, the Fredericksburg SPCA and many more.
“I feel like I’ve given back to the sport that gave me tremendous opportunities,” Breen said.
Breen has also enjoyed serving on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity—a term that ended in late 2021—and on the Stafford Hospital Foundation, which awards grants to improve wellness across the region.
Coldwell Banker Elite’s culture of giving has been embraced by agents and teams, like the Giveback Team led by Ginger Walker, which gives a portion of every commission to a charitable entity.
The Love Smith Team of Kelli Love-Smith, David Smith and Marilyn Love-Cody regularly gives to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to recognize the role it has played in the lives of friends who have lost children to cancer, said Love-Smith. The Realtors also contribute and make time to serve at Micah Ecumenical Ministries, which serves homeless individuals in the area.
“Everyone can give back in one form or another, but it needs to be with a good heart and not for any other reason,” Love-Smith said. “We often feel like we get more out of giving or serving than the program we are giving too, so sometimes it feels almost selfish.”
She and Breen are both thankful that real estate gives them the ability to give back to the community, but feel that because they approach their jobs as a way of helping people instead of selling houses, “It has never felt like a job.”
To learn more, visit ColdwellBankerElite.com.