GiveBackHomes Growing in DFW, Across U.S. Using Home Sales to House the Homeless

Blake Andrews GiveBack homesWhen did I first tell you all about Giveback Homes, the brain-child of local boy Blake Andrews? There we go: last August, 2013. Here we are, above, in Big D last month.

Giveback Homes is a network of socially conscious real estate professionals. Here’s how it works: the agent joins up and a bio page is created for them. Membership cost is $50 a month, and includes marketing assistance. That way, clients can find Giveback Homes agents on the website, so it becomes another marketing tool. The agent can then make a direct contribution to Habitat for Humanity (Giveback Homes is a building partner) from his or her nice big fat commission check, and then target that donation to build a home for someone who doesn’t have one. The first local broker to sign on was our own Rogers Healy.

A whole lot has happened since last August. GiveBack Homes now has members in 11 different states, more than 100 members, and is enjoying growing support from the Dallas real estate community.

Ebby agents Jane and Emily Yeatmans are on board, as is Robin McMoningle from Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, and Linda Vallala from Coldwell Banker.

Robbie Briggs funded an entire “build day” for $5000 that takes place on June 14.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Giveback Homes:  Klick PR is on board handling PR and media, with stories planned in Fast Company. Yes, that’s the pub that says Chelsea Clinton is now in the “family business”. Also, a reporter is accompanying Blake and his wife, Tricia, on their next building trip to Nicaragua.Giveback homes la

“It’s a marketing expense that differentiates you and your ad,” says Blake. “Agents can give as much or as little as they want — $10 or $1000. The donation you make in any amount at anytime is tax deductible and 100% goes to the Habitat of your choice straight off your bio page.”

Most home buyers don’t need another “crystal bowl” or similar housewarming gift, so clients are delighted to hear that their Realtor is donating to Habitat,  in their name, to celebrate their new home by helping someone less fortunate attain a home, often their first! The families Blake first helped in Nicaragua lived under tarps – that was the only roof they’d known all their life! In addition to helping to fund a home for a recipient, Habitat members can accompany Blake and his crew to the Habitat location where the home will be built and meet them, face to face. That’s why Blake seeks a large network of top-producing agents —  only 1000 in all of Dallas, DFW and surrounding areas. Agents are finding this is the kind of philanthropy that pays: his LA agents have already formed a Giveback Homes networking group that is driving business and referrals.Blake-Nicaragua-before

“We researched the Dallas area and focused on who we wanted to work with,” says Blake. “These are agents who want to differentiate themselves from the rest.”

Great example came as I opened my mail tonight: I got a paper card stuck inside my Preston Hollow People showing Coldwell Banker agent Linda Vallala as a “proud contributor” to Giveback Homes.

“I’m so proud to be part of such a wonderful giving network,” Linda told Blake.

Think of how much more effective and paper-saving an internet ad would be where people could connect quickly by a click? No better place than

Blake is headed to Nicaragua, this time with Giveback Homes members who will actually meet the families whose lives they will improve, in addition to building their home.

“We now have full partnerships with Habitats in New York,  Los Angeles, Dallas,  San Francisco,” says Blake. “We will soon be adding Florida, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington. Our first partner was Nicaragua, where we have already built 12 homes.”

The money is 100% for homes, says Blake; it turns your clients into humanitarians.

Blake Andrews is the son of Lana and Barry Andrews, a very generous Dallas family. Here he is with his wife, Tricia.

Blake and wifeyA few years ago, Blake, who now lives in Manhattan Beach, ventured out to work for TOMS Shoes where he was Special Projects Manager. He worked with another Blake, Blake Mycoskie, as in the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS. The two met while playing tennis as kids right here in Dallas, then got together 19 years later on a fishing trip to Costa Rica. They were on the same boat, and instantly recognized each other’s twin names. Blake M. was the brains behind One for One, a simple giving idea which has turned into a global movement. TOMS has given over 12 million pairs of new shoes to children in need since it began in 2006, in more than 60 countries. Recently the company also expanded its business model to include TOMS Eyewear, now helping to save and restore sight for those in need.

From shoes to eyeglasses to homes. This is how you change the world: one brick at a time.Linda Vallala