Pay Forward and Give Back

Have you ever been helped by someone for no reason except they were themselves helped by someone along the way? Well that is the concept behind “pay-it-forward” and “give back.” I’ve been the beneficiary of business mentoring myself, so I understand the concept. At no cost to me, I have received coaching from people who have made it themselves, they but feel the need to give back to others and share what they have learned. That is where I learned to “talk to two people every week about what I do and who my ideal clients are.”


In the US market today, where there are plenty of jobs and plenty of homes for sale, employers and real estate investors need to compete. They need to find that distinguishing virtue that sets them apart in the mind of employees, buyers, or sellers. In real estate, it makes sense to take up the philanthropic challenge with the virtue closest to our heart—Shelter the homeless.

Philanthropic work turns out to be is a two-way street that in one direction provides meaningful work, good morale, and purpose to people in business; and in the other direction, provides necessities, like housing to people in need. Profit is good. Awards are pleasant. Followers are GREAT!. ‘Likes” can’t be beat. But, building a home for people who really need one with a portion of the profits earned from selling a home completes the circle of justice, offers purpose to workers and investors alike, and brings joy to communities.

I was pleased to find that the following three charitable home-building models for giving back are active in our Texas communities. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start, so perhaps one of these examples may spark ideas that you would like to pursue.

GiveBack Homes

One company that gives back according to the one-for-one business model (sell one, give one away) is GiveBack Homes. According to their website, Giveback homes is a community of real estate professionals who are committed to creating social change by helping build homes for deserving families around the globe.

At their website,, you can join the team or contribute to a project. Blake Andrews learned the one-for-one building model by working for TOMS. TOMS gives away a pair of shoes to a needy person for each one they sell. When Blake went on a giving trip to Nicaragua for the shoe company, he fell in love with the people and decided to dedicate his life and talents to giving back internally and domestically. He founded Giveback Homes in 2013. Scanning their website you can see that they are currently working on clean water projects and building homes in Nicaragua, Mexico, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sarsota.

New Story Charity Homes

New Story Charity homes is pioneering solutions to end global homelessness. On their website,, they point out that “an estimated 3 million people will be living without access to adequate shelter by 2050, a 200% increase over three decades.” They research breakthroughs in homebuilding and prove them then share the information learned with other builders so home building can become affordable and efficient. Since 2015 they funded 2, 200 homes in 4 countries and 15 communities. The partner with home builders.

New Story partnered with ICON a construction technology firm to develop the first 3D printer designed to print homes. The first version of the printer was Vulcan 1, unveiled in Austin Texas in March of 2018. In 2019, Vulcan 2 will print the world’s first 3D printed community.

First, they ask before they build, asking families for their input before they build to increase the likelihood the communities will thrive. 100 % of donations go to home building. And, they work with local organizations who are experts in the location they are building in. So far, they have worked in Haiti, Mexico, El Salvador, and Bolivia.

Operation Unified Response

100316-N-5961C-020 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (March 16, 2010) An aerial view of Port-au-Prince, Haiti shows the proximity of homes, many damaged in a major earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

Concierge Auctions

Concierge Auctions was founded by Laura Brady in Manhattan and is a luxury real estate company that moved to Austin, TX in 2014. According to an article in Barrons magazine by Alanna Schuback, Concierge Auctions partners with GiveBack Homes and funds the construction of a home for people in need for each luxury property it sells and offers its employees opportunities to visit and take part in the construction projects in Nicaragua and El Salvador. I couldn’t find any information about this program on their website, but it is a beautiful website at, so they don’t advertise their charitable work much. However, their founder Laura Brady is a member of GiveBack Homes so that is the connection. You can visit her profile at

According to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, “companies that donate a portion of their revenue to charities do better financially than those who don’t. (Barrons, December 8, 2018). And, some employees actively choose companies to work at because of their charitable activities.

Home sellers and buyers are passionate about more than money too. Like workers, they too are interested in meaningful work, good morale, giving back, and creating good.

Let me know if you have found any deals this month that you know you can turn around and resell with enthusiasm. I hope that I can be of help to you this month.
I can be reached at
Austin, Texas

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Spike Call [Public domain] Haiti
Real Estate Brokerages Are Building for Good, Alanna Schuback, Barrons, Penta, December 8, 2019

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