At the core of Keller Williams is a belief that we can contribute to lives in a BIG way. Janice Overbeck, owner of the Janice Overbeck Real Estate Team in Marietta, Ga., is a shining example of this culture in action.
Overbeck learned at a young age about the value of giving back to her local community. And while there is no doubt that her intentions are focused on giving, she’s seen her real estate business benefit from the new relationships she has naturally fostered through her philanthropic efforts.
“Real estate is one of those businesses where you can grow your business with your charisma,” says Overbeck. Keeping real estate “real” and connecting with people face-to-face is something technology can never replace, especially when you have mutual interests.
Prior to joining Keller Williams, where associates “cap” on the total amount of franchise fees owed every year, Overbeck was paying 25 percent of her hard-earned commission back to her broker. As the number one agent for homes sold in all three Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s offices in Atlanta, Ga., that amount was substantial.
“Once I capped for the first time, rather than retaining the additional money I was accustomed to paying out in broker fees, I decided to donate it to ALS research at Emory University,” Overbeck says. A worthy cause so dear to her heart, as Overbeck lost her father to ALS.
Recently, Overbeck learned of another worthy cause that captured her heart and called for her time and resources.
Homeless Pet Clubs is a program where school-aged children work with a local animal shelter partner, giving them an opportunity to make a difference while working together to get homeless animals adopted. The animal shelter provides these students with a picture and story about a selected animal in the local shelter. By teaching children the power of empathy for all animals, this program is bringing kids together and connecting them through a shared interest and effort. Together, they grow friendships and help their community.
Overbeck also learned the importance of giving at a young age. “I didn’t need all the money that I earned babysitting, so I saved it for the offering plate at church. I learned if you give to others, you are more blessed. You want to be a go-giver, not just a go-getter.”
Being a go-giver comes naturally to Overbeck. “Your efforts have to be genuine, no matter what you do,” she says. “If there is something you have a passion for and you can integrate it into your business, you will grow your business around meaningful relationships with people you have something in common with. No matter what your passion, you can use it to share your story.”
While Overbeck’s motive for her involvement in Homeless Pet Clubs is out of a genuine love for the animals she helps save from high-kill shelters, it has had an unintended boost to her business. “We start conversations about something we have in common with others, and in my case, that is the love of animals,” says Overbeck. “Then, later down the road, we may talk about business, but the important part is starting a relationship founded on common interest.”
Last year, Overbeck opened her first mega agent office in a big way. She sponsored a pet adoption event at her new office, which resulted in nine adoptions in a single day! “This was the most successful adoption day Homeless Pet Clubs has ever experienced,” says Overbeck.
Now it’s your turn to make a difference, to meet like-minded people and to be the hero in your story. What is your passion, and how can it fuel a charitable cause in your community? As Overbeck says, it’s really simple. “When you give back, you are happy, and you go to bed blessed at night knowing you helped bless others.”