Shaking My Head … Yes

Impact Club

A buddy of mine, Josh Painter, in Temecula California has been catching some heat lately. He owns a real estate brokerage appropriately named, Impact Realty. In 2016 alone, he and his partners donated $20,000 to the Front Row Foundation — an organization that provides ‘front row experiences,’ for those who are fighting terminal illness.

You may recall back in October, I shared a quick video Painter made, introducing us to Jayden, a five-year-old boy battling brain and spinal cancer. Together, Painter and his team granted young Jayden’s wish — sending he and his family to the Barnum and Bailey circus, in Denver.

What’s more … earlier this year, Painter co-founded the second Impact Club™ chapter in the United States. He pulled together 180+ local donors for the purpose of pooling small donations to leverage huge impact. Impact Club™ Temecula continues to grow and after just two events, has raised almost $40,000.

Every single penny of it going to local charities.

Sounds like the kind of guy you might want to be associated with, right? Sadly, not everyone else seems to see it that way. Painter forwarded me an email last week that left me shaking my head in disgust.

I’ll get there in a moment. First, let me tell you about a conversation I had the other day with a friend of mine — a local Realtor.

She reached out to tell me that she was strongly considering making a career move. I invited her to lunch. We caught up and talked through it. Come to find out she’s being heavily recruited by what I’d refer to as a “mega agent team.” Think kingdom leadership, high volume cold prospecting, multi-line robo-dialers, scripts, a guaranteed sale program etc…

A/K/A — the classic sales-driven approach to real estate.

Knowing her as I do and respecting her character, I couldn’t see it. While I could appreciate the frustration with her current circumstances, it just didn’t seem like the right fit. And so I asked, “what’s the appeal?” She confessed, “I just want to show houses and write contracts. I don’t want to have to deal with all the other stuff.”

I can respect that. All the other ‘stuff’ involved in growing a business can be maddening sometimes. The thought of greener pastures … of making more money with fewer perceived headaches can be intoxicating. Then again, I’ve always struggled to grasp the allure of operating in an environment in which agents are encouraged to be nothing more than real estate agents. Where selling another home or two or three is touted as the ultimate objective.

To me, that, in and of itself, feels like a hollow pursuit. 

In time, I’ve come to the conclusion that being a better or more successful real estate agent is not my higher purpose in life. But I also know, as one of my closest mentors advises, the business is just a vehicle. A service. A way to package and deliver a message. It is not an identity. It does not define or limit what one can do.

That concept, I believe, is one that far too many fail to grasp. Which brings me back to my story about Painter.

Rumor has it, a rogue group of Realtors in his area have threatened to boycott his brokerage — Impact Realty. Apparently there’s talk of walking back on their commitment to Impact Club™ Temecula. Pulling their donations and support.

From their distorted perspective, throwing support behind the one equates to an open endorsement of the other. In their eyes, being part of something bigger than themselves  is a conflict of interest. Their identity too small to comprehend the significance of such actions.

As Gary Vaynerchuk might say, they’re unable to grasp the thought that “legacy is far greater than currency.” 

But not Painter. His response to the onslaught of negativity being slung his way by this group of petty protesters was spot on. He wrote.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I appreciate that you contacted me directly to get some clarity. For the last couple years, I’ve wanted to be more than just a [expletive] real estate agent. I want my life to mean something, and I want to impact as many people as possible. I care about making an Impact. Giving back. Making a difference in our community and in the lives of others … If people want to object to the word “Impact”, that’s fine. Impact is my belief system. Impact, the word, isn’t the name of a company or a club. It’s the type of person that I am, and the type of people I wish to surround myself with. Painter’s Email Response

I’m in the middle of a book right now called People Over Profit by Dale Partridge and in one of the first chapters he writes, “We began researching and found that more than 1.6 million charities existed in the United States. Of those, over 700 were going out of business everyday. The main reason these charities were going under was lack of funding and lack of awareness. They had plenty of passion but they needed help generating revenue and buzz.”

As I read that, I couldn’t help but wonder how different those numbers might look if there was passionate group of Impact Venture Capitalists in every metro area … Stewards of the community … People hardwired to want to impact lives. Raising awareness and cutting $10,000, 15,000, 20,000 checks every quarter to fund social impact.

A group collectively shaking their heads yes, rather than no …. 

Well, if  Josh Painter and other local Impact Club™co-founders have anything to say about it, in time, we may well find out.

Stay tuned … we’ll launch Impact Club™ in the Austin area later this year.

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Ryan France

Ryan France is a native of Austin Texas, father of two, super-early riser, avid reader, admitted podcast junkie & bulletproof coffee addict. In a past life, France was an aspiring professional baseball player. Today, Ryan is an entrepreneur, author and relentless innovator of the real estate industry. Read more on the "Who is Ryan?" page.