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What are You Doing to Connect with Your Community?

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

As REALTOR®s, we ought to always be creating new ways to put ourselves out there, as well as sharing them with each other. If you are looking to give back to your community in some fashion and are stuck for ideas, here are a few Outside-the-Box ideas that have helped me to continue to be fruitful both in business and my personal intentions for being better at both. 


Women's Wisdom Circle

I'm a big believer that women who come together with the common intention of inspiring one another can make a very positive impact on their own lives and on society as a whole.  Last year I wanted to gather some of the positive-thinking women in my local community to sit down together and share a quote, a story; anything that inspired them to be better women. Our first gathering, just about a year ago was monumental in several ways. Women who didn't even know each other sat down and were completely authentic in what touched them and I was so honored to be a part of that afternoon where we bared our souls and were all moved by it. It should have come to no surprise to me that we could peel away the layers in a very short period of time and expose our soulfulness without qualms. It did surprise me and was exactly what I needed to start the year of 2018 with inspiration and mindfulness. We continue to meet in a loosely arranged, mostly once-a-month gathering at my home, now a year old, increasing in numbers and sharing authenticity and wisdom! (This month's theme: rejuvenation). 


Facebook Group: "Fishhawk Lake Folks"

(The photo above I took years ago of some of our neighbors at one of our volunteer events. This is what greets people when they visit our community site)

This may not be for everyone. I wasn't and am still not much of a Facebook user, but years ago, I decided to create the Facebook group called Fishhawk Lake Folks (now 361 members). For several years it was an open group on Facebook. Photos, stories, videos of  Fishhawk Lake are shared amongst members, along with power outages, road closures, general weather problems, and every now and then, when someone is missing a tool, a pet or an ingredient for a recipe, they put it on my group page, and within a few moments of replies, someone has the solution! 


Because we have a Homeowner's Association, there will always be some sordid tales of what's not being done right regarding the volunteer board and last year when there were some tough dialogues about an increase in dues and what was or wasn't being reported honestly, there were times when the back&forth got to be a bit heated. 


One board member asked me privately to take the group down. I felt that the conversations needed to happen, without picking sides. After all, it was based on community, as an open forum type of site. I did not take it down. I did make it a private group and added 3 questions that potential members have to answer. Not tough questions, but if you don't bother to answer them, I don't make you a member. 

We got through that bump in the road. People really do appreciate the immediacy of reaching out to neighbors and we are back to getting along, or simply not being snarky, because I want this to be a "community" in the truest sense of the word. 


Resource List

Living as well as working in my local community, many of my buyers who became new neighbors would call me after their purchase and ask about a roofer, or who brings gravel, who can build a dock, etc. etc. It seemed very natural to create my own Angie's List of sorts, so I put that together on my website alphabetically and have added to it over the years. It has saved me and my community a lot of time and headaches because we are remote and not everyone comes out here to service our area. That and it's always nice to hire a contractor who actually shows up ON TIME and gets the job done because they come recommended! 

In the years that I've had it, I will only add those companies and services that I've either used myself or have been referred to me by a satisfied member of our Fishhawk Lake community. I've also added utility companies, local restaurants, pharmacies, animal control, county phone numbers, even a local dog park! It helps everyone, gives those businesses a bit of free advertising and I don't get so many phone calls at 9pm asking if I know a plumber! 


Three unusal ideas...what works for you in staying connected with your community?





Comments (37)

Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By Real - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Gayle, I really like your idea to add the preferred tradesmen you recommend to your website. That's valuable and saves you time by being able to send anyone who asks the link. I find the community page is a great one, we made one for Kingstowne, on occasion we get some ugly comments but, the good far outweighs the bad. Thank you for your post, I hope you are doing well!

Jan 10, 2019 05:15 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Gayle, love your post, and we do need to contribute.   Our Association has a project (or two) every year.  We have "beautified" yards for the eldering, brought sweatsuits to the VA, and contributed financially to non-profits in the area.  Like your ideas.

Jan 10, 2019 06:53 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Amanda S. Davidson so nice to see you and your astute comments. That Resource List has been a God Send. My neighbors will also let me know when they've used someone whom they think ought to be added to it. I have it on two sites and send those links to not only my buyers/sellers, but to other agents as well. 

And another thing I tell my neighbors and soon-to-be neighbors, "No matter how small a community it is, you're always going to find a curmudgeon." They also chuckle and often agree. (Especially with an HOA, it does ruffle feathers). 

Joan Cox not only contribute, but connect with all age groups, genders and the like. What is important is choosing something that you are passionate about, as it makes it much easier to keep up with. 

Jan 10, 2019 09:14 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate - In a world where people seem to be drifting apart, you're ideas pull people in. If they weren't interested, you wouldn't have achieved the type of success you have so far. Good for you!

Good friends trust each other and know who to count on in times of need. You have done some great things for your community!

Jan 10, 2019 03:44 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP as do you, I am sure! Being relationship driven is at the top or what we do, right? 

Jan 11, 2019 07:58 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

It's great to be so involved in your community. Good for you!  Great move on the FB neighborhood page.  Snarky can get nasty pretty quick!

Jan 14, 2019 06:07 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Jan Green good to see you, missy! Thanks for the positivity. 

Jan 15, 2019 06:55 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Those are all great ideas to connect with your community and neighbors.  I especially like the Gayle's list idea being on your website.

Jan 20, 2019 11:46 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 my Resource List is a big hit. Especially in a rural setting that's pretty remote. Always a pleasure to see your beautiful beaming face! 

Jan 21, 2019 10:38 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I love this post and am surprised it doesn't have a little gold star, Gayle! Such wonderful ways to connect withg your community. I do much of the same with a twist on one and then one other one that works well for me.

I don't share my vendor list - I let all of my new clients know that I keep an active list of preferred vendors. That way, they reach directly out to me for particular vendors - it's another 'touch,' I think.

Also, I host a quarterly event - most often to volunteer together. Clients love our charities and we have a great time working together. 

Hope you have a great week ahead!

Jan 21, 2019 03:34 PM
Margaret Goss

I like that idea - hosting a volunteering event!

Jan 23, 2019 08:01 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Debe Maxwell, CRS I can appreciate the idea of keeping the list to yourself as another avenue for connecting. I found that people were calling late at night and other times that weren't always conducive to quick return phone calls, so this seems better. That way, other agents can use it for their buyers as well. Seems to work very seamlessly. 

Every year, I too, do a charity "thing" for my last year's clients. I tell them that I am going to do a "pay it forward" for a charity of their choice in their name(s). I also give three choices if they don't have one in particular. It's always been very well received and I'm a big fan of paying it forward! 


Jan 21, 2019 05:12 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate ,

After reading your post it amazes me it's not featured. I love the examples you gave of ways you choose to network within the community you live. So gratifying for all involved..nicely done. I still continue to volunteer once a month at our area food bank with a group. It's an afternoon or morning that I treasure. I also sponsor many events in our community and love to see the families come and enjoy time mixing and mingling with their friends and neighbors.

Jan 23, 2019 05:26 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Gayle, for sharing some of your successful business efforts. Many agents have not yet learned the value of creating Facebook groups.

Jan 23, 2019 05:50 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate


You're idea of women's group is ideal. In my community there is an established non-profit called the Women's Exchange which started about 30 years ago and now offers seminars, classes, and salons. All on topics that are relevant to women. 

You may be on your way to such a group! (I inlcuded the link to the post I wrote about it.)

Jan 23, 2019 08:04 AM
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Great post Gayle 

Jan 23, 2019 08:40 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR we had a great turnout for our Women's Wisdom Circle to kick off January 2019!! Such an incredible feeling to bring strong women together...we can create many positive changes in our world, one female step at a time. I know that you are an intrinsic part of giving back in your community, yay, Dorie!!

Roy Kelley thank you, as always for supporting me and my ideas. 

Margaret Goss thank you for including the link, I'll definitely check it out for ideas. Even in a small rural community, connecting and supporting other women in all of our endeavors is KEY. 

Ricardo Mello thank you, I am most appreciative!



Jan 23, 2019 11:19 AM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

What a surprise!!! 


Jan 23, 2019 11:29 AM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

We were planning to get involved with elementary schools in the area and possibly fun runs.  Those are a great way to interact with you community. 

Jan 25, 2019 01:19 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-739-3843

Kevin Mackessy it sounds like you are involving yourself in something that is a passion for you. I think that has to be part of it if you are going to be a volunteer or put more energy into something that doesn't always immediately spell "money". I think we get back what we put out. Gotta be positive!! 

Feb 01, 2019 02:19 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Love being involved in the community and posting videos and information about what is going on.

Feb 03, 2019 02:37 PM