Inspired by a tragedy that struck the house, a real estate company reaches out to those in need
Commercial real estate and the companies that build it impact everything. From the stores people shop in, to the buildings they live in, to the schools their children attend, CRE is everywhere, which is why commercial real estate companies need to think beyond their latest projects and to their communities as a whole.
Lee & Associates is the largest broker-owned CRE firm in North America and takes this mission to heart. Founded in 1979, the company deals in a wide variety of real estate services, including commercial real estate brokerage and integrated services. In 2019, the company created CompassionateLEE, a charitable organization that organizes fundraising events and organizes awareness events that allow Lee & Associates members to give back to their communities.
“At its core, Lee & Associates is an organization of people who do and infiltrate their private lives as well as their work,” said Kate Jordan, Director of Lee & Associates and President of CompassionateLEE. “When we realized how many people were doing great things, we decided it would be beneficial to achieve economies of scale and work together as a company to accomplish great things.”
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas and severely affected several Lee & Associates team members. The team banded together and quickly raised funds to help those in need, which inspired the company to officially create CompassionateLEE two years later.
The organization’s initiatives throughout 2021 include fundraising for the American Lung Association, an umbrella of children’s hospitals, and the Trevor Project, among other charitable groups.
One group CompassionateLEE is supporting this year is Wounded Warriors Family Support. The association offers assistance to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. This help goes beyond mere financial support and also extends to emotional and psychological support. The group also works with military and nonprofit partners to fill gaps in services for injured veterans and their families.
“I would like to expand support for some of the organizations that our employees already support,” Jordan said. “I know from personal experience that when you start something from scratch it can be hard to gain traction because you don’t have a track record. It’s really amazing that we have the ability to bring the substantial resources from Lee to support some of these wonderful organizations when they need it most.
CompassionateLEE also works with major charities, including Feeding America, the nation’s largest national hunger relief organization with a network of food banks, food pantries, and meal programs in nearly every community across the United States. .
Jordan said this charitable work is tied to the company’s mission as real estate professionals. Often, she says, people notice how Lee brokers have gone above and beyond to help them. Helping larger communities seems like the natural next step, she said.
“CRE professionals play an important role in their communities, representing the engine of local, regional, national and international economic growth in their work with landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers,” said Jeffrey Rinkov, CEO of Lee & Associates. “We have a vested interest in the success of local communities and are obligated to give back by donating their time and funds in an effort to create better conditions for the families and businesses resident in those communities.”
He added that thriving communities, supported by the charitable contributions of CRE professionals, create better economic and employment opportunities, higher land values and better rental rates and can become a catalyst for general business growth. and economy.
Kandi Jaeger, executive office manager of Lee & Associates in Cincinnati and president of CompassionateLEE, said her office regularly hosts events for schools, food banks and after-school programs like the Boys & Girls Club.
Looking ahead, Jaeger hopes CompassionateLEE can expand its reach nationwide.
“I would like to see a continued drive to increase our annual permanent giving,” Jaeger said. “Finding the perfect scenario for people to plan an annual donation, feel that tax deduction for charitable contributions, while having the good feeling that the donation goes first to our own people in need, and then supporting others within our communities nationwide that have a specific need.”
This article was produced in collaboration between Lee & Associates and Studio B. Bisnow’s press team was not involved in the production of this content.
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