Why Vegan Real Estate? That’s usually the first question people ask when they hear about us. Our best response – why not?
We came into this industry looking to do something drastically different. It’s all too easy to default to the self-promoting, self branded, face on your business card real estate agent, isn’t it? But that’s not really why we did it. It started with this idea, and quickly avalanched into so much more. Being different is easy to say, but often more easily said than done.
So why did we do it then? Well, first of all we have collectively met thousands of realtors – consulted them, sold to them, worked with them, and we noticed something – most agents are just marketing themselves and selling what they can do. What if instead of selling ourselves, we can sell an idea bigger and more out there than ourselves that a community we support might just get behind? What if we could do business with this community and give back to it at the same time? This is where things really took off, and vegan real estate began. We hit the drawing board.
The most pressing question we get is – aren’t you pigeonholing yourselves by seeking to serve such a small segment of the market? Not quite worded like that, but you get the point. Well, I could sit around throwing stats at you about how quickly veganism is growing and how passionate this community is, but if you’re reading this you probably already know that. Instead, let’s talk about how overextending your brand is worth questioning in the first place.
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” You’ve probably heard that before, but how does this apply to real estate? Well, why does someone choose a realtor? Experience? Good looks? Referral from a friend? Maybe all of the above. The point is, if you try to be everything to everyone you face an uphill battle from the start. The same goes for relationships, work, business, travel, etc. We’re here to make a stance that in business you should stand for something, and from that the rest will follow. Making money is great, but it doesn’t really fulfill you, does it?
We believe business is about three things – making a living, making a difference, and making yourself and others feel FULFILLED. Fulfilment, it’s not something most people we know feel often, is it? Sadly, it’s not something most people objectively and honestly strive for – we are largely caught up in shallow endeavours and quick-to-the-dopamine-receptor pleasures these days after all. In a sense, we do, but I would argue most therapists could help you see otherwise. If your BIG WHY is money, you’ve already lost.
So, what is our big why? Our big why is that we live on a deteriorating planet, and it’s going to take a collective effort to change that. Veganism was a great place to start for us – for ethical, environmental, and health related reasons. So how can we bring this into business if we’re not selling a vegan product? Well, that’s easy. We can take a portion of what we earn, and put it back into the community in a positive way. We can engage with other vegan businesses to grow through strategic partnerships and cross-promotional activities. We can educate our peers on how to get their message out to the world through the forms of media in which we are practitioners. We can create awareness through our brand and bring light to our movement. The list goes on. I could ramble on about all the ideas we have for this brand, but it will ultimately be the community who decides how we give back. The new age of real estate will be rich with energy saving smart homes, micro-gardens that feed you, and sustainable construction – so it’s really not all that foreign in terms of what we value.
I’ll tell you what our why isn’t, though. It’s not because we are extremists trying to push our own agenda down everyone’s throat. We believe veganism should be about making a difference, and not about being perfect or idealist. In fact, we believe this is why some people fear giving it a chance in the first place. Leading by example will most often surpass leading with an iron first. Extremism with any belief will eventually lead to conflict and the creation of a divisive idiom. The reason why some of us fail to undertake a challenge is often through fear of failure and judgement. That is not us – we are here to support any and all people who care to have the non-judgemental conversation about how we live. We are here to create sustainability. We are here to create community. We are here to create respect.