by Lesley Lammers
What if, with the purchase of a new home, you simultaneously made an investment in the wellbeing of the local community? After all, what’s good for the community should be good for the long term value of your home as well, right?
Ryan Crecelius, founder of Do Good Real Estate in Wilmington, NC, wants to help you do just that. With each home it sells, Do Good donates 20 percent of the commission to a local non-profit of the home buyer’s choosing. After less than two years in business, the company has donated $15,000 to local charities, averaging about $1,000 per transaction. Recipients have included Kids Making It, Dreams Center for Arts Education, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, and Paws 4 People Foundation.
An eternal optimist, Crecelius (29) based the vision of his business on the mantra that out of every bad situation—in this case, the 2008 housing crisis—can come something good. “The real estate industry has been a victim of tradition, with big firms using cheesy sales gimmicks to draw in customers,” he says. “Those things don’t have any traction with the newer generation clientele.”
Crecelius wants his home buyers to feel as though they are making a positive ripple effect in the Wilmington community. In 2011, he registered Do Good as a B Corporation—one of the first in eastern North Carolina—to acknowledge the company’s commitment to giving back. The company’s charitable approach has helped it earn media attention and word-of-mouth referrals from loyal clients, but at times, it forces tough choices. Once asked what he would do if a home buyer refused to do business with Do Good unless she could keep the donation money for herself, Crecelius replied, “It’s called Do Good Real Estate, not Do Good Sometimes.”
Crecelius cites the credo “to whom much is given, much is expected,” claiming he was given all the tools in the world to be successful, including a supportive and encouraging family. “A lot of people can just go out there and make money, but I don’t think success is related to money,” he says. “I think it’s using the tools you’ve been afforded to do something good out there. This is a business and that’s how I make a living. But I get to go to bed every night and really feel good about what I do.”