families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate

families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate

Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of every home sale or purchase to a local nonprofit of our clients’ choice. Recently, Agent Kimberly McAleenan’s client chose Families First here in Colorado.

Prevention is key.

Raising a family takes endurance and love, patience and grace. Life, on the other hand, often gives us chaos and challenges. And, parents are tested on their patience regularly. Every. Single. Day. It can take a lot out of anyone.

It is the belief of local organization Families First, that prevention and education can help parents and caregivers with frustrating moments and explain parenting skills that can make peace at home.

This in turn, can help end the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

If a family is struggling, they can contact the Families First Support Line, which one mother said was “more helpful than her doctor’s office”:

“Crystal called the Families First Support Line about her ten-year old son was having a rough time.

The Families First Support Line volunteer discussed the situation with Crystal and empathized with her. They discussed the fact that all any of us can control is ourselves. Sometimes we need to work on that to prevent ourselves from getting angry.

A month later, Crystal commented that we at the Support Line were more helpful to her than her doctor. She said it was nice to talk to someone who really cared and was supportive in talking about her concerns.

After talking to us, there has been a big turn around with her son. She was very grateful to the Support Line for the help we gave.” – Families First

Parents and caregivers can also attend local parenting classes to get advice from an expert and fellow parents. Children aged 4 – 12 years old can attend certain free classes and have a separate curriculum. Kids can enjoy a craft, snack, and sharing time geared toward boosting your child’s self-esteem.

Parents have said positive things about the groups…

“If I had to drive two hours to get here, I would. It’s that important to me and my kids.”

“Most of us are not born knowing these ideas… If more people would take this class there would be fewer frustrated children and parents. It made me understand I’m not alone.”

“We were planning to go to the class anyway, but when we heard what our kids would be learning – well, we make this a big part of our weekly family time.”

Families First also offers intervention and began with residential care for abused and neglected children starting in 1986. Since then, they have developed programming to educate parents, help them connect with their children, and provide a place for positive parenting. And, they need donations to keep up with the demand.

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Kimberly McAleenan’s clients recently choose Families First for their Give 10% home purchase donation. (We donate at every home sale or buy!!)

Kimberly said, “One of my favorite thing about Families First is that they help the children and the parents! I think it’s really helpful for both sides to get the education to work together towards a stronger future. They are also opening a facility to help even younger kids so they can try to teach them good tools for life earlier!”

 

families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate, kimberly mcaleenanPictured Above:

Left: (from left) Conscious Real Estate Agent Kimberly McAleenan, Conscious Real Estate Client Molly, Families First Executive Director Adam Robe, Director of Communications and Outreach, Rosa Huber. “They shared a lot of insight with us and Rosa has been with the company 23 yrs!,” said McAleenan.

Right: Conscious Real Estate Agent Kimberly McAleenan finds the most thoughtful gifts for her clients and promised her client the best gnome ever as a closing gift. Ta-daa!


Inspiring? Contact us to start browsing properties today and make your local impact! – Conscious Real Estate

 

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 2

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 2

Continuing the list of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

Have you read Part 1?

Here are the second 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

5) They are emotionally intelligent.

Real estate agents will need to be able to use various styles of negotiation over time and will need to have the emotional intelligence to know which negotiation tactics will be useful in different situations. A lot of real estate agents, or humans in general, only know one style of negotiation. Some are incredibly nice, some use a “take it or leave it” approach. If an agent is accustomed to working in the city and then needs to work with clients in a small town in the mountains, they will likely need to take a different approach in their negotiations because the super intense Gordon Gecko shit is going to freak the mountain people out. They live in the mountains for a reason – to get away from loud crazy people. Furthermore, some clients will require their agent to take a hard-headed approach to negotiations, whereas other clients prefer to keep things mellow.

A good real estate agent will also know when to push you or when to back off. Some clients may find the perfect home for them and they are afraid to commit. A good real estate agent will know the area and know if this client has found a rare gem and that now is the time to jump on it! And other times, if the client isn’t quite ready yet, if the agent knows the area well, they can assure their clients that another home with that little extra “something” will come along soon.

6) Your agent pretty much always responds to you in a timely manner.

Things happen quickly in real estate. The Denver real estate market moves incredibly quickly and if home-buyers can’t view the property right away, it will go under contract pretty quickly if it’s priced correctly.

Furthermore, a lot of home-buyers and sellers get kind of freaked out during the process. I started noticing this while helping my friends with their real estate deals. Since I know how they are on a normal day, I have seen some of my most mellow friends start to lose their shit when they’ve had to buy or sell homes. Moving can be a huge stressor. There are a lot of moving parts (cheesy pun intended) and unfamiliar concepts during a real estate transaction. This can be very upsetting for Capricorns who like to understand every step of the process as though they actually are a real estate agent. If you have an agent who responds to you quickly, it can help to put your mind at ease if you have a question that’s burning a hole in your brain.

It can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

7) They’re proactive.

A lot of issues can be avoided by planning ahead. Surprises will always come up, but a good real estate agent will foresee the majority of potential problems in advance and at least give you a warning.  If your home doesn’t sell quickly for asking price, this agent is looking ahead to see what additional marketing they could add or if there are any quick and easy fixes to an issue that may be deterring potential home-buyers. If you are a home-buyer who is having a difficult time finding a home in your price range, a good real estate agent will be constantly creating new ways to find you a home in a competitive market. If you are purchasing a home, a good real estate agent will ensure that you are thoroughly inspecting the home and will have helped you carefully craft your offer so that you haven’t offered more than what the home will appraise for.

8) They’re honest with you, sometimes painfully so.

Every real estate agent has to be the bearer of bad news from time to time. We don’t look forward to this, but if we are truly being loyal to you and doing the best job we possibly can, then we have to do it, no matter how bad it hurts.

Maybe your dogs have used the carpet as a latrine one too many times, and you can’t smell it because you’re used to it. No one wants to tell you that your home smells bad, but if we are going to sell your home for top dollar, it needs to be free of pervasive odors. Maybe you feel incredibly soothed by your chocolate brown walls, but a lot of buyers prefer a warm light gray and we can sell your home for more money if you repaint your walls a more neutral color. Maybe you have spent your entire adult life working on your Star Wars figurine collection, but it’s not likely to photograph well or be attractive to buyers, so we might need to put Princess Leia in storage. Maybe we just found out that your last real estate agent sold you the home without doing a thorough inspection and now you are on the hook for $10,000 to replace your sewer line. Maybe your home just isn’t worth as much as you thought it was. Maybe your mom did real estate for 40 years and has now given you advice that is incorrect and we have to tell you that your mom is wrong. Seriously, my dearest client… I would rather stab myself in the eye than tell you that your darling mother is incorrect. All of this sucks. But if we are doing our jobs to the best of our ability, we will be honest with you even when it hurts.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist! You don’t just have to put up with an agent who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel right with the first agent who you’ve met, interview some others until you find an agent who can provide you with a positive experience.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Make sure you read Part 1 of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 1

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 1

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

A lot of agents will have practiced convincing scripts that are designed to get you to hire them. These scripts are formulated to be effective and many real estate agents play the numbers game. “If you talk to X amount of people using Y tactic in Z amount of time, you are likely to earn A.” For instance, these agents will use your name regularly throughout the conversation because that is a proven tactic to get people to like you… (I outlined a lot of the talking points included in these scripts in a previous series of posts, “Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them.”)

You are not a number, you are a person and you should be treated as such. A good real estate agent isn’t going to use a bunch of crappy tactics to get your business. A good real estate agent will be honest with you. They will be authentic. They won’t have to utilize a script, but rather, will be able to have a conversation. They will show how they can be of service to you. A good real estate agent will earn your business.

As a consumer, it can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

Real estate transactions truly are a convoluted process. In some cases, a consumer may be able to sell or purchase a home without the help of a real estate agent and not lose money, but those situations are few and far between. Most often, you need a (good) real estate agent. A good real estate agent will be able to gain your business without the bullshit… unless you enjoy falling for bullshit. Some people do and that’s ok. And some of you lovely people tend to succumb to pressure… or you want to believe the best in people and take what they say at face value.

Here are the first 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

1) You feel comfortable around them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing properties when another group of potential home-buyers enters who look miserable and awkward with their agent. I have seen agents stop everything to give their clients a history of residential electricity during moments that were completely out of context. I have seen agents mistakenly telling their clients that the floors are original hardwoods, when they’re clearly not only not original, but are made of manufactured product. Often, clients look like they have to “behave” around their realtor, like they are with their boss or are meeting their partner’s family for the first time.

You should not have to “behave” around your realtor. They are working for you, not vice versa. Whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable, whether you need to speak your mind freely, ask a million questions, vent about the process, breastfeed your child, or have a bowel movement, this is your time. You are buying or selling a house, dammit. It’s kind of a big deal. There should be no walking on eggshells – only honesty and communication.

If an agent is just coming at you with a sales pitch when you first meet, you are likely to feel uncomfortable. Get out there. When a good real estate agent meets with you for the first time, they will address how they can best meet your needs – not what supposedly makes them so much more special than any other agent.

Furthermore, consider this: if a real estate agents comes across to you as off-putting, how will the other side perceive them when it comes time to negotiate? If you are a home-buyer in a competitive market like the Denver metro area, sellers will be less likely to accept your offer if your realtor comes across as difficult or obnoxious.

2) They listen (instead of constantly running their mouth.)

This should be really obvious, but apparently, it’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people tell horror stories about realtors who simply didn’t listen throughout the course of their transaction. If an agent doesn’t listen to their clients, how are they going to achieve their objectives? If an agent isn’t listening to a home-seller, they may miss some key information about your property that will help it to sell for top dollar. Or if an agent isn’t listening to a home-buyer, they may waste their time by showing them a lot of homes that they aren’t interested in.

Some of my recent clients fired their previous agent to work with me. Among the many things that their previous agent did wrong, she didn’t listen. My clients explained to their previous agent during the inspection period that if the sellers didn’t fix the problems with the property, they were not interested in moving forward with the transaction. Period. Simple. They clearly expressed this to their agent, yet their agent ignored their wishes and continued to pressure her clients into moving forward with the transaction. What their agent should have done would have been to apply that same pressure to the home-sellers to fix the problems that the buyers desired. This agent clearly forgot who she worked for, and also, she simply didn’t listen. I assure you, these particular clients communicated very clearly and effectively. If she would have listened to her clients and understood that they meant what they said, she would have earned her commission. Instead, I got to pick up some clients who were already familiar with the market and already knew exactly what they wanted. All I had to do was my job, while they lavished praise upon me. They even bought me a sweater.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist!

3) They ask questions.

Not only do they ask questions, they ask good questions. How long do you want to stay in this home? What are your ideal goals for this property? Do you have the resources or the desire for a fixer-upper? Do you plan on staying at your job for a long time and if not, where might your job move? Which is more important – being near your work or being near your play? Will living near a busy street bother you? You’ve mentioned loving dogs – do you plan to get one (or many?) You mentioned wanting top dollar for your home – are you willing to paint the home, since “burnt sienna” has not been in style since 1993?

You may have your mind bogged down with this process, but a good real estate agent is like a detective. They will anticipate and meet your needs for many years to come by asking the right questions.

Many of my clients who are relocating to Denver need guidance on neighborhoods and areas. Most realtors just begin suggesting popular neighborhoods to their clients.  Here’s the thing: every neighborhood in Denver is popular these days and LoHi isn’t for everyone. I simply ask clients what their neighborhoods were like in their previous city and ask them what they did and didn’t like about their old neighborhood. I then use that information to guide my clients in which neighborhoods may work for them in Denver. We then drive around to various areas that could be a good match before we ever view homes.

4) They are here to serve their client, rather than themselves.

Real estate is supposed to be a service industry, but a lot of agents make the mistake of believing that they are in sales because they “sell” homes. Here’s the thing: the homes have to sell themselves, (although we can certainly showcase them in their best light.) Yet a lot of agents working with buyers push their clients to purchase homes that aren’t right for them, so they can close the deal and move on to something else. I understand why they do this – if the buyers don’t purchase this home, it could be several more months before they finally do purchase a home, which takes a lot of time and energy. The agents may simply need money now, so they push their clients to move more quickly than the situation calls for. Or listing agents may not get top dollar for their sellers, because that requires a lot more work. And yes – this stuff does take a lot of work. I have absolutely had days where I spend a lot of time winning a relatively small amount of money for my clients. It’s not necessarily a fun or relaxing way to spend a Tuesday – but if it’s important to their clients, a good real estate agent will make it a priority and do their best to achieve the desired outcome.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Check back next week for more on How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

conservation colorado, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, socially conscious businesses

conservation colorado, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, socially conscious businesses

Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of all home sales and purchases to a local nonprofit of their clients’ choice. Thank you to Sean and Marissa Laven for choosing Conservation Colorado and Conscious Real Estate.

colorful colorado, colorado, real estate, denver real estate, conscious real estate

“Welcome to Colorful Colorado,” the sign reads.

Colorado is a beautiful state full of natural beauty and color. Conservation Colorado is one local organization striving to keep our state colorful in another sense too – by including our residents of all colors in natural conservation efforts and supporting legislation to ensure environmental protection equally in all areas.

In Denver, some groups of people and entire neighborhoods have been unjustly slighted over decades. In particular, the Globeville area and neighborhoods affected by the initial construction of I-70 which cuts off local transportation in some areas and consistently produces more pollution. People who live in these areas now face increased health concerns and lower standards of air quality, among other health issues. Here is a report on the latest efforts from CDOT.

In Colorado, Latino residents comprise over 20% of everyone who lives in our state. Yet, according to statistics from our state government itself, they suffer more health problems and have lower incomes when compared to the entire population of Colorado. Just check out this fact sheet on the health disparities from the Colorado Office of Health Equity. Yes, there is an entire office devoted to this, but is it actually helping?

Local nonprofit organization Conservation Colorado seeks to positively influence legislation on conservation, clean water, curbing air pollution, and supporting fair development initiatives that do not unjustly isolate or harm one community over another:

“Unfortunately, our amazing state faces grave threats. Powerful interests are constantly pushing to put pollution and profit over public health. We are at the front lines of every fight working to protect the air, land, water, and people across our state.

We have a long and successful history in Colorado of collaborating on key environmental issues, working collectively at the State Capitol, and establishing strategic partnerships to find success on a variety of levels, including:

  • Ensuring that more than three million acres of wilderness will stay forever wild.
    Setting a statewide renewable energy standard, then increasing it to 30% and making it one of the strongest in the nation.
  • Working to minimize impacts from oil and gas drilling by updating public health, drinking water and wildlife protections in 2008 and continuing to push for further reforms.
  • Passing more than 130 different conservation bills at the state legislature in the past six years on a host of environmental issues ranging from water efficiency to air quality to energy efficiency to transit.
  • Electing pro-conservation candidates and holding our elected officials accountable in the State Legislature, Governor’s Office, and local government councils and commissions.” – Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado is doing an amazing job, but as a nonprofit, donations are needed to stay afloat and support their programming.

They have several initiatives that we find, well, awesome! In addition to working around the clock to support legislation, they are focused on diversity and are: “committed to building a more diverse and inclusive organization and being a leader in the broader conservation community to ensure diversity, equity and inclusivity are integral parts of our work.” Further, they believe that: “all Coloradans should be fully represented and engaged as we work to build as powerful a conservation movement as we can.”

The youth and adult Promotores and Protégete Programs through Conservation Colorado are specifically for Latino youths and adults to get a say. Side note… while researching for this article, we have to give kudos to the University of Colorado for creating a Certificate in Latino Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Thank you for also being a leader in recognizing the unique health impact issues facing a huge segment of our population. More info here.

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Andy Robertson, recently donated $700 to Conservation Colorado as part of our Give 10% programming. We donate 10% from every home purchase or sale to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice.

conscious real estate, real estate donations, socially conscious businesses, denver real estate

“Sean and Marissa Laven knew immediately that they wanted to support clean water initiatives in Colorado, and Conservation Colorado seemed the natural partner for their donation.”

“Though the staff was busy planning their Rebel with a Cause gala, they loved the interruption to gather for a photograph so they could show the Laven’s how grateful they are for the support!” said Robertson.

At Conscious Real Estate, we love to support local changemakers.

We are grateful to donate to Conservation Colorado because, “they’ve had the wherewithal to be inclusive with diverse communities across the state – a lot of low income and Spanish-speaking communities and youth who often have not had a seat at the table when it comes to conservation,” says Allison Parks, owner and founder of Conscious Real Estate. Sign the petition to have your voice heard.

You can help too!!

How? Of course, when you buy or sell a home with us, 10% of our own commission is donated to your favorite nonprofit. This means a large lump sum that doesn’t come from your pockets whatsoever, but comes directly from your heart. Referrals for socially conscious friends and family who are looking to move to Colorado or to a new location in the Denver area are greatly appreciated and help local organizations make our hometown even greater and more inclusive. Contact us anytime for more information or to set up a chat with one of our agents. Thank you for reading!

colorado youth leaders, colorado nonprofits, conscious real estate, donations for youth

colorado youth leaders, colorado nonprofits, conscious real estate, donations for youth

Youth have a lot of serious stuff to face every day. Maybe more than any have ever had to. With school shootings happening often, mental wellness generally not prioritized, a lack of positive leadership, economic hardship, and failing school systems, young humans who thrive are like a flower growing out a rock. How do they do that? How can they grow despite the circumstances? How can teens thrive in a tough world to become positive leaders?

flower, rock and a hard place, colorado youth leaders, colorado youth, youth, nonprofit, conscious real estate

Truly passionate youth are nurtured at places like the Colorado Young Leaders organization, a local 501(c)(3) that matches ambitious youth with the opportunities making their dreams and impact possible.

 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s like water. Water, over time, will create spaces and valleys and paths exactly where it wants to flow. Our human willpower is exactly the same. While we don’t know what the road will entail on the journey, if we want something badly enough, we’ll find a way how.

 

Colorado Young Leaders believes in this same kind of “magic.” Specifically, they believe in the “Power of Yes.” It’s right on their website, but we like quotes like these, straight from the kids involved in the program:

 

“Saying yes is the start of something bigger than you could have imagined. You’ll know you love it when you do it.” – Max A.

 

What does the power of yes mean to CYL? They define it as: “the willingness to jump into an adventure even if you don’t have it all figured out just yet. It means you want to learn more about the world around you, discover your own gifts, and make a real impact.”

 

How does Colorado Youth Leaders empower youth and help them find opportunities? They have a unique structured program named after four of Colorado’s most well-known 14-ers. In the first phase, students work with the organization to discover and easily identify their trust and core passions. Next, the student commits to a cause. What follows is a perfectly matched internship to help the youth meet leaders and mentors who share their passion and learn valuable skills related to the individual impact they hope to make within their cause.

 

The program concludes with a legacy project, which can span a wide range of student-led initiatives for lasting impact, i.e. meaningful volunteering, creating programs to get more youth involved in service-based careers, or any number of awesome projects they come up with along with the help of CYL.

 

For example, one student was having a difficult time with reading, but had a passion for working with trucks. They took him out to meet a truck mechanic who provided the student with all of the manuals for working on trucks. Sure enough, he took to those manuals and this greatly improved his overall reading skills.


Another student felt passionate to do something about the fact that her school district had experienced several suicides of students. She took the initiative to start a program called “Offline October,” which encouraged students to take a pledge to stay offline for the month of October and encourage more interaction among one another. Thousands of people took the pledge nationwide.


We can get behind it 1000% (or actually 10%, which we donate from every real estate sale or purchase from our agents’ own commission). Recently, Owner and Founder, Real Estate Agent extraordinaire, Allison Parks, was able to donate $1221 to Colorado Young Leaders. Investing in youth leadership is one of the most direct ways to help our future.

 

“I think it’s not just fantastic, but also crucial to empower our young people in this manner,” says Parks. “All too often, young people are told that they can’t do something because they’re too young, or the project will be too big or too difficult… but how will we know what these young people are capable of until we let them try?

I think many times, they will surprise us… and sometimes the projects will be too big or too difficult, but that’s exactly what learning leadership is about. Leadership isn’t about success at every avenue, nor is life. Learning how to adapt to obstacles is a key part of success in which I wish I would had more supported learning experiences when I was younger.” – Allison Parks, Owner & Founder Conscious Real Estate, Do-Gooder, Mindful Broker

 

Does this sound like a cause you could support? There are many ways to help! You can consider donating your time. Get more info here. And, of course, another crucial way to help is to invest and support the organization financially. This way, they can distribute the funds to their particular needs or invest in a current project that needs support. Large, lump sums can go a long way, which is why we encourage you to work with a conscious real estate agency that donates to local positive nonprofits (Hint hint!! It’s us!!).

conscious real estate, the conscious group, real estate, real estate agency, denver real estate agency, denver real estate