What is 'CSR' and how can it benefit your business?

It can be said that the social expectations of how corporations run their business operations are slowly changing.  Whether it is the local butcher or a global investment bank, the public is increasing the weighting it places on a business’ contribution to the community when it comes to forming an opinion of the company and making a decision about whether or not to interact with it.

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one that encourages organisations to manage their business processes in ways that positively contribute to and impact on society.  While the overarching aim in implementing a CSR strategy should be the notion of doing good and giving back to society, such a plan can also have positive effects on both your business culture and bottom line. 

The process of setting a CSR strategy is similar to that which is followed when implementing a marketing or sales program.  The first step is to sit down and analyse the various opportunities available to your company.  In the case of a real estate franchise, this may be to identify various local organisations (such as a sporting team) or community events you would be interesting in sponsoring.  It could also include internal policy changes that may be applicable to your agency, such as committing to only using recycled paper or reducing your carbon footprint.  

With a clear understanding of your target opportunities, your real estate franchise can then put together a clear strategy which outlines the timing of your tactics, and how your goals can be measured. 

With your CSR strategy in place and while resting in the knowledge of your positive social contribution, your real estate franchise may also start to realise some tangible business benefits. 

For example, in general, socially responsible businesses have been seen to have a higher level of staff retention, as staff tend to enjoy working for company that gives back. 

Your CSR strategy may also help to enhance your relationships with local governments, community organisations and members of the public, as there is an appreciation for your input into the community.  This could lead to new business with the potential for new listings.

Your CSR strategy could also serve as a significant point of difference when differentiating your real estate franchise from others in the local business area.  Your socially minded approach could be the only factor separating you from another real estate agency which clients may look to when considering who to sell their home. 

In the end, being a socially responsible real estate franchise has wide reaching benefits.  Not only does the community enjoy your support and contribution, your real estate business may also be better off. 

 

Posted by George Tarbey on 10/09/2010 at 11:57 AM | Categories:

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