How Real Estate Can Help Me Pursue My Passion of Helping Animals
If you know me, it’s pretty obvious that animals are my main passion in life. Since birth I’ve been around animals. In middle school I started to explore the idea of being a vegetarian. My sister and I even spent time researching and watching the horrid Peta videos. Since I was in 9th grade I was a vegetarian (and more recently vegan). So clearly that love and compassion for animals was with me at a young age. Although some of my family members were animal people, no one really drilled it in my head. While in college as an undergrad, I started to network animals at shelters on my Facebook page.
Then, my sophomore year I decided to start volunteering at the county shelter near my school. Although I didn’t need service hours, I made it almost like an obligation to visit the animals on a weekly basis. In fact, I would sometimes spend Saturday and Sunday there for 3-4 hours each day. Generally I’d go by myself and just sit with a few dogs and cats to give them attention. Some days I even tried to take pictures of the animals so I could post them on Facebook (I still have the albums on my Facebook by the way). I’m not sure how much that helped any as I was pretty new at the whole networking animals thing.
When I graduated from college, I felt pretty sad. I wouldn’t really be able to participate in that shelter anymore since I’d be moving back home which was about 2 hours away. While back home, I kept having the intention to volunteer at my local county shelter. However, I am a person who finds change very challenging (currently a work in progress). In 2014 I finally decided to start volunteering again. I’d go in on Saturdays to help with adoptions and socialize some of the animals.
When I left teaching, my schedule became a lot more flexible. So I spent more time at the shelter and become more involved. Maybe some would say
too involved. I started going in 2 to 4 days a week to help with pictures/videos and just spending time with the animals. It almost feels like an obligation…to the animals. In the past year or so, I have never felt more depressed (I almost put the word “sad”, but honestly I think it’s beyond that at this point).
What a lot of people don’t realize sometimes is that not only am I a very passionate person especially for animals, but I’m also very emotional. So, sometimes those two mixed together cause a bit of a struggle. I’ve spent many days and nights feeling so down in the dumps, frustrated, angry, and confused. It’s hard when you invest so much energy and love into these creatures. Then one day you find out they are dead.
To put it into perspective, it’s like the pain of losing your pet, but on a regular basis. Except losing a pet is mainly hard because you have gotten used to a life with them. Usually when one of my pets passes though, I try to remember that they lived a very good life. Honestly, probably better than most animals since I consider them my babies.
With a shelter animal the pain is there for another reason. You think about the crappy past these animals probably had before coming into the shelter. Then they sit in a cage for almost 24/7 unless people interact with them. Then one day, they are taken to a room to be “put down” . (I can’t call it euthanasia as to me euthanizing is for animals that are sick/hurt.) So you can’t think the comforting thought of “at least they had a good life”. So, I do sacrifice my time, money, and most of all my emotional state so that at least I can feel a little less guilty. Then I can think, “at least I showed them love and attention in that short time.”
But still, everyday is a constant battle of me thinking, “what MORE can I do to help these animals?”
Yes, I get that I am just one person. However, if everyone had that thought, then nothing good would be accomplished in this world.
Everyday I dream about owning a property with a lot of land.
A place where I can build really nice indoor kennels.
A savehaven for the misunderstood, the sick, the elderly ones, the overlooked, the not so pretty or fancy ones.
The reality is though…I will only accomplish this with money. And just like most people, I have to work to make money.
This is my big WHY in life.
I know that many people may support that and others may think I’m crazy. Either way is fine as I see it as being compassionate. Plus, I’ve found that life is better when you are chasing what actually brings you fulfillment. And honestly, the only thing I think of on a daily basis is this passion and vision I have. I’d be living a lie and being fake if I pursued anything else as a long term goal.
Ok, to get to the main point of this blog post. Also, thank you if you have decided to read this far as I know the above was a bit sappy and lengthy.
Two days ago my boyfriend had mentioned to me that I should advertise that I will donate a portion of my real estate commissions to animal rescue. I have seen one other agent in California do this. I actually follow her (Heather Skow) and her husband (Zach Skow) on Instagram. They are actually very inspiring. Together and with some others, they help run Marley’s Mutts Rescue. Heather, who is a real estate agent too, posted that she would be donating part of her commission to a rescue group of a client’s choosing.
Although I loved that idea, I thought I couldn’t do something like that. I thought that I don’t have a big enough of a following for that to even do anything. I thought maybe it would come off as scammy or sales-y. And I absolutely hate the thought of that. It makes me feel dirty to be pushy or sales-y to people. So, I just pushed that idea to the side and thought maybe one day in the future.
The same day my boyfriend brought this up, Heather did another post about donating. Then I commented on a post by an awesome vegan, animal rights blogger on Instagram (@TheTreeKisser; Jessica Hoar). She asked her followers to answer some questions, so I did. Basically I was talking about how my passion is helping animals and that I’m currently a Realtor in GA so hopefully I can financially be able to achieve that goal one day. She then suggested the donating commission idea as well.
I heard the same thing three times in that one day. I thought, “okay, maybe this is a sign that I need to take action on.”
So here I am, writing this post to explain where I’m going from here on out.
As you may know real estate agents generally make a commission from the sale of houses. What I am going to offer is to donate 10% of the commission I make (after paying broker fees and such) to an animal rescue of my client’s choosing, offer sponsorship on an animal of their choosing, or if they do not have a preference, I will select a rescue myself. For example, if I make $3000 in commission after fees, then I will donate $300.
I know 10% may not seem like a lot, but for now that is where I need to start in order to manage my personal expenses.
Please keep in mind, I have a mortgage, car payment, bills, pets of my own, boat loads of student loans to payoff, food, you know all that adult stuff. I would absolutely LOVE to be able to donate thousands from each sale down the road. I found one group in Texas that gives 25% of their commissions and they’ve already donated about $850k in 10 years. THAT’S INCREDIBLE (and goals)!
How can you help me help the animals?
I absolutely HATE asking for help for myself. I’m one of the last people to ask for help with anything. However, I’m trying to think of this as asking
for help for the animals since it’s just getting me closer to my goal of starting a rescue myself. One easy way you can help is by spreading the word. You can easily share my real estate posts on social media (Facebook: Loretta Kartforosh- Realtor), refer a friend/family to me, or even work with me!
My hope is this did not come off as sales-y. If you have ever worked with me, you know that I have a strong work ethic especially if it involves others. I almost always put others before myself and am willing to help in anyway that I can. So, please understand that working with me in a real estate transaction I will do all that it takes because I don’t like to disappoint people. Plus, ultimately I’m motivated by being able to reach my long term goal.
Other ways you can help in the animal rescue world are just by sharing posts, volunteering, sponsoring animals yourself, fostering, making others aware, speaking up for animals, etc. Again you can read the post I wrote about helping shelter animals for more ideas.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this. Please feel free to share as I would greatly appreciate it.
Here is my contact info in case you are interested in working with me: