Giving Back Through REI


by Don Wenner

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted..” —Aesop in The Lion and the Mouse

What a year 2020was.

prices jumped considerably in 2020. By the end of the third quarter, the median cost of a single-family dwell - ing hit $313,500 — a 12 percent jump from the year before. Data points like that may have some thinking that it is all sunshine and rainbows. But real estate inves - tors, especially those who invest in multifamily housing, have seen a different story. By May 2020, unemployment may have been as high as 16 percent. Specifically, workers in service sectors such as dining, hospitality, and travel were hit hard. While the unemployment rate has dropped considerably since then, the pan - demic has caused eight million Americans to slip into poverty. Food banks have been busier than ever, with Feeding America estimating that one in six Americans could face hunger because of the pandemic. The damage has been done. But while the situation may look bad, there is hope. Continued economic recovery should help folks find work again and be able to afford rent. A vaccine should slow the spread of the Coro- navirus and get life back to normal. And to help people withstand the rest of the storm, we should see

more favorable policies for home - owners and renters. Philanthropy should form another important part of the healing pro- cess. From food bank donations to assisting with utility bills, there’s a lot we can do for others in need. As real estate investors, we can do our part by leveraging our knowledge of one of the most important necessi - ties: housing. GIVING BACK IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO In real estate, we know what is at stake. Without massive feder - al stimulus and a national eviction moratorium, many renters wouldn’t have been able to pay their rent in 2020. Now, as the pandemic contin - ues, many experts worry about an eviction crisis in 2021. This should make every real estate entrepreneur concerned. Livelihoods are at stake, and we have the power to alleviate the situation. Specifical - ly, we can utilize our unique skillset and resources to make a difference in our communities and around the world. Remember the saying that “a rising tide lifts all boats?” By work - ing to help the most vulnerable, we

With COVID-19 creating uncer - tainty in the housing market, you have certainly been busy. If you’ve entered into 2021 in good shape, give yourself a pat on the back. Success hasn’t been guaranteed during this pandemic. You should also take time to reflect and be grateful for that success. It’s something I’ve been doing increas - ingly more with my team at DLP Lending, and it’s motivated us to take action through charitable activities, volunteering, donations, and more. Because now more than ever, people need our help. As real estate investors, we have seen the econom - ic effects of this pandemic firsthand. If our balance sheets are in good shape, we should heed the call and help where we can. Companies can do well while still doing good. In fact, giving back and business success go hand in hand. Not only is giving back the right thing to do, but it benefits the bottom line.

WHYWENEED PHILANTHROPY You probably noticed that home

52 | think realty magazine :: january 2021

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