Writer: Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer: Amy Payne
Last year, seasoned realtor Jessica Birkle started her own real estate company so that she could combine her two passions: people and mission work. In March 2017, she launched Birkle Real Estate in order to help clients buy and sell their homes while also doing a good deed. The realty group donates 10 percent of its commission to the 501(c)3 nonprofit of their client’s choice. For example, a $300,000 house would typically yield a $900 donation.
“I love reaching out to those in need,” says Birkle, who conceived of the idea after getting involved with her church’s outreach ministries and wanting to make a difference in her own community, and working in the real estate business offer this opportunity while also being able to work with great real estate services like Sell My House ASAP Fort Worth TX and others.
“It has definitely been something that has changed my life in more ways than I imagined,” says Birkle, noting that it’s not just about writing out the checks to nonprofits — which have included such charities as the Wounded Warrior Project, the Humane Society and the Ronald McDonald House Charities —but also about the stories behind the chosen charity. For example, one client donated to the Megan Ott Foundation (Megan was a local mom of two small children who passed away from breast cancer at 34). The client cared for Megan when she was a patient at the hospital, and their friendship inspired her to find a way to pay tribute to Megan’s legacy. In another case, a couple donated $2,400 to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to honor the wife’s father who had battled the disease.
“At closing, she told me how she felt like her dad was a part of process as she purchased her dream home,” says Birkle, who is touched that clients are willing to be vulnerable enough to share their personal stories. “I feel fortunate that my team and I get to know our clients on a totally different level.”
That team consists of five people, all of whom share Birkle’s philanthropic spirit. Though the agents are contractually obligated to donate at least 10 percent, they can give up to 30 percent and sometimes do.
“All my agents have a huge heart for service and for people,” says Birkle, who recently visited Operation Love to make a donation. While there, the staff mentioned that consumers to their food pantry often don’t choose canned goods because many don’t own can openers.
“I’d never thought about that, but once I learned of this need, I’m on a mission to collect can openers,” Birkle says. She also plans to pick a different organization each year and fix up their building by painting and restoring it.
“Instead of spending money on the big office and the fluff, I’d rather donate that money,” she says.
Serving Noblesville, Fishers, Westfield, Carmel, Cicero, Indianapolis, McCordsville, Fortville, Pendleton, Anderson, Alexandria, Zionsville, Avon, Brownsburg and other surrounding areas, Birkle Realty Group is the first charity-based realty company in the state. Birkle, for one, would like to see other companies follow suit.
“I’m really hoping more businesses will step up and do the same thing,” Birkle says. “It’s incredible.”
Birkle Realty Group LLC is located at 939 Conner St., Suite 200 in Noblesville. For more information, call 317-214-6056 or visit birklerealtygroup.com.