A little community involvement and utilizing an individual's skills and passions go a lot further than you might think.
For example, take Evanstonian John Noyes.
As a mortgage consultant, he recently initiated a free Evanston Real Estate trolley tour for existing (and aspiring) residents. Riders explore Evanston's real estate offerings in a fun and unique manner. His next free trolley tour, which leaves from Tommy Nevin’s at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, visits several open houses by way of an old time trolley, returning riders back to Nevin's by 3:30 p.m. Click here to check out the Facebook page John established for his trolley tour.
John also shares a new way to look at real estate. He recently told me about companies like Dwellevate (Elevate your dwelling…get it?) who are transforming the real estate industry. Dwellevate’s Facebook page describes itself as…
“…neither a ‘discount’ broker nor a ‘traditional" broker’. We exist to help the seller that is apprehensive about using a ‘discount’ broker because they've heard the stories and appreciates the contributions of an agent: knowledge, experience, perspective...but they cannot, or don't want to, afford a 5 or 6% fee and are willing to take some control of the efforts to sell their home, in exchange.”
I’m looking to buy or sell real estate at the moment, though many of us have at least a friend or two hit hard by the economic downturn; I appreciate the idea that companies like Dwellevate have cropped up to help buyers and sellers who aren’t in the market for a full-service agent. I don’t think they’re trying to replace agents, but rather offer a more ‘a la carte’ way to approach real estate transactions. Very interesting.
To cap it all off, John Noyes also plays in a rock band called DeXter. This isn’t some pitch for the band (though it’s a great one…check them out here). Within the last six months, John arranged to have DeXter play, at no cost, during the annual Maple Area Block Party as well as at the United Way’s Battle of the Bands held at S.P.A.C.E. on September 20.
According to Mary Teeter of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, “the Battle of the Bands event raised over $4,000 through tickets, tshirt sales, silent auction items, prizes dontated from local businesses, and the generosity of event sponsor BMO Harris Bank.” Teeter also explains that United Way’s Education Initiative includes Evanston as a North Shore United Way Partner Community. According to Teeter, “We’re eager to spread the word to others about [our] new programs and the opportunities they will bring to the community. In Evanston alone, [United Way is] investing $315,000 in education programs.”
Volunteerism doesn't need to be dreary. I think the best examples come from people doing what they love (and what they're good at), sharing their talents while having a great time along the way.
I'm certain John Noyes one of many Evanstonians making a difference. Can you recommend any others who deserve a closer look?