In February, over 30 Seven Gables agents slogged on their digging boots, slid their work gloves over their hands and strapped on their face masks to begin restoring an Orange home for a local resident who had hit hard times. We all know it can be difficult to ask for help and we know even better that when the time comes to ask, we often end up neglecting to do so. For this elderly female Orange resident, the City of Orange Code Enforcement was going to be forced to red tag her home and that was the last series of unfortunate events that she needed.
Seven Gables agents, Doug Willits and Lisa Blanc, have worked together for most of both of their esteemed real estate careers and giving back to the community has always been top of mind for them. Reaching back to many years ago when they started volunteering with a non-profit called Paint Your Heart Out, the two were inspired to continue restoring resident’s homes in their communities that needed the help. They made it a goal to come together to do a home-restore project every year.
When the Orange Code Enforcement officer called Doug and Lisa about this project, they took it under their wings immediately.
“We had our managers out here, every level of people that works for our company out here volunteering their time,” said Blanc. “When the call came out for Seven Gables agents to come out and do a project like this, we had over two dozen agents ready at that moment to get dirty with tools in their hand. It’s also fun because we get to know each other on a personal level. I don’t think we’ve mentioned the word real estate more than once while being out here.”
This year was the first year that they hung the project under the Seven Gables flag and it makes perfect sense. One of Seven Gables’ core values is to give back to the community and that’s not something that’s taken lightly around the offices. When Doug and Lisa called for help with this project, all staff from agents to management to Seven Gables lenders and property managers raised their hands and volunteered their time.
“While we were out working on the house, I was thinking as I was watching people dig weeds that these agents care so much about the homeowners that they serve in any given day,” said Corona Del Mar based Seven Gables Agent Sandee Tanner. “As we pull up these roots, I think about how our job is to take the pain out of a transaction for our clients so [this project] reflects the same characteristics that we pour into our job as agents.”
Many agents at Seven Gables feel that they work with Seven Gables, not for Seven Gables and an opportunity to help somebody in need only reiterates their thoughts that this company is doing something right.
When the project began, the driveway was stacked with personal possessions and overgrown roots and hazardous overgrowth. The City of Orange and the Waste Management Company, CR & R Environmental Services, donated a forty yard dumpster and the agents filled it to the brim in the matter of a half of a day.
By the end of the project, the home was in living condition, with pathways that led from the front yard to the back without obstructing obstacles and protruding hazards.
“I can really appreciate the core values that Seven Gables is a proponent of and preaches every day,” said Willits. “We are not simply takers, we have to be givers as well.”