Philanthropy and service to others have been proven to create better outcomes all around. For some businesses, this approach simply involves writing a check. Caliber Home Loans is doing it a little differently, choosing instead to dive deep into communities with boots on the ground.
For Bryan Bergjans, Senior Vice President of Military Lending for Caliber, service has been ingrined from a young age. It’s the reason he initially enlisted in the Navy and continues that service today as an officer in the reserves.
“Five years ago, when the commitment was made to the military and veteran demographic from the top down at Caliber, the vision and strategy were to do it through community engagement,” he said.
Rather than only focusing on standard marketing and advertising, Caliber plants roots within the community and makes relationships its priority. Bergjans explained that through doing this, you can organically build a loyal customer base that sees the genuineness in what you are doing and that will gravitate toward you for business.
“We have people doing fantastic things all across the country. They focus on their backyard, which is the right thing to do. They see the results of their giving. Your volunteer time is worth more than cash,” Bergjans said.
While Caliber donates to several nonprofits, its branches throughout the country invest much of its time and energy into the local community’s needs. It’s advice that Bergjans wants to share with other businesses as well.
“Focus on organizations that were created to help support the mission you want to support. People will see you rolling up your sleeves doing whatever it takes to make lives better. The rest is will follow,” he explained.
This doesn’t necessarily mean those in the business world should dive in without thinking or planning. Bergjans recommends they explore taking part in things they are passionate about.
“You should never want to do community outreach if your main intent is to get business for yourself in the long run. That will bleed through fast, and the commitment just isn’t there. You have to be sincere in your commitment,” he said.
Bergjans shared that those in the business world need to remember that people are naturally looking for a connection. In his experience, when a customer looks for a mortgage broker, realtor or other business and sees a professional on the scene who’s heavily involved in the community, putting people first — they’ll be more apt to choose them.
“We [at Caliber Home Loans] started that process a long time ago; we never wanted the integrity of our commitments to be called into question. Our credibility and sincerity towards the military community bleeds through to the extent that other organizations want to partner with us,” he explained.
Many say that those who lead lives filled with kindness at the forefront are happier and more successful in life. Being a business committed to doing the right thing for the right reasons can result in a positive company culture and happy employees and the business will be better for it too.Read comments