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December 1, 2023

A Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Little Libraries, Pantries, and Play Boxes 

Getting your name, face, and what you do for a living doesn’t have to get boring, especially with these fun and helpful community initiatives. 

Here in the POWER Program®, we love helping agents invest in their communities by finding innovative ways to connect with people. One powerful strategy that not only fosters goodwill but also helps increase exposure and boost your business is the creation and sponsorship of little library boxes, little pantry boxes, and community play boxes. We’re going to explore how these initiatives can make a significant impact on your real estate career. 

What Are These Boxes Anyways? 

You may have seen little boxes scattered around the community: 

  • Little Free Library – Think “Take a book, leave a book”. These little library boxes are a way for community members to share books without needing a trip to the local library. 
  • Little Free Pantry – When the pandemic hit, many people took a page from the Little Free Library idea and created a small, free pantry for anyone who needed a little extra help. Things like canned goods, toilet paper, and shampoo are stocked to help neighbors get by.  
  • Community Play Box – Set in parks and playground areas, these contain sporting equipment like soccer balls and tennis rackets so people can enjoy outdoor activities without needing to buy the equipment.  
  • Community Toy Box – Parents can rejoice! This community box provides the chance to exchange toys for kids in the area without having to buy it. 

Related reading: City of Lethbridge introduces Community Play Boxes 

Related reading: GIVING: ‘Little Free Toy Box’ awaits visitors 

Fostering Community Connection 

Building and sponsoring little libraries, pantries, and play boxes demonstrates your commitment to the community that goes beyond just property transactions and focuses on the people who are in it. These small, accessible structures serve as tangible symbols of your dedication to improving the neighborhood, fostering goodwill with businesses, and building meaningful relationships with residents. 

Increasing Visibility and Brand Awareness 

By placing your name or brand logo on these boxes by placing them yourself or through sponsorship, you create a physical presence in the community. Every time someone uses anything from the box or passes by one of these structures, they are exposed to your brand. You never know when someone might be thinking about selling, and these community boxes are a great way to stay in front of them, so you are the one they think of at that time. This organic visibility can be invaluable in a profession where reputation and recognition are paramount. 

Creating Positive Public Relations 

Sponsoring community boxes is an excellent opportunity for positive press coverage. Local media outlets often highlight businesses and individuals who contribute to the betterment of their community. By engaging in these initiatives, you not only benefit the community but also position yourself as a socially responsible agent, garnering positive attention for your business. This is also a great opportunity to post a short video on your social media platforms to inform your community of these boxes and how they can access them.  

Expanding Your Network 

Collaborating with local artists, craftsmen, or suppliers for the construction and maintenance of these boxes opens up new avenues for networking and partnerships. These collaborations can lead to mutually beneficial relationships that extend beyond the initial project.  

Let’s Get Crafty 

There are plenty of great DIY websites that can offer directions to building these as well, so partnering with another real estate agent or a team member to build these for your communities is also a good option. They can also be easily purchased online: 

Engaging with Potential Clients 

Little libraries, pantries, and play boxes naturally draw people together. By being involved in these projects, you have the opportunity to interact with potential clients in a relaxed, non-sales-oriented setting. This casual engagement can lead to meaningful conversations, the growth of relationships, and ultimately, new business opportunities. 

Enhancing Property Values 

Investing in community initiatives like little libraries, pantries, and play boxes can contribute to the overall appeal of the neighborhood. A thriving, engaged community is a magnet for potential buyers, and when they see such initiatives so close to their potential home, they will know they will be taken care of, should they choose this area. Your involvement in these projects can indirectly impact property values, benefitting both sellers and buyers in the area. 

The Takeaway 

The creation and sponsorship of little libraries, pantries, and play boxes are powerful tools for real estate agents looking to elevate their business and establish themselves in the community. By demonstrating your commitment to the needs and wants of the neighborhood and fostering positive relationships, you position yourself as a trusted expert in the local real estate market.  

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