An agent’s love for her local community
Marilyn Thurtell loves the Forest Lake community. Working in the Southwest Brisbane suburb for 17 years, the MTR Property Group Principal says beginning a career in real estate was the motivation she needed to get involved with her local community.
“Since I first began in real estate back in 2002, I immediately became involved heavily with the Forest Lake community – local schools, the men’s shed, small businesses and churches,” says Thurtell.
“What sparked the initial decision to get involved was the great people – everyone was always so friendly and invited us to local events and naturally I wanted to do my part too.”
Some of her biggest charitable ventures have seen Thurtell and her agency fundraise thousands of dollars for local organisations and host several community events.
However, it’s the more simplistic ways of giving back to her local community that Thurtell is most proud of.
“My personal favourite contribution is my continual support of the Pallara State School Chaplaincy,” says Thurtell.
“I love baking for all of their events, fundraisers and hosting barbecues.
“I really love to give the gift of home baked goods and my time to give to people at the events is more valuable than a monetary donation.”
The personal benefits gained from her agency’s altruism are hard to measure – but Thurtell says nothing beats the satisfaction of a small child or struggling family reaping the rewards of her company’s generosity.
“I have donated so many different raffle prizes for children trying to sell tickets to support their dreams and goals,” says Thurtell.
“Having children as young as eight come up to me and thank me and tell me where they travelled or how they spent the money they raised is so rewarding.”
Aside from the ‘feel good’ moment that volunteering provides, Thurtell says sponsoring a local football team or school fete can give your business exposure that is second-to-none.
“Mums, dads and grandparents will know the organisations, schools and activities that we support,” says Thurtell.
“When it comes time to buy or sell, we already have that crucial rapport and trust, making it easier to do business.
“I find my best reviews say that people can really trust us because we have been around so long and supported the community.”
Thurtell says where possible, real estate professionals should commit a portion of their time, money or services to the community they work in.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult or costly – printing flyers for local seniors groups or donating a prize for a school to raffle off at the fete can make a world of difference in your local community.
“People think they have to spend thousands on school sponsorships, whereas I prefer to donate my time and do things like baking items for them to sell,” says Thurtell.
“It doesn’t have to cost you the world to give and be a part of the school or local communities.
“They love support, whether that be large or small scale.”