Whether it was his time as president of the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association or his 30 years of experience in the real estate and mortgage broker industry, SRM Real Estate Group founder Scott Morris always had a passion for giving back. But it wasn’t until his son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that Morris realized a higher purpose for his company and his role within the community.
“Type 1 diabetes advocacy became one of my personal missions after my son’s diagnosis, so to align this individual passion with my work, I was inspired to transform my business model to include social purpose,” he says. “I promised myself I would do whatever I could to help my son get better and to assist in the efforts to find a cure. I became convinced that my business could play a role and I was determined to find a way for my company to contribute.” Morris soon discovered that many of his clients had similar passions around a charity or cause close to their hearts. With the realization that they could play a key role in positively impacting the community, Morris and his company adopted a purpose-over-profits approach. This meant not only moving away from the traditional commission-based business model in favor of flat-fee pricing for sellers and rebates for buyers, but also making donations to their clients’ preferred charities.
In a time when so many around the country continue to reel from the health and financial effects of COVID-19, Morris’ undertaking has taken on even more importance. Recently, SRM Real Estate has contributed to the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, NoHo Home Alliance, Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Food on Foot, Union Rescue Mission and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“Our clients appreciate receiving all the benefits of a local market expert and trusted advisor at a fair price,” he says. “However, our relationship takes on new meaning once I show that when they work with us, they can effect positive change and support the mission of the charities they are passionate about. When our clients do not have a preferred charity, we introduce them to nonprofits doing meaningful work in our shared community.”
Now more than ever, Morris says it’s crucial to look for a trusted advisor who puts the client’s needs and goals above their own. “While you should always start with assessing experience and local market knowledge, that still leaves many qualified professionals,” he says. “Great outcomes are the result of the trust that is established by asking the right questions up front.”
Of course, the countless lives Morris and his team have touched wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity and selflessness of those in Toluca Lake. “Without a doubt, it’s the people who make this community so special,” Morris says. “Sure, Toluca Lake is where you will find some of L.A.’s most beautiful homes, but it is the residents and local merchants who define the true character and spirit of this community.”