I am not a goal setter.  If I DO set a goal for myself, I certainly do not make it public.  Fear of failure has been a huge deterrent for me in all areas of my life.  If I don’t tell anyone my goals, nobody will know if I failed to achieve them. Posting this is terrifying for me, but I have a HUGE goal set for this year and I need to share it so that I am kept accountable and quite honestly I am going to need some help achieving it.

Just over a year ago. A past client of mine (turned friend), was tagged in multiple posts and photos about one of his fellow Marine’s memorial service. My heart breaks every time I hear of another veteran suicide or when I read the alarming statistics regarding it (FYI – more than 6,000 veterans have killed themselves each year since 2008). There was something about this one that really got to me. There was one particular photo that was taken of my friend and his platoon mates after the funeral that has haunted me for the past year.  Something about seeing them all together, out of uniform and knowing they share a bond made up of what I imagine are pretty amazing and also pretty horrific memories.  I knew at that point that I had to do something, but it has taken me over a year to figure out what.

Last month, as I started thinking about what my goals were for this year both personally and professionally, I decided that this had to be the year that I actually do something to raise awareness about the alarming suicide rates of veterans and also do something to help veterans suffering from service-related PTSD.  So….my crazy scary goal for 2019 to fully fund a service dog for a local military veteran. Custom Canine Service Dog Academy is a wonderful local non-profit organization that raises, trains and places service dogs with military veterans with service-related injuries (as well as other individuals with disabilities) at no charge to the individual. The cost of a fully trained service dog is $25,000. So as you can imagine, there is quite a long waiting list for an individual to get one.

I will be donating $500 from every real estate transaction I am a part of until I am able to fully fund a service dog for a deserving veteran.  So how can you help? Well if you do the math ($25,000 / $500), you will see that I need to do 50 real estate transaction this year to make this happen. You guys….in the almost 9 years I have been in real estate, I have never done 50 transactions in a single year!!  Do I expect you to buy or sell a house this year just to help me reach my goal? Of course not, but here are some other ways that you CAN help.

  • Referrals – I do not advertise or pay for leads. My business has been built on referrals from past clients, friends and family. I am so incredibly thankful for this. So I just ask you to please pass along my name and contact info when you hear of someone you know wanting to buy or sell a home. 
  • Online Reviews – Online reviews are so important these days. Buyers and Sellers tend to do a lot of research before ever reaching out to a real estate agent for the first time. If I have helped you buy and/or sell a home in the past, could you please take a few minutes and add a 5 Star review to one or more of the many online sites? (Zillow, Facebook, Realtor.com, Google & Yelp are all great ones). If you only want to do it once, Zillow is the one I would recommend.
  • Stay In Touch – Look for updates via email, social media and even snail mail. I will be sending out regular communication about the progress of my goal. I would love your continued encouragement as I work towards this goal that is so incredibly important to me.  Fear is bound to get the best of me at some point this year. Knowing others are cheering me on and also believe in this mission will be a huge part of my success.
  • Learn – I encourage you to learn more about the amazing things that Custom Canine Service Dog Academy is doing in our local community. There are many way to support them outside of my own personal goal.  Here is a link to other ways you can help them out – https://www.customcanines.org/support-us


Erin Swenson