When Scott and Mike Garman of the Garman Group recently moved their team to Engel and Volkers, it was the group’s history of personalized service and expert knowledge that caught the attention of the international real estate firm.
But it was another aspect of the Garman Group’s philosophy that equally intrigued Engel and Volkers; its philanthropy and dedication to the cause of affordable housing.
And if there seems to be a disconnect between the services of a real estate firm that caters to high-end, premium listings and Scott Garman’s volunteer efforts on behalf of the Greater Victoria Housing Society (GVHS), it’s a dichotomy that the Garman Group has managed to bridge.
“The message I get out to my real estate clients is that, when you provide affordable housing to the lower income segments of society, you strengthen the whole community and that’s a good thing for everyone,” Scott said.
“Most of my clients realize how very fortunate they are and, when I tell them about the GVHS, they’re interested and supportive of my volunteer work. That’s particularly true when they learn that a portion of every sale we make will go to support the GVHS.”
Garman puts his 20-plus years of experience in real estate, finance, banking and marketing to work on a daily basis to help his real estate clients to get the best possible properties for their needs. But it’s that same skill set that has helped him deal with the other end of the real estate spectrum in his volunteer work.
“The GVHS already has 15 properties with some 730 homes in place and we’re really looking at four additional projects that will add another 200 homes,” explained Garman, who has volunteered with the housing society for seven years and this year became chair of its board.
He believes Engel and Volkers appreciate the Garman Group’s expert, client-based approach to real estate, while standing behind their passionate support of affordable housing, adding that the large firm’s core values align perfectly with the Garman Group.
The firm’s business support, Scott said, is second to none and has helped the Garman Group take both their work on behalf of clients and their philanthropic efforts to a new level.
“There doesn’t need to be this divide between the people who are very well off and those who need help. When my clients find out about my volunteer work, they are very supportive and I’ll often come away with contacts and leads that can be applied to help support my volunteer work,” he said.
For more information about the society and its projects, visit greatervichousing.org.