‘Tis the season for giving and one team of Atlanta real estate professionals is getting due recognition for its work in the community over the last several years.
Sarah Chatel, of Chatel Group at Ansley Atlanta, was recently honored with the the Atlanta Realtors Association’s Good Neighborhood Award for her group’s work helping to build more than a dozen homes in the Atlanta area over the last four years.
Chatel has worked with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and ReStore – the organization’s home improvement and décor store – to help build 14 homes and has donated more than $80,000 from commissions to the organization.
She said in a recent interview with Atlanta Agent that her group’s work with Atlanta Habitat stems from a decision she made about 10 years ago to create a personal mission statement to “leave a legacy of love” by giving back to her community.
“What I’m going to remember on my deathbed is the opportunities I had to give back and not how many houses I’ve sold,” she said.
For her, working in real estate is more than just selling houses – it’s about helping as many people as possible buy or sell a home, she said, adding, “I want to be involved in their life journey.”
Jill Strickland Luse, vice president of communications for Atlanta Habitat, told Atlanta Agent magazine that Chatel is one of many in the real estate community pitching in to help those in need. She noted that the association also has been working with the organization throughout the fall, teaming up with as many as 56 Realtor volunteers. “Three more build days are scheduled before the end of the year,” she said in a recent interview.
She noted that the Atlanta affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is one of the largest in the organization and has helped more than 6,000 families in 100 neighborhoods since its inception in 1983.
Atlanta Habitat annually contributes $6 million to the Atlanta economy through construction, repairs and cleanup. And the group’s work also brings in about half a million in property tax revenue to the metro area every year.
Atlanta Habitat also provides classes on home maintenance, landscaping, budgeting, among others, Strickland Luse said. “We’re one of the top affiliates in terms of new homes we build and rehabs and the number of families we serve each year,” she said.
Chatel has worked in real estate since 2002 and created her team in 2015. She set a goal the following year of selling 50 homes and donating $50,000 to Atlanta Habitat from the group’s commissions. The team came in just $6,000 and six homes short of its goal in 2016, she said.
That same year the team also participated in four build days, where they worked side-by-side with future homeowners to construct four homes.
While Chatel and her team could have chosen from a variety of volunteer opportunities when deciding where to direct their efforts, her fondness for Habitat’s most famous advocate might have had a little something to do with it.
“I’m a big Jimmy Carter fan,” she said, noting the work and name recognition the former president and Georgia governor has lent to the organization. “He will leave behind one of the greatest legacies of any president.”