Making deals that make a difference

By Janice Zimolzak

When buying or selling real estate in San Miguel, you can now support your favorite local non-profit with a substantial donation, at no cost to you. All you need do is select an authorized member of IIC (Investing in Communities) to handle your real estate transaction and a percentage of the agent’s commission will be donated to your favorite charity. It is that simple.
Upon the completion of a recent home sale, Erwit Reichert, of C/D/R San Miguel and a member agent of Investing In Communities, presented the SMA branch of the organization’s first check for US$1,141 to Feed the Hungry San Miguel. The non-profit was selected by Reichert’s client to be the recipient. The funds, representing a portion of his earned commission from the transaction will provide meals for 265 children for an entire school week through Feed the Hungry San Miguel’s ‘Nutritious Meals Program”.
When listing her properties for sale with Erwit Reichert, Dr. Dora Judit Villagrana, a practicing dentist and orthodontist in La Lejona, selected Patronato Pro Niños’ dental program to be the recipient of a portion of Reichert’s commission when the sale of her properties is completed. There is no cost to the real estate client for participation in the IIC program, nor does it increase the amount of the commission that she will pay. The donation is provided in full by the participating real estate agent…. In both cases Erwit Reichert.
IIC is the brainchild of Michael Pink and Sharon Porter, Chicago realtors who initiated this business model as a proprietary program of Chicago-based MAP Real Estate in 1995. Through their program, more than US$275,000 was donated to non-profits. In 2007, they established an independent nonprofit entity so that other real estate professionals and clients could also generate philanthropy through their businesses. Since 2010, IIC member agents have donated US$121,000 to 34 participating non-profits. Michael is the brother of local resident Tom Pink, who introduced IIC to San Miguel realtors and charitable organizations.
Real estate agents who want to participate in the Investing in Communities SMA program pay a fee to join and pledge to donate a minimum 10-15 percent of their commission at the completion of the real estate transaction to the nonprofit chosen by their client. Clients can be buyers, sellers, or leaseholders. Any real estate transaction that pays a commission to an IIC member agent can now fund a nonprofit of the client’s choice at no cost to the client.
Seventeen socially responsible brokers and agents, representing six local real estate agencies, have already signed up to participate in IIC’s efforts:
C/D/R San Miguel-Erwit Reichert, Nancy Howze; Agave Sotheby-Wesley Gleason; Mexican Charm Real Estate-Eric Cházaro; Realty San Miguel-Gloria Farias, Jesica Avendaño, Bryan Townsend, Edgar Cancino, Charles Thomas, Joseph Lown and Philip Hardcastle; San Miguel Management Company-Peggy Blocker and Graciela Loyola; Sisal Bienes Raíces-Manuel Pesqueira, Ana Mexsen, Edna Orenday and Claudia Nochebuena.
Non-profits participating in IIC include: Feed the Hungry San Miguel; Friends of Santa Julia, Casa de los Ángeles, Centro de Crecimiento (CENCRE), Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, Clínica Hospital del Pueblo (The Anna Seethaler Hospital, TASH Inc.), Ojalá Niños and Patronato Pro Niños. There is no cost to non-profits to become IIC partners and to be eligible to receive donations.
Members and Partners are listed in the IIC online database, offering international exposure to both non-profits and real estate professionals. Log on to IIC’s website at or contact San Miguel IIC volunteer, Tom Pink at

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