This week, our Spotlight is shining on Heidi Burkhart, president of the New York City-based affordable housing brokerage firm Dane Professional Consulting Group (Dane PCG), and founder of cause marketing company Saxon/Hart. At Dance PCG, Burkhart facilitated closings in excess of 10,000 affordable housing units and over $1 billion in transactions. And with Saxon/Hart, which she founded last year, she has created a cause marketing company focused on reinvesting its net profits into direct impact, giving forward initiatives.
Q: What was the inspiration for creating Saxon/Hart?
Heidi Burkhart: When you start loving vulnerably, you find yourself drawn to like-minded people – those with similar morals and ethics, those you truly respect, those who bring out the best in you – both in work and in play. In times when I’ve struggled in life – times of lost confidence, lost loved ones or lost deals – it was the kindness of my community, family, friends, colleagues and clients that always got me through. With the right people pushing me towards love, light and positivity, I found I could reach, and in many cases exceed, my personal best. By loving vulnerably, I truly learned to love life.
Because of these inspirational people in my life, I wanted to give forward and make a positive impact in others’ lives. In 2013, I formed Saxon/Hart – a unique cause marketing company that reinvests its net profits into direct impact, giving forward initiatives. Our motto sums it up nicely: “Give to live. Live to give.”
Q: Many people have a misconception of real estate professionals as being “more than a little shady.” From your experience, how would you categorize the level of altruism in the real estate world?
Heidi Burkhart: At the end of the day, we’re lucky – we get to pick and choose who we work with. Given the choice, I choose to align Dane PCG with those working to make a positive impact within their communities. I say, treat others as you would like to be treated – this holds so true in our profession.
I recently approached two of the top real estate firms in New York City to inquire about space for an event to benefit a friend who was just diagnosed with colon cancer at age 28. Without hesitation, both my clients agreed to assist and welcomed the opportunity to be a part of this amazing event. I consider myself blessed to be a part of such a giving professional community.
Q: You are involved in an extraordinary number of volunteer endeavors. Where do you find the time to do all of this while running a successful career?
Heidi Burkhart: My volunteer endeavors are a part of who we are here at Dane PCG. With an appreciation for the art of giving, they ultimately lead to the creation of Saxon/Hart. With the “Give to live. Live to Give” motto as the cornerstone of our company, my team – my extended family – continues to inspire me. We keep challenging ourselves, by exploring various volunteer passion projects, ultimately growing and impacting our community in a positive way.
Q: What are your goals for Saxon/Hart?
Heidi Burkhart: Saxon/Hart seeks to lift up (and share the stories of) remarkable individuals who are faced with adversity and challenges – the people who ultimately find growth and fulfillment in the makeover experiences we provide. In just our first year, we’ve already built a strong network of altruistic health, fitness and beauty professionals united around giving forward initiatives within their communities.
Our goal is to first spread Saxon/Hart’s direct impact, giving forward initiatives nationwide, and then in the next five years, worldwide. My father once wrote a poem about how one small pebble can impact many. When you throw a pebble in a lake, the ripples grow in size and continue to spread. To have that type of impact, to inspire people – to let them know they matter – across the world, that is what I hope for Saxon/Hart.
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.