National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

June 29, 2016

Conscious Mindfulness Leads to an Evolved Community

Imagine a community of responsible and educated members who respect others, practice social engagement in their daily lives, and inspire others to do the same

A social spotlight by Darla Michelsen

Rick Pohl is a Realtor serving Denver and the surrounding areas

Socially evolved business models are the foundation of all types and ages of businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to be relevant in today’s socially conscious market place.  The pioneers of these types of business principles are big names and many have found success following this progressive way of doing business by giving back to the communities that buy their products and use their services. Such pioneers are household names such as Whole Foods, the Container Store, and Southwest Airlines.

Conscious companies have created a culture of trust, authenticity, caring, mutual respect and empowerment, all of which are shared by everyone from the owner, employees and all the people they come in contact with on a daily bases. 
Everyone is viewed as a partner toward a common goal, building value and loyalty by reinvesting in community and providing support and exposure to projects that help solve social problems.  Applying this type of mindset to the business of Real Estate seems to go without saying since home ownership is an important part of most everyone’s life and well being.


Rick Pohl is the owner of Denver’s Inspired Partners and has this progressive mindfulness of caring for the people he works with and the community he shares.  Rick feels that this model is the only way to see lasting change in the way we do business with people and that we have a responsibility as business owners to change the world one person at a time.  Rick is known in his community as an involved and caring partner and is making his contribution with his charity commitments and how he engages with clients and business associates.  His personal involvement actively creates a positive change to those he interacts with.

Darla Michelsen: You have recently announced the rebranding of your real estate company as a “socially evolved business model.” What are the elements which you have added to your business model, and how will it set you apart from other real estate brokerages?

Rick Pohl: Business can become one of the largest catalysts for doing good and making a significant difference in the world, while still being positively good for business.  Evolving Inspired Partners’ business model began with reimagining myself and my interaction with the community I serve.  A commonly stated fact about real estate is that success is all about relationship building.  By structuring the addition of agent-ownership in the firm, and aligning the firm with uplifting co-branded awareness of our non-profit partnerships, these two key elements I believe will deliver meaningful impact for Inspired Partners’ relationships with agents and clients alike.

DM: What are the benefits to the consumer or clients you serve?

RP: There is a growing shift in consumer demand for corporate responsibility.  Consumers are changing the rules by letting their conscience be their guide and deciding where they choose to do business. By incorporating elements of an evolved enterprise, I intend to shift consumer perception of real estate toward my positive vision: Inspired Partners is what a truly exceptional real estate firm can be!

DM: Can you provide an example of how this business model related to the real estate market?

RP: Statistics affirm the trend where Independent brokerages and small teams have begun to dominate the sales volume across the map. National mega-brokerages are losing consumer appeal as are their counterparts in other industries, where the educated public sees the mega-brand as an economic syphon without differentiated value.  Similar technologies and support are now available to every size brokerage, so now it comes down to how you use the tools that differentiate yourself.

DM: Running this type of business, what is your vision for how your company will give back to the community it serves? 

RP: I picture the community easily recognizing the difference that a conscious business makes on many levels. Inspired Partners is more engaged locally and is supporting philanthropy through projects where people can get involved in spreading goodwill. Inspired Partners is building value across our partners as the income earned by the company and through its’ agent profit sharing model translates to dollars reinvested in the local community.

DM: What is your current project with a non-profit partner to generate community involvement?

RP: I’ve created a pay-it- forward campaign for Inspired Partners called “I See My Beautiful Self Shine,” who’s mascot is a Taylor Swift autographed acoustic guitar.  The guitar has become our campaign mascot, already having an inspiring story about raising money for Colorado Aids Project at a previous annual Red Ball. My goal is to further the story of this guitar, which was gifted to me in a touching turn-of-events on-stage at the Red Ball, a gesture which instantly inspired me to pay-it-forward. Each event will add to the unique story behind the guitar, perpetuating the momentum of generosity and goodwill we have going to see how many more people in the community the guitar can inspire to uplift!

For summer 2016, we’ve teamed up with (*YOR), and Pecha Kucha Denver (**PK) for a kickoff event for this exciting campaign. Our Saturday August 6 th event will bring the acclaimed worldwide phenomenon Pecha Kucha platform to the ultra-hip YOR space! For this Pecha Kucha Night, we have lined up 8 artists/ activists presenting 20 photographic slides each, speaking about how the photos relate to their personal journey in overcoming adversity or challenges brought them to truly triumph… and enabled them to “see themselves shine!”

We are humbled by the response from Local media, musicians, microbreweries, retailers, restaurants, mortgage lenders and more! It has really been exciting to build connections with all who have committed to cross-promote, inspiring community involvement and awareness for the gala event to benefit this exceptional local non-profit organization.

I would love for everyone to follow our campaign on social media as it unfolds!

(*YOR is a Denver based nonprofit with programs that empower teens through music education, in some of Denver’s most vulnerable communities to make life choices that positively impact their future.)

(visit for details)

DM: Can you address the experience that someone working for this company should expect?

RP: My goal is to create a business culture within Inspired Partners where everyone can get behind the statement that “This company not only has good values internally, but also adds value to me personally and to the community in which I live and work.”  Agents should also see a remarkable increase in the number of client relationships they can create as they market the features and the benefits of their ownership stake in the company, which naturally increases each agents personal interest in elevating the client experience.

DM: You have aligned yourself with other socially conscious business models and pioneers such as John Mackey of Whole Foods and the author of “Conscious Capitalism.”  What about their message resonates with you as a business owner?

RP:  Conscious companies are building relationships locally, creating a business culture full of trust, authenticity and integrity. The leaders in this arena also view industry vendors and even competitors as valuable partners, thereby shifting awareness to a more positive perception of the conscious company. It all adds up to a proven track record of building consumer loyalty to their brands.

DM: Why do you think this business model is so important to the future of business and the younger generation?

RP:  Although the appeal of this business model reaches across demographics, more and more data continues to show that younger consumers are even more likely to demand corporate responsibility and are choosing to do business with a company based almost solely on its’ reputation of adding value through local contribution to community and culture. This is the demographic wave who have begun this transformational shift which is all about transcending business as usual!

DM: Rick is truly a confident visionary to be able to look beyond the routine processes of being in the business of Real Estate and seeing the bigger picture and how he has an opportunity to better people’s lives. Very thought provoking concepts and conversation.

Tags: LGBT Realtor Denver, Real Estate, Gay Realtor

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