“In business you get a premium for being socially responsible.”
– Clay Grubb
In the second episode of “Let’s Go!”, HireBetter Chief Evangelist Kurt Wilkin hosted an insightful conversation with Clay Grubb, accomplished Real Estate Guru, Author and CEO of Grubb Properties, about how the real estate industry can be a force for good in society. Kurt and Clay share a firm belief in conscious capitalism – the idea that entrepreneurs and private businesses can contribute to society in a philanthropic, actionable, and charitable ways by supporting ethical practices and inspiring positive change.
For Clay and Grubb Properties, a multi-national real estate company that leases commercial property and multi-family apartments, the pandemic offered a real chance to positively impact his tenants. Grubb Properties reached out to business tenants and offered a free month of rent in exchange for each six-month term extension on the lease. For families in apartment homes, Clay offered a discount for paying rent in advance, and then offered a larger discount to families whose income was affected by the pandemic.
In the down economy, Clay has also made it his mission to support struggling live music venues with much needed capital and a clear path to regaining ownership after the venues are back on their feet.
At Clay’s direction, Grubb Properties focuses on partnering with local developers in historically low-income areas to create affordable housing for the community. The goal is to build community, not to price people out or take over neighborhoods. Part of this effort includes capping rent increases after a tenant has spent five years in one of their properties. Grubb Properties prides itself on combining property with compassion, and has tenants who have lived in their homes for almost fifty years!
Clay is constantly working to find creative solutions to America’s affordable housing problems. His book, Creating the Urban Dream, offers innovative answers to these questions. A true disciple of “practice what you preach,” all of the proceeds from Clay’s book are donated to support affordable housing solutions.
“Entrepreneurs are really the folks that will solve problems. If we can set up incentives to help folks improve their lives, the system works.”