April 2016 Journal Plus Magazine

Page 16



heart to heart

liz lee and mark mcConnell giving 50% of commissions to charity By Heather Young


iz Lee and Mark McConnell of Paso Robles have both been real estate agents since 1998, and in August 2013, they started their own company—Heart to Heart Real Estate. It’s just not any real estate company—Lee and McConnell donate half of their commissions to charity.

“It’s people helping people helping people,” McConnell said. “They get to feel good, but we write the check.” “I think people inherently want to give back,” Liz added. “It’s a winwin. We wanted to creative massive change within the community. We’re just the vehicle.” Not only do they donate half of the commission, but the client gets to choose where the money goes. “Our clients always choose,” McConnell said. “We had a client who chose a no-kill animal shelter in Texas because that’s where she lived.” Lee said that the amount they give from a single sale isn’t small, but could be up to $25,000, which is the biggest single donation they’ve given to date. However, they donated a total of $30,000 in December 2015 to nonprofits around the county. “It’s a consuming business—it takes all of your time,” Lee said. “The harder we work, the more we give,” McConnell added. Lee became a real estate agent in her family’s commercial real estate business in Chicago while she earned her law degree from Loyola Law School in Chicago in 2000. She got her bachelor’s degree from Whittier College in Southern California. “When I moved out here to Atascadero, my family told me ‘you’re good at it, so keep doing it,’” Lee said. She moved to the area with family 11 years ago. McConnell got into real estate after he bought his first home in Paso Robles.



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