“Foreword this e-mail to 10 people and something good will happen; only this time it really will.”
Richie Laser, a real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty, recently decided to do something about the failing economy. Based in Ahwatukee Foothills, Laser, also known as “Richie The Realtor” is well connected in the community. He has been around for about eight years and before working in real estate, he owned a restaurant with his wife. About two months ago Laser decided to use these factors for good. With inspiration founded upon chain letters and e-mails, he set a plan in motion. After gathering a few resumes Laser sent them out with the direction to “make something good happen.”
“I am trying to get people back to work by word of mouth,” he said.
In the e-mail Laser explained his goal: “If each person will forward the e-mail to 10 people eventually the resume will end up in the right hands.” He is hoping that this “grass roots” recruiting will help people combat the faltering economy. Laser has been receiving three or four resumes a week from people who want his help.
“I think that is a very difficult thing to admit, that you lost your job,” he said.
Nancy Di Pietro, who has known Laser for years, recently gave him her resume to send out. Di Pietro is on several job search sites like Monster and Career Builder and decided to add Laser and his program to the mix. She is open to all options and is fervently hoping for the best.
“I am hoping something will happen,” Di Pietro said. “You know, things have been known to happen.”
Although the program is rather new Laser has already started to see some positive results.
Jim Hunt, a district manager for Farmer Insurance Group, said that he finds Laser’s program refreshing and is planning on helping him. He and Laser are going to work together on finding people jobs. When Laser sends him resumes Hunt reads them and helps point the person in the right direction.
“We can help find people opportunities,” Hunt said. “That is what we do.”
According to Hunt, Farmers Insurance is still growing and is constantly looking for new people. Hunt feels that by working with Laser he will be able to help people find the best job for themselves, whether in the Farmers Insurance family or not.
Hunt has agents in Ahwatukee Foothills, Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert so almost anyone can find work in their own backyard, so to speak. Hunt hopes to soon hold seminars to teach people all about being a Farmers agent to see if it is right for them. If the fit is not right, Hunt still believes he will be able to make something good happen.
“We do a lot of things for the community,” Hunt said. “I know we will help people.”
With this unique approach to networking and job hunting Laser has been receiving a lot of positive feedback, even if he has yet to see the fruits of his labor. With unemployment rates in Ahwatukee Foothills around 9 percent his idea is like a refreshing breeze in the current unpleasant economic storm. Laser is not expecting anything in return for his help; he just wants to see something good happen. It’s as simple as that.
“If I can get one person working that’s great.”
Brandi Bell is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.