We at Dunes Properties and The Real Estate Studio are honored to become a part of Lowcountry Local First, a community alliance that educates the public on the importance of supporting the local economy, and encourages businesses and consumers to be environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Lowcountry Local First created the 10% Shift campaign which asks local residents and businesses to shift just 10% of their existing purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (locally owned and independent businesses). By doing so we would see thousands of new jobs created and millions of dollars of new economic activity in the Lowcountry. We as a company, and as individuals, are committed to exploring ways we can 10% Shift, whether it be by locally sourcing a service we previously outsourced, or by going to one of our great local coffee shops rather than a national chain.
Dunes Properties is one of only two real estate companies in the Lowcountry that is part of Lowcountry Local First, joining 250 other locally-owned companies of all kinds.
Lowcountry Local First has minimum criteria that must be met to join:
- Business is privately held.
- Business owners who have a controlling interest of more than 50% live in the Lowcountry.
- Business make independent decisions regarding the name and look of your business, as well as all business purchasing, practices and distribution.
- Business pays all their own marketing, rent, and other business expenses.
We are proud to be able to meet this criteria and more, as since the company’s inception more than 20 years ago, we have always supported our local economy in ways that go beyond helping people to buy and sell homes in the Charleston Area:
1. More than 70% of our business purchases and services are sourced locally for the Real Estate Division and for our Vacation Rental side, over 90% – from marketing and printing to linen services, insurance, architecture and beyond, we believe in working with the people you know, and your neighbors around you. Just some of our local vendors include: JR Rowell Printing and Knight Press, Precision Mail, E-Group, Wulburn Koval, Neil Stevenson Architects, South Atlantic Contractors, Lowcountry Linen and Lighthouse Cleaning Services, Wynn & Associates and Crosby and Co.
2. All of our banking is done with local and regional institutions – We like the local touch and feel, and we like that over the years we’ve formed not only business relationships with our local banks, but also friendships. Some of the great ones we work with include: Bank of South Carolina and Atlantic Bank and Trust.
- Setting up for Guerrilla Cuisine
3. Support local artists – in our Real Estate Studio space downtown, we offer gallery space to local and regional artists free of charge in an effort to help them promote their art. In addition, we have held numerous art openings here over the past two years including Rhett Thurman, Carol McGill, Kevin Harrison, and Brownie Harris (in conjunction with Guerrilla Cuisine), and Billy Cone.
4. Support local non-profit organizations – we donate our Real Estate Studio space to local non-profits so they can host events and raise money to benefit their organizations. We’ve helped Wings for Kids, The Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Bloomin’ for Art among others. We also donate 3-night weekends in a Folly Beach vacation rental home to auctions that benefit local organizations:
- Addlestone Hebrew Academy
- American Cancer Society
- BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival
- Charleston Symphony Orchestra
- MUSC Storm Eye Institute
- Low Country Senior Center Festival of Wreaths
5. Concierge Service – through our concierge service, we help locals and visitors alike enjoy their time in Charleston by making dinner reservations at local restaurants, tee times at local golf courses, even setting up a kayak or jetski rental.
6. Partnership with Charming Inns of Charleston – through our partnership with Charming Inns, we support each other with business referrals, share our downtown map and allow their guests to utilize our wireless network and computers.
7. Adopt-a-Highway – Dunes Properties has adopted part of Palm Blvd for more than 10 years. Every quarter, our agents and employees don their beat up old clothes to clean it up and make this beautiful place we live in, even better.
8. Doin’ the Dunes on Isle of Palms – for several years our agents and employees have helped to preserve the IOP beaches by putting up sand fencing and planting sea oats.
9. Volunteer at the Annual Boone Hall Plantation Oyster Roast – each year in January a team of agents and employees rolls up their sleeves to serve hot steaming oysters to this events 1000s of attendees.
10. Adopt-a-Family – Each year we adopt a local family in need for the holidays and collect funds and shop for and wrap presents for them through Families Helping Families
11. Support the Folly Turtle Protection Program – In addition to providing a link to the program’s website from ours, for each of our Vacation Rental guests, we provide information about our Folly turtles and the local efforts to protect them.
These are just some of the ways we work with the local community as a company, and of course our agents and employees get involved in any way they can. We are proud of all the amazing things they have done over the years!
We at Dunes Properties consider ourselves a family, and an integral part of this Lowcountry community. For 20 years, we have pursued the ideal that to have a strong economy that creates wealth, stability and buying power for our Charleston citizens, we must keep it local in any way we can. We must support each other both as individuals and businesses, because in doing so, as we like to say, ‘the rising tide lifts all boats.” So thanks Lowcountry Local First, for having the vision to create this movement and the resources to pull us all together in one incredible, entrepreneurial, Charleston-lovin’ powerhouse of people.