This article was originally posted on the Giveback Homes blog. We are grateful for the opportunity to be highlighted for this wonderful organization.
More than Homes: Edi Santos and Elevate Real Estate
At Giveback Homes we love to highlight all the work for social good that we see being done across the real estate industry. In this #MoreThanHomes feature we learn about Edi Santos, Los Angeles Realtor with Keller Williams and Elevate Real Estate. In addition to real estate, Edi is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, a motivational speaker, and the man behind the Cali Green Life brand.
Since his honorable discharge after eight years in the Marine Corps, Edi has focused his career on giving back to the community in many different ways. First as a small business banker, and then as an entrepreneur through Cali Green Turf, an environmentally friendly and affordable turf company. He has also worked as a mentor to at-risk youth in schools all over the city and helps support veterans who are regaining a sense of purpose. Now, he is serving his community as a Keller Williams Realtor and member of Giveback Homes.
Environmental Movement with Cali Green Life
When Edi started Cali Green Turf in 2015, it was never about just serving those who can afford to be environmentally friendly at any cost. It was about starting a movement for the masses. Rather than looking at how much money he’s making, he measures success by how many gallons of water he is saving. Earlier this year, Cali Green Turf expanded to Cali Green Life, an all-inclusive environmental brand. Services include synthetic turf through Cali Green Turf, in-home or office water filtration through Cali Green Water, solar energy with Cali Green Solar, and environmentally friendly paint with Cali Green Paint.
Growing up poor and without a lot of opportunities, Edi sought to make his services affordable and available to everyone. He believes that everyone deserves to have clean water to drink and access to alternative energy and a healthy home.
It was the severe drought in California that first drove Edi to start his suite of turnkey environmentally friendly businesses. He saw that turf could save thousands of gallons of water. In his own words: “Water represents life. Without it, we can’t live. We can’t do. We can’t be… The idea of being a (part of a) solution that goes towards something that’s so fundamental to life—it’s something that constantly empowers me.”
Commitment to Helping Veterans
Before being honorably discharged from the Marines, Edi served abroad in Operation Iraqi freedom. As a Marine, Edi learned how to face fear, how to combat a fear mentality, and to always have honor and courage, skills that have served him well in business. He is committed to helping veterans who suffer from PTSD as well as victims of war worldwide. As a veteran, it was challenging to return from the war and re-enter civilian life with that same sense of purpose. He had to dig deep and create it on his own, from within. He’s found that incorporating philanthropy in his business endeavors helps, as does helping other veterans one-on-one. Edi talks often with fellow veterans about finding their own renewed sense of purpose. He helps them tap into their sense of worth and value and encourages them to follow their passions and serve others in their civilian lives. He is proud that Cali Green Life and Elevate Real Estate are veteran owned and operated and gives preference to vets seeking employment.
InspireMAS: Mentoring At-Risk Youth
Edi knows what it’s like to struggle and what is needed to rise above it all. His mother was 16 years old when he was born, and he did not know his father until he was an adult. He moved around homes and schools often and grew up without many opportunities, but was still determined to make something of himself. He credits supportive mentors, his education and the Marine Corps for giving him the tools he needed to succeed, and developed a system he calls VGOT – vision, goal, objective, task – that can work for others.
His upbringing compelled Edi to begin mentoring youth in high-risk high schools in and around Los Angeles. Through his motivational speaking company InspireMAS (Motivation, Achievement, Success), he runs workshops, talks to kids about environmental rights and responsibilites, and helps them create a vision and a goal for what they want to do in life. Edi takes them beyond wanting to have money and cars and materialistic things and challenges them to find something intrinsically valuable that will keep them fueled to keep working towards their visions and goals.
Joining Giveback Homes
As he founded Elevate Real Estate, Edi sought to create homes for families in need as part of his business model, always looking to give back to the community and serve others. He was so excited to find that Giveback Homes provided him a way to do exactly that, with the infrastructure in place to make giving part of his real estate platform.
Now, Edi is prepared and committed to donate a portion of his proceeds from each transaction to build a homes for families in need, in the United States and abroad. In addtion to financial donations, Edi and his team look forward to helping out at builds through good old-fashioned labor.
To learn more about Giveback Homes and join the movement #forsocialgood go to givebackhomes.com.
To learn more about Edi, visit him at caligreenlife.com and elevate-realestate.com. Follow him on Facebook here!