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Community First: The Realty Shop

You can tell a lot about a company’s service philosophy by how it treats its clients, but also by how it responds to needs in its community. When you are looking at potential real estate agencies to buy or sell a home, it’s important to ask how invested they are in the local area. Do they encourage employees to take part in charitable causes? Do they give them time and opportunities to do so? And maybe most importantly, do they hire people for whom service is second nature?

Erin Irby, director of operations for The Realty Shop St. Louis, says every member of the agency’s staff embraces community giving as part of the company’s DNA. She says the desire to do good outside the office is an extension of the company’s operating philosophy, which fosters a supportive environment for its 50-person staff of real estate professionals.

Realty Shop employees have teamed up to support several local charities, including the Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society of Missouri, Heroes Care and area food banks. They have collected and contributed food items, helped process and package large donations from other organizations, provided holiday gifts for kids in need, connected with disabled veterans and helped care for rescued animals, among other projects.

Irby says turnout for staff volunteer events is always excellent because everyone shares a passion for helping. “We would never force or push anyone to participate, but we never have to,” she says. “Everybody understands the need, and they jump in with both feet. It’s not surprising, really, because that’s the kind of collaborative culture we have.”

When employees suggest a service project or nonprofit that is important to them, they can be pretty sure the company’s answer will be yes, Irby says. “What better person to identify a community need than a real estate agent?” she asks. “Our professionals know what’s happening in the region, and they talk with people in its neighborhoods every day. Also, it’s easy for a company to give back when its leadership sets the right example,” she says of ownership team Amanda Alejandro Steinback and Jay Steinback.

According to Irby, the agency’s caring culture is not a matter of chance. “The Realty Shop is a group of nurturers by nature,” she says. “We are very selective about who we hire, and we look for a commitment to the community as soon as we start interviewing a candidate. We want to be sure the person is entrenched in the local area and has the right spirit to align with our own.”

Irby says The Realty Shop’s strong sense of community purpose is a key factor in its growth and success. “Having a collective service philosophy achieves a twofold company goal: Doing good for our team, and helping the team do good for others,” she says. “It applies equally whether we are serving real estate clients or members of the community who need a hand.”

The Realty Shop is a full-service, Creve Coeur-based real estate brokerage that also provides photography, videography, virtual reality scanning and ‘as is’ home purchasing services. It is ranked by MARIS as the No. 5 agency in St. Louis in terms of sales volume. Pictured on the cover: Owners Jay Steinback (Left and Amanda Alejandro Steinback with Dan Harbaugh of Ronald McDonald House Charities St. Louis. For more information, call 314.372.0324 or visit

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo courtesy of The Realty Shop

Pictured at top: Jay Steinback (Left and Amanda Alejandro Steinback with Dan Harbaugh of Ronald McDonald House Charities St. Louis
Photo courtesy of The Realty Shop

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