Community and compassion: how Matt Plunkett uses his real estate skills for charity

Matt Plunkett’s no stranger to calling an auction, but there are a few each year that mean a lot more than most.

The Buxton Geelong Group director donates his skill set each year to call charity auctions for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

“We’re proud partners of both of those foundations but, personally, I lost my mother and grandmother to breast cancer,” Mr Plunkett said.

“My grandmother before I was born, and my mother eight years ago.

“But even prior to my mother passing away, she was undergoing treatment for 13 years, so I had a fair bit to do with the foundation.”

Mr Plunkett said each year charity events, including auctions, were held at the Geelong Racing Club and Geelong Harness Racing Club and he would call the auctions.

“The money goes back to the breast care nurses in Geelong, at the hospitals,” he said.

Mr Plunkett does the same for a major fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, with its yearly fundraiser at the Geelong Football Club at Kardinia Park.

“That gets about 650 guests and it’s quite a big event,” he said.

“Last year when I called the auction, we raised about $120,000 for the night.”

Buxton Geelong Group Director Matt Plunkett. Photo: Buxton

In addition to donating his time, Mr Plunkett also supports the fundraisers by supplying promotional boards to promote the events.

“Obviously, being a real estate agent, we have access to board companies and being able to put them at various locations,” he said.

Having wide, strong community connections has also proved to be another plus, with friends and family donating auction items.

But it was a surprise donation at last year’s Cystic Fibrosis night that Mr Plunkett said came down to forming strong relationships in the community.

“I’d been up on stage calling the auctions for about an hour, I didn’t have much of a voice left, and my daughter’s orthodontist actually came up on stage and said he’d like to donate a full care treatment,” he said.

“It’s worth about $8000 and it sold for just under that on the night.”

Mr Plunkett said helping the charities was not about winning more real estate business, but he said he hoped it would help the wider community realise that agents were good people that cared about where they lived and worked.

“We don’t do it for business, I can guarantee that,” he said.

“I want to help, first of all, but I think it also shows the human side of a real estate agent as well. 

“A lot of people just see us driving around sometimes in flashy cars and suits and selling homes and that’s the perception of a real estate agent. 

“But we’re not like that. We are humans as well. 

“We have families, we have friends, we go through what everyone else is going through in their lives and I’d like to probably demonstrate that we’re all human.

“We’re definitely not in it to win business, but just to show that Buxton’s here to help the community.”

The next Cure Cystic Fibrosis Gala Ball in Geelong will be held on July 27. Click here for more details.

  • Don’t forget to listen to the Elevate podcast on Saturday, May 11, to hear Matt and two other agents share their acts of kindness.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.