RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

FEB 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE February 2019 49 A Smoother Path to Homeownership FINDING ALTERNATIVE ROUTES WITH HOME PARTNERS OF AMERICA by Zoe Eisenberg T he path to homeownership has many ups and downs. Depending on the market and financial stability of the individual, the road can be long or bumpy, and for Todd Tucker, senior vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeSer- vices Georgia Properties, guiding clients along this route is the most rewarding part of the job. "It's exciting to experience the joy our clients feel when they get their home," says Tucker, who has been working in real estate since 1997. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties CEO Dan Forsman echoes Tucker's sentiment. "My favor - ite thing about our business is helping people achieve the dream of homeownership," Forsman explains. To assist their clients with unique financial needs, Forsman and Tucker turn to Home Partners of America, a flexible solution to homeownership that can help build a more secure financial future for homeowners. Through the company's Lease Purchase Program, Home Partners of America purchases the home a buyer is interested in, then leases the home to them with the inclusion of a right to purchase agreement, typically ranging from one to five years. This arrangement allows hopeful homeown - ers more time to get their credit in check and their financ- es in order, all while trying their future home on for size. "Providing a path through Home Partners of America has truly been an innovative way to open so many more homes to meet the diverse and expanding needs for renters and future homeowners," explains Forsman. Forsman and Tucker have been working with Home Partners of America since 2014, and have closed on more than 350 homes with the program to-date. "We have numerous success stories of military, single par - ents, and more that were able to utilize the program to get into a great home in a great school district," explains Forsman. "As with any transaction, there may be chal - lenges, but Home Partners of America has a great pro- cess for helping the consumer get a chance to own the American Dream." The program was initially recommended to their team by other national brokers and colleagues. "We met with the Home Partners of America representative and stud - ied the program, and ultimately decided it could be an added benefit to our agent toolbelt, providing another op - portunity to leverage rental leads into buyer closings," says Tucker. "There are more opportunities with homes for sale than for rent in our area, and this became a challenge for our associates hoping to find good rental homes," explains Forsman, who enjoys his relationship with Home Partners of America, and finds it easy to collabo - rate on things like marketing and ways to get his associ- ates engaged. So how does Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Geor - gia Properties interact with Home Partners of America on the day-to-day? Home Partners of America provides a reporting dashboard with regular communications of associates and deals, and Forsman and Tucker encour - age their associates to keep top of mind. "This helps to increase our conversion rates," says Tucker. "It's low- hanging fruit." Home Partners of America also assists with branding and marketing, including co-branded pieces for buyer packets, branded artwork for offices and online co-brand - ed pieces used for digital marketing. As a full-service real estate brokerage, Forsman and Tucker believe it's their job to work with all consumers— not just those who are ready to buy today. "This program allows these potential prospects to get into a great home in a great school district by choosing from those proper - ties for sale vs. for rent," says Tucker. "It opens a bigger pool of houses. It's a win-win for all." RE For more information, please visit www.homepartners.com. The Lease Purchase Program ("Program") is offered and administered by Home Partners of America, Inc. Resident and property must meet eligibility requirements, which are subject to change. Resident must qualify for a mortgage from a third-party lender or pay the purchase price in cash to exercise the right to purchase a home. Home Partners does not provide financing for the resident to purchase a home. Home Partners' approval for the resident to lease a home does not mean that the resident will later qualify for a mortgage. Home Partners, the Home Partners of America, Inc. logo and "A New Path to Homeownership" are pending or registered trademarks and service marks of Home Partners of America, Inc. or its affiliates.

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