“I chose HomeGround Real Estate after interviewing a variety of agents to rent my house in Montmorency. I had never been a landlord before so was somewhat hesitant.
From the first phone call, I felt very comfortable and well informed of the process. Their fees were very competitive when I compared them to the other agents I looked at.
Moreover, I really liked the idea that profits were invested back into helping out other people to getting a stable housing situation.
The inspection process went very smoothly and I’m happy with my tenants. I’ve already recommended to friends and family.”
Peter and Trinh Watson, Landlord
“Placing our rental property with HomeGround has been a wonderful experience. We have a small unit that has been renting for $220 per week but decided we could afford to reduce the rent and provide it to HomeGround and help the community. We receive around $2,500 per annum less in rent but much, much more in feeling good about helping others in need. Our unit is near the beach and amongst plenty of kids so we decided providing the unit to a single mother trying a fresh start for her and her child was the best fit. Every child deserves an opportunity to play and be happy in a safe and stable environment. Together with HomeGround we are helping to provide this.
The young family that are our guests had absolutely nothing before they moved in so my wife decided to ask around to see if we could furnish it as a nice surprise and the response was incredible! Everyone pitched in with furniture, crockery, food, linen and toys etc. and the look on their faces when they moved in was priceless – especially the child’s pure joy with her barbie laptop and play tent.
Our experience has been so rewarding we have decided to provide another unit and look forward to the day that we can provide more and charge even less.”
Natalie Titcume, Landlord
Natalie Titcume heard about HomeGround Real Estate at a time when she was about to rent out her property for the first time. Natalie and her partner chose the agency from the outset. This choice provides more than a financial return. Natalie says they both “loved the idea that we were helping someone else. Especially those who cannot afford to have a roof over their heads.”
Now, Natalie is not just a property owner but “a part of something larger”, she explains. Her choice in what real estate agency she uses now counts towards a social justice cause and simultaneously, she is actively involved as a kind of advocate for the agency who spreads the word to family and friends.
Unlike traditional agencies, there is a unique relationship between tenants and landlords at HomeGround Real Estate. Upon hearing about our agency and its mission, many tenants have been delighted. As Natalie says, “I think even them knowing they are helping in some way is nice also.”
Stephen Peterson, Landlord
Stephen Peterson is a landlord with HomeGround Real Estate. After reading about the agency in The Age and then having some initial contact with staff, Stephen made the decision to transfer from his agent of some years. Although thoroughly pleased with the agent’s service, HomeGround Real Estate struck him as innovative and worthwhile.
“Firstly, as a general principle, I thought what you were doing was a very good idea. I believe housing is the key for many people who are disadvantaged. If people are homeless or having trouble with their housing situation, to be able to provide a roof over their head, suitable to their needs, is a very constructive way forward,” Stephen said.
From a practical point of view, our agency made sense too. Stephen gives money to charities of his choice from time to time, and is always going to have to pay a management fee on his property.
“I thought this was a great meeting point, between the need to pay the fee and finding somewhere useful for it to go. I have a very positive feeling about the fact that in this small way I’m doing something constructive to help ameliorate the problem of homelessness in Melbourne,” Stephen said.
Has Stephen been happy with his choice to change agencies? “There was no reason to leave the previous real estate company, as I was satisfied with their service. Choosing HomeGround was purely an ideological choice on my part,” he said.
Furthermore, from a purely service perspective Stephen has experienced nothing but pluses. “You’re no different from a well-run, good service provider in the commercial sector, with competent, professional staff – if there are differences they’re all positive.”
Marcus Tansing, Landlord
Marcus Tansing has worked in the social services and housing sector for 23 years. Currently, he is the coordinator of The HomeGround Intensive Support Program (HISP) which is a first of its kind pilot program that he is thrilled to be part of.
Marcus explains, “I’ve always had a passion to work with people and help create opportunities for positive change.” It’s a sector he has always been enthusiastic to work in and Marcus has seen how important housing is for every individual in our community.
Perhaps that is why Marcus speaks so straightforwardly about his decision to have HomeGround Real Estate manage his investment property. “It was a no brainer,” he says, “As soon as it started I automatically thought, I need to be with that agency.”
As someone working in this sector, HomeGround Real Estate marries Marcus’ professional expertise and passion with his individual community mindedness. Marcus notes, “the agency is a natural fit with my work.” The knowledge and experience Marcus has means that he appreciates what HomeGround is doing and describes it as “a real action against homelessness”.
On a more personal level Marcus says “I would prefer it (the management fee) to go to an agency that puts money back into housing. It’s good to be able to provide something that has in a small way contributed towards ending homelessness”.
Marcus describes it as “a bonus” that he can contribute personally as well as professionally towards ending homelessness. If people in a similar situation as him were considering choosing HomeGround Real Estate, he’d ask them “why they wouldn’t?”