Serving Community at Homie

Wassup, Homie! Thanks so much for checking out this personal blog post reflecting on my time at Homie, the work we’re doing, and the road ahead.

 

Homie is a tech-first, mission-driven real estate company. At Homie, our mission is making homeownership easy, affordable, and accessible for all. Homie has saved customers over $70,000,000 in just 6 years. Their business model is impacting the entire industry in favor of consumers. 

 

I joined Homie last year as a Marketing Specialist to help open the Las Vegas market. My first day on the job was the same day Nevada went under shut down. I was devastated, not for my current job but for the thousands of professionals I worked with at my previous job in hospitality.

 

Something had to be done. We originally planned to launch Homie at a Vegas Golden Knights game in epic fashion. This wasn’t the right thing to do anymore.

 

Homie’s leadership stepped up and decided to divert our resources to support the community directly instead. Homie committed $500 for every transaction we did in Las Vegas to the United Way’s Southern Nevada Covid-19 Relief Fund to help families stay in their homes. 

 

That was just the beginning.

 

As America witnessed the continued tragic loss of Black lives to systemic racism, we took more pause. “This ain’t right,” we told each other. Personally, many homies and I asked ourselves “what can we do?”

 

Be anti-racist. That’s the answer recommended to us by Black leaders we hired to learn from.

 

If we are to live up to our mission of making homeownership easy, affordable, and accessible for all then we must rid ourselves and the entire real estate industry of institutional racism. It’s no secret that the real estate industry played an explicit role in segregation through the 1930s – 1970s by redlining. We’re still discovering new ripple effects of institutional racism keeping many Black families further away from the American Dream of homeownership than other races.

 

We reached out to community leaders across Southern Nevada already working on increasing homeownership rates in underserved communities. We learned about the formerly segregated community, the Historic Westside of Las Vegas, designated as the West Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood by President Obama in 2013

 

We learned about the various obstacles preventing families from homeownership today, mainly financial obstacles like credit & debt. We learned about the non-profit and government resources available to help families fix their credit, pay back their debt, and even get down-payment assistance.

 

We wanted to help by contributing our marketing resources to put a spotlight on the housing resources available to the public and focus those efforts on Black communities in Southern Nevada by being intentional about marketing in Black communities.

 

The Las Vegas Coalition to Make Homes Possible was formed with the ambitious goal of helping 25,000 Black families get on the path to homeownership to help close the Black homeownership gap in Southern Nevada. In doing so, we can help close the racial wealth gap and make the American Dream more inclusive than ever. 

 

Certainly, we can’t do this alone and thus the nature of coalitions and collective impact initiatives depend on courageous inclusivity to inspire collaboration. Homie and I are thankful for our founding partnership with the Nevada Housing Division, City of Las Vegas, Urban Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Nevada Partners, Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, NID Housing Counseling Agency of Southern Nevada, and AmeriFirst Financial. Since then many real estate professionals and community leaders have supported this initiative including Congressman Steven Horsford, Commissioner William McCurdy II, Councilman Cedric Crear, Football Player Nelson Agholor, the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, and so many more. 

 

Only all together might we actually set in motion the work to achieve this audacious goal over the next 10 years. 

 

This is only the beginning.

 

As home prices reach all-time highs, as inventory reaches all-time lows, as the pandemic shakes up the work economy – more and more families are kept out of homeownership. 

 

Each community faces unique challenges that we can’t shy away from. As I move into my new role of Social Impact Manager at Homie, I’d love to learn how we might support your efforts, community, or organization in making homeownership easy, affordable, and accessible for all.

 

If you’d like to talk about that, talk about Homie in general, or whatever – please feel free to book time on my calendar here. Like Spidey says on family guy, “everyone gets one.”

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Elias Benjelloun

Elias Benjelloun

I'm a growth marketer inspired by technology. I believe that now, more than ever before do we need to empower ourselves with the tools and resources to succeed in this digital revolution.

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