The rise of the not for profit real estate agent

House for rent

When HomeGround Real Estate launched (2014 Melbourne and 2017 in Sydney) it became the latest of a small but growing number of not-for-profit organisations stepping into residential property management. It runs on a social enterprise model, providing landlords and tenants with a professional property management service and reinvesting revenue back into the community. Profit from management fees are directed into providing additional low income housing solutions, leveraging the private market for social gain.

This video from HomeGround’s early days shows the support from various organisations to help combat homelessness and address the need for rapid rehousing of vulnerable people and families.

Following the successful launch in Melbourne in 2014, HomeGround is expanding with the establishment of HomeGround Sydney.

The provision of housing stock is built predominantly on a philanthropic model, where landlords offer their properties at below market rental value to help contribute to their affordable housing initiative. Property owners who are willing to forego a percentage of their rental income to provide affordable rental to low income tenants receive quality property and tenancy management services from HomeGround. The rise of the not-for-profit real estate agent probes interesting thoughts on the social enterprise models more broadly, as it gives landlords a different type of return on investment: they receive social return on investment.

In Sydney, HomeGround also manages properties developed under NSW and Federal affordable housing schemes, and can offer an integrated management solution for developers with mixed market and affordable housing builds.

At the NHC Rebecca Pinkstone from Bridge Housing will present ‘We Manage Your Properties, You Make a Difference’, a paper that looks at the emergence of the HomeGround network and other not for NFP agencies, as well as the opportunities real estate licensing may present for CHPs. The ‘Opening doors to private rental’ session will focus on the NFP real estate agent as well as other new models for helping disadvantaged households overcome barriers to access and sustain tenancies in the private rental market.

The National Housing Conference will be held from 27–30 August 2019 at the Darwin Convention Centre.