Heroes help heroes at this real estate firm

Communities are defined by their people. Whether it’s the EMS worker you call in a crisis, the teacher you rely on for guidance, or the military member fighting for your freedoms, there are heroes in every community who put their time and energy into keeping others safe.

Homes for Heroes understands that kind of hard work and sacrifice deserves something in return. They’re a national program that connects everyday American heroes — firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, teachers, healthcare professionals, and active, reserve, and veteran military — with money-saving resources to smoothly buy and sell their homes. Landis is proud to be their partner in our shared mission of making homeownership more accessible.

Like Landis, Homes for Heroes relies on agent partners to connect them with clients. One of their most trusted affiliates is Florida’s Navy to Navy Homes, a veteran-owned and operated firm led by retired Navy pilot Mario Gonzalez. The company focuses on working with active and veteran military members.

“We’re more concerned with the person than the paycheck,” says Mario. “And the best part is, I know I can call Homes for Heroes anytime and say I have a need, and I’ll always get the same answer: tell me what you need.”

Sometimes, that need comes from the Homes for Heroes Foundation, which funds grants and aid. Mario recalls a veteran dealing with stage 4 stomach cancer, whose wife was laid off in the winter just as their heating system began to break down. They teamed up with Homes for Heroes Foundation to replace the HVAC system and provide grocery money for the family of 5. “That wasn’t even a real estate transaction, but that’s the spirit of why we do what we do.”

Buying a house can be a long, complicated process for anyone. But add to it the uncertainty of living paycheck to paycheck, being miles away from your spouse or family, and working within a strict timeline to find a new home, and you’ll get closer to the experience of active military personnel.

“As agents who serve military members, you have to understand that you’re their resource here while they’re out of state or out of country,” says Ant Stroud, a former Navy and Navy to Navy realtor. “Does that mean you’re just putting the sign in the yard and taking the contracts? No.”

Ant refers to his clients as “family members,” and says he does anything for them that he would do for his own family. So far, that’s included some complicated legal run-arounds, dealing with HOA fees, and even receiving a shipment of household goods for a family deployed overseas.

Landis is another resource in any military member’s homebuying journey, especially first-time homeowners, which are Akime Deering’s focus as a Navy to Navy agent. “I’d rather sell four $250,000 houses than a one-million-dollar home,” the aviation veteran says.

When Akime became a homeowner in 2010, she had a lot of trouble getting a mortgage due to a simple lack of financial literacy. “I wish I’d had more support towards purchasing a home. I just made it over the hump with my finances and credit being where it needed to be.”

That’s where Landis can be a huge help. After buying the home of your choice in cash, Landis rents it to you for 1–2 years while providing a personal coach that guides you through raising your credit score, lowering debt, and getting ready for a mortgage to buy the home back.

Akime feels aligned with Landis’ mission given how much knowledge she now shares with her clients. “I love to educate people on homeownership, especially military personnel, by educating them on how to leverage their stipend.”

It may not be in their mission statement, but on top of connecting military members with the houses and savings they deserve, Homes for Heroes has done something else. They’ve created more heroes at every company they work with, as their agents and lenders alike go above and beyond for clients.

At this point, Navy to Navy Homes has sent over $2 million in Hero Rewards®, and Ant says he couldn’t be prouder. “In real estate, the more you put in the more you get back. But also, the more you get to give back.”

Find out if Landis can support your clients by learning more at Landis.com.