By MAREN JAMES
With the Here for Heroes program the realtors at The Young Team are taking money out of their pockets and putting it into the pockets of local heroes. The program is a 20 percent commission rebate toward closing costs for those who qualify, including medical caregivers, first responders, teachers and current military personnel.
Bobby Heller has been a realtor and a real estate consultant on The Young Team for more than two years. “Here for Heroes began in 2020. Last year was a stressful year for everybody on the list – teachers, first responders, everybody,” Heller says. “That’s how this started. It’s definitely great to give back to these people, they work some tough jobs. This is what we can do as realtors to show gratitude to them.” Heller says he’s worked with five or six buyers over the past year who have qualified for the program.
Recent clients of Bobby’s are Harika and Sree, parents of two, both physicians, both practicing radiology, and both with very demanding schedules. “Our schedule varies every day based on the number of procedures, departmental and research meetings,” they explain. “A typical day at work starts at 7.30 am and lasts till five or six pm. It is usually so busy at work that we barely find any time to think about family, kids and the rest of the things outside work. It feels like every week passes in a snapshot. We try to spend at least an hour every evening after work playing with kids, and we realized that a spacious house is the key to spend quality time with them.”
Difficult schedules were even more challenging through the pandemic. “Though the pandemic has created havoc in our lives, we have experienced immense job satisfaction being able to help the needful,” Harika says. Being frontline workers called for the couple to add personal sanitizing precautions both at work and at home, which started to take away from the very little free time they had with their children.
Harika and Sree realized that apartment living with two young children was just too tough. They decided to move into a large home with a yard. “Bobby really helped us figure out the pros and cons of the houses which in turn helped us to prioritize our options for on-site visits,” Sree says. “In fact this helped us save valuable time. Bobby’s thoroughness, local expertise and his insight into price negotiations from a buyer’s perspective made the process much smoother.”
With any real estate transaction, in addition to the actual cost of the house or the mortgage loan comes closing costs. The realtors’ commission is a percentage of the sale price, split between the agent for the sellers and the agent for the buyers. With Here for Heroes, The Young Team member subtracts 20 percent of his personal commission and gives it back to his client, seller or buyer, to help them pay for some of the incurred fees.
“We are absolutely enjoying our new home,” Sree says. “It was a little tricky to maintain the big outdoor space during winter, especially during snowstorms. But eventually we got used to it. We are eagerly looking forward to summer to enjoy the woods in the backyard.”
“Our favorite part of our new home is the sunroom and the backyard,” Harika adds. “The neighborhood is absolutely beautiful and feels safe.”
“I’m not concerned about losing money. It’s not about that one paycheck,” Heller says. “It’s the growth potential. It’s about helping these people save some money and doing my best.” He is confident someone who goes through the program will talk about it with co-workers, turning those heroes into clients as well. “It’s short-sighted to focus on the money ‘lost’ in the deal,” he adds. “There’s money to be made by growing your business. It’s a win-win for buyers and sellers and a win for us on the Young team.”
The Young Team supports Here for Heroes Program, started in 2020
By MAREN JAMES