Property investors can help break the cycle of poverty
10 January 2018, realestate.com.au.
Read the article online here.
An Australian NGO has now launched a ‘for purpose’ real estate agency which will channel its profits into affordable housing and programs for disadvantaged people.
Evolve Housing is one of the largest not-for-profit community housing providers in the country and their latest initiative enables property investors to give back to the community.
It comes as no surprise that real estate is an excellent investment, especially in Sydney where the median price for a detached house has risen more than 80% in the last five years.
Yet such exceptional investment returns tend to have a negative impact on housing affordability for low to middle-income earners.
In response to this trend, Evolve Housing has now provided a unique chance for people who have benefited from property investment to be part of the solution, launching a more meaningful, purpose-driven real estate agency last September called Echo Realty.
Through this, they manage affordable properties on behalf of local and state government, property developers and private property investors.
Since launching, the Echo Realty team has grown its portfolio to over 600 properties across Sydney and offers property management services to everyday investors in the private market.
Unlike traditional real estate agencies, Echo Realty is fully owned by Evolve Housing.
Therefore, 100% of all profits from the real estate agency go directly back into the not-for-profit’s social inclusion programs, which include providing vulnerable young people aged 16-24 with life skills training, as well as grants to help struggling parents purchase items such as school books and footy boots.
Echo Realty’s ‘for purpose’ model ensures that investors can give back to their community without sacrificing the financial returns associated with owning a rental property.
Property investors can enjoy financially competitive property management fees, and the same – if not higher – level of service you’d expect from a real estate agency is provided.
Janet John, a public servant, recently bought a new one-bedroom property off a plan in Liverpool, Sydney which has since been managed by Echo Realty.
“I haven’t had any financial downsides,” says John. “This has been a brilliant investment for me as through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) I get a yearly government rebate of roughly $10,000.”
“Echo Realty will do everything a normal property agent will do,” says John. “They will pay your bills, look after maintenance and repairs, and manage the NRAS payments.”
All potential rental applications are assessed as per the usual requirements to ensure the potential tenant is not only financially able to meet their commitments but are also suitable for the property.
Lisa Baker, a single mother of two children has been renting one of Echo Realty’s affordable houses since May last year, after finding the two-bedroom property located in Blacktown, Sydney, through realestate.com.au.
“The unit is in a new building located near shops, a train station, parks and a netball court,” says Baker. “Renting a property through Echo Realty has allowed me to save $150 a week in rent.”
Want to give back to your community? Find out how you can be part of the housing affordability solution.