Right at Home Realty: Helping Make Homeownership Possible with Habitat HM

Right at Home Realty on a team build in May.

In the hunt for a place to call home, one of the biggest obstacles facing prospective homeowners is finding the right space. That’s where Right at home Realty Inc. Brokerage comes in. As the number one brokerage in the GTA, they pride themselves on their ability to find the perfect house that will fit your lifestyle like a missing puzzle piece. At Habitat HM, we’re dedicated to removing barriers that prevent families from accessing accommodation. We’re both guided by the notion that home is where the heart is, and we’re dedicated to helping local families find their place to call home.

Right at Home Realty donation sign

Right at Home Realty’s donated $21,000 to Habitat HM in April 2019.

Howard Drukarsh, co-founder of Right at Home Realty, served on the board of Habitat GTA and began a relationship with Habitat for Humanity by establishing it as their primary corporate charity. Thousands of dollars have been raised throughout the years.

Locally, Right at Home Realty has donated over $40,000 to our organization to support the construction of affordable housing within our community.

“Habitat HM fits our concept of people wanting to find a home and have a place of belonging,” said Lynn Moreira, senior branch administrator at Right at Home Realty’s Burlington branch. “We wanted to work with an organization that helps to build homes to allow people to feel like they belong as a part of the community.”

With over 15,000 deals processed in 2018 alone, it’s clear to see they’re committed to helping families and individuals find their place of belonging. 

Right at Home Realty’s Burlington branch started its relationship with Habitat HM in 2016.

“One of our agents was quite the Habitat volunteer and… it was through this agent (Lynn Clark, who’s now retired) who suggested we become more involved with Habitat,” said Richard Weima, broker and branch manager at Right at Home Realty Burlington.

Their local involvement began through agents opting to donate a portion of their commission. But as a highly ambitious corporation, they had their sights set on loftier goals.

In 2018, through the coordination of Moreira, Right at Home Realty Burlington introduced their unique donation model to sponsor a Habitat home.

Home sponsorship program

Presentation introducing their home sponsorship program.

Presentation to kick off Right at Home Realty’s home sponsorship program.

With the goal of raising $50,000 to sponsor the construction of an affordable home, Right at Home Realty set out to determine how they could make this happen.

A well-known fact within the real estate industry is that tackling a hefty goal is best done by breaking it into smaller pieces.

Their home sponsorship program introduced three tiers, with increasing involvement, that agents could choose to sign up for.

Gold level

The gold level sponsorship involved a donation of $500.

Gold level donation

Silver level

Silver was set to $250 total donation.

Silver level donation

Bronze level

The bronze category included a $125 donation.

Bronze level donation

“We made each opportunity slightly different from the other, knowing that if they contributed more, then they themselves would have perks,” said Moreira.

“Although they get the benefit of helping a family, everybody wants to have some kind of recognition… so if you contribute towards the goal, then you have the extended benefit of being able to be involved in a build day and the opportunity to be there for the ceremony when the family is officially introduced to their new home.”

This model definitely seems to be working, with less than $10,000 to go until they’ve attained their title as Habitat home sponsors.

Agents with Right at Home Realty Burlington individually opt to be involved with this home sponsorship program and they select one of the three sponsorship donation levels. 

By having the gold and silver levels, fewer agents’ participation is needed to attain their goal of home sponsorship.

“From 2015 to 2018 we’ve grown as an office, so we’ve had a lot of people jump on board to join our home sponsorship program,” said Moreira, hopeful the number of agents involved will continue to grow. 

They continue to inform all new agents of this program and use every opportunity to keep agents updated on fundraising progress towards their goal, added Moreira. 

“It’s never enough… we’re building this program one step at a time and we’re seeing it grow and become more accepted by agents,” said Weima.

From one goal onto the next

“Set the goal, work towards the goal, achieve the goal and move onto the next,” said Weima.

Not only does this apply to their approach to real estate, it also directs their mentality with giving back to the community.

“I’m astounded (at the impact we’ve had),” said Weima. “When I first got here, I had no idea that we would be able to engage so much support from our agents. We initially set our goal (to raise) $50,000. We signed on blindly, with hope and belief that we could do it, and now here we are at $40,000.”

Working to raise money to fund the construction of a housing unit on our Queensway build has been a powerful motivator for their team, said Moreira. The prospect of having something tangible within the community that they can all point to as a feat they’ve accomplished together helps them to stay focused on their goal.

The agents have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with Habitat through this home sponsorship program and have benefited from having a meaningful role to play within their community, said Weima.

“We’re so excited for the next phase when the selected family moves in.”  

From finding homes for families to building them

Right at Home team build in October

Right at Home Realty joins us for a team build in October 2018.

As a perk included in their gold level of home sponsorship, agents from Right at Home Realty Burlington joined us on-site for two team build days. First in October 2018 and then again in May 2019.

John Lusink, president of Right at Home Realty, worked right alongside his team, wielding a hammer and a hardhat, in an experience he won’t soon forget.

“It’s a great way to connect with people in a way you never normally would,” said Lusink. “It’s a unique experience for most people, myself included as a first-timer, and I think you quickly realize you’re building a home for a family to move into.”

For Lusink, the most impactful part of the build day was being able to understand the scope of the project. There are many moving pieces involved in constructing affordable housing for local families and recognizing how each helping hand pushes the project forward is a highly rewarding feeling.

October team build Signed 2 x 4 by Right at Home Realty. October team build

Home is where the heart is

“Habitat HM is the significant charity that we’re involved with, and it’s very rewarding for our company as a whole. We’re very proud to be involved,” said Lusink.

Right at Home Realty and Habitat HM’s values align very closely. Simply put, we believe that everyone should have a place to call home.

“(We value that Habitat’s work allows) families to be able to (move) into a home they can call their own,” said Weima. “It gives an opportunity for someone to work hard, get into a home and make a start with their life… that’s a great feeling to be involved with.”

If home is where the heart is, then it makes sense that Right at Home Realty’s agents are full of heart. Thank you to the following sales representatives from Right at Home Realty’s Burlington branch for participating in the home sponsorship program, enabling a local, hardworking family to find their place to call home.

  • Tara Alkhalisi 
  • Irina Arkhipova (real estate broker)
  • Mary Atto
  • Lynn Clark (retired) 
  • Ingrid Cockburn
  • Andrew Cosgrove
  • Maybelline Di Giovanni
  • Nick and Zina Gewarges
  • Karen Glancy
  • Angela Haas
  • Abeer Hana 
  • Sandra Kersteman
  • Urszula Kujavsky
  • Lynn Moreira (senior branch administrator – licensed)
  • Ranjit Padda
  • Ian Smith 
  • Vanessa Vance
  • Richard Weima (broker and branch manager)

To learn more about Right at Home Realty, visit their website.

To get in touch with their Burlington branch, give them a call at 905-637-1700 or send them an email.

Learn more about how you can sponsor a Habitat home or get involved with our team build days. See for yourself how the experience can transform and energize your team.

Check out our current build projects here

By: Olivia Kabelin