In this episode of The Agent of Wealth Podcast, host Marc Bautis is joined by C. David Cain, President and CEO of Heroes Home Advantage, a program that offers military, law enforcement, firefighters, health care, emergency personnel, and teachers a discount or rebate when purchasing real estate. Together, they talk about how the Heroes Home Advantage program works.
In this episode, you will learn:
- What the Heroes Home Advantage Program is.
- How the Heroes Home Advantage Program works, including how and when heroes receive rebates for real estate.
- How the Heroes Home Advantage Program differs from other similar programs.
- How to get involved in the program, on both the hero and partner side.
- And more!
Disclosure: The transcript below has been lightly edited for clarity and content. It is not a direct transcription of the full conversation, which can be listened to above.
Welcome back to The Agent of Wealth Podcast, this is your host Marc Bautis. On today’s show, I brought on a special guest, C. David Cain. David is the President and CEO of Heroes Home Advantage, the largest hero rebate program in the country for buying or selling real estate. The program offers military, law enforcement, firefighters, health care, emergency personnel, and teachers a discount or rebate when purchasing real estate. Heroes Home Advantage has given back over $20 million dollars to heroes over the last 12 years.
In addition to his role with Heroes Home Advantage, David is also a mortgage lender with 24 years of experience. David, welcome to the show.
Marc, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and your listeners.
My pleasure. I’m looking forward to talking about the Heroes Home Advantage program. Can you start off by sharing, in general, what the program is?
What is the Heroes Home Advantage Program?
The Heroes Home Advantage Program is a network of realtors, lenders, attorneys and title companies that are willing to give back a portion of their commission to heroes when they buy or sell real estate. As you mentioned, the five categories of heroes are: Police, fire, healthcare, education and military.
When a hero comes to us to buy or sell real estate, we’re able to get them connected to the professionals within our network who are willing to give back in the form of a closing cost credit.
That’s great. Now, before we get into some specifics, how did you get involved in the Heroes Home Advantage program?
Well, the founder of Heroes Home Advantage was a lady out of New York – she started the program 12 years ago and did a phenomenal job building the program out. I reached out to her, because one of the things I do as a lender is give back to our heroes, especially VA borrowers. We have zero lender fees on all VA loans, and the company that I worked for has given back over a million dollars to our veterans with zero lender fees.
But anyway, I reached out to her because I wanted to be a lender for Heroes Home Advantage. Over time, it evolved to a point where I bought it, so now I’m the owner and what I like to call the “chief hero evangelist.”
Nice, I like the title. Can anyone become a professional partner for the Heroes Home Advantage program if they are in one of those professions you mentioned?
Yes. In summary, there are two different categories.
- Our heroes: Military, law enforcement, firefighters, health care, emergency personnel, and teachers.
- Our partners: Realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies, and real estate attorneys.
So if you fit within those categories and are located in the U.S., you can be a part of the Heroes Home Advantage program.
That’s great. I know that part of why you’re speaking with us today is to get the word out, but how are you informing heroes about this opportunity?
We’re absolutely trying to increase awareness across the country. There are other programs that are somewhat similar, but, in my opinion, not as good. But I’m biased.
But we’re trying to reach heroes, educate them and let them know how we can help them and why we are different. We’re doing it through social media and our website. For example, we have what we call a “Hero of the Week,” which is a way for us to recognize heroes in all five categories. Essentially, we feature a hero at a company or organization every week on our social media. We also give them an Amazon gift card just as a thank you.
But yes, we’re utilizing a multitude of avenues to get the word out.
You mentioned earlier that the partners give up a piece of their commission, which makes up the rebate. Is there a government program element to this, too?
How Do the Heroes Benefit?
The rebate comes from the partner(s). This is not a government program or a grant. To put it simply, our partners are willing to give back to our heroes. The realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies and attorneys give back a portion of their commission, which can all add up to a substantial rebate. I haven’t found a program anywhere in the country that gives more than ours.
And is that rebate provided at closing, or at a later date?
When Can the Hero Expect the Rebate?
The rebate is provided at closing in every state that allows it – note that there are a few states that don’t allow it at the closing table.
This is one of the huge differences between Heroes Home Advantage Program and other programs that don’t provide a credit or rebate until 30 or 45 days after closing. In my opinion, getting that money back at closing is huge for the hero because many of these heroes don’t have flush bank accounts, so it’s much more beneficial for them to get the credit right then and there.
Yeah, definitely. Can you walk through the process from the beginning to end, on the hero’s end?
How to Utilize the Heroes Home Advantage Program
Well, the very first step is to learn about the program and go directly to our website, heroeshomeadvantage.com. There, you’ll click the “Heroes” tab and submit a basic form with a little bit of information. Once we receive that submission, we reach out to the hero and assign them to a partner in their area.
It’s really important that the hero starts the home buying or selling process with us, instead of a realtor not involved in the program, if they want a rebate – because not all realtors are willing to give back a portion of their commission. If you’ve already signed an agreement with a realtor, then it’s probably too late to get the majority of the credit we offer. So we highly encourage our heroes to start the process with us.
Is that partner that you connect the hero with always a realtor?
Yes, for a couple reasons. Number one, the realtor is who kickstarts the home buying and selling experience, right? Also, there are more realtor partners than there are lending partners, so that’s one of the main reasons why we start with the realtor. so the realtor can then refer them to a lending partner.
If there’s not a lending partner, the realtor partner of Heroes Home Advantage will typically refer the hero to a lender they work with locally. But, ultimately, we’d like there to be a realtor partner and a lending partner on each transaction because the discounts add up with the more partners you have.
Okay, so you mentioned the realtor and lender. Do you have title companies and real estate attorneys involved in the program as well?
We do, but there are fewer of them. We certainly would love more, so if any attorney or title companies are listening, we would love to talk to you! But as of right now, the main component is the realtor.
Okay. And do you have realtor partners in every state?
Well, we’re actually in the process of rebuilding the program and adding to what has already existed. As of right now, there are some areas of the U.S. that do not have realtor partners. But in the past, when we’ve had multiple heroes reach out from an area without a partner, we just found a realtor in the area that was interested in joining the program. We basically just tell them, “We have a buyer (or a seller) in your area. Would you be interested in being a part of our program?”
On our website, there is a map that shows which areas of the country do and do not have partners, but please don’t let that prevent you from submitting your information to us because we will always find someone willing to help.
That’s great. Is there any part of the program that differs depending on the type of hero?
Well, yes and no. Obviously, military are going to get a VA loan because that’s usually the best option for them. On VA loans we have zero lender fees, which is a credit of $1,112 for all active duty military and veterans.
The other hero categories cannot get a VA loan unless they are also a veteran. But assuming they’re not, then the loan options would be conventional FHA and USDA. In those scenarios, most lenders give back up to the appraisal cost, which is typically around $500-550.
So it’s a little bit different for active duty military and veterans versus the other heroes.
Okay, makes sense. Have you seen some real estate brokerages or lending institutions have any push back on these types of programs?
Well, it depends. Most realtors in the program had to run the idea by a broker. Some don’t, depending on how long they’ve been there or what kind of volume they have. But the ones that do have to go through the broker because obviously the broker is taking a little bit of a cut when the total commission is reduced.
Some of them take a short-term view and believe that involvement in the program isn’t favorable. But really, we look at it long-term: We believe that if you’re a realtor, lender, or otherwise using our program, you’re going to build a business that’s long-term and sustainable through our marketing platform.
How The Heroes Home Advantage Program is Different
Earlier, you mentioned there are other programs like this out there, but one of the things Heroes Home Advantage does differently is the size of the rebate back to the hero. Are there any other differences from the other programs out there?
Yes, there are several programs out there, but as I’ve researched the others, it’s actually embarrassing how little they give to the hero and how much the companies are padding their pockets. I’ve seen some programs that give $500 to the hero, and the company takes thousands upon thousands of dollars – which is just really sad to see.
When I took over, I wanted to make sure that there was not a program out there that had a larger rebate than ours. So that’s one way we’re different.
Two, many of the other programs give the hero the money after closing, typically 30 to 60 days later. While this is still great, I believe it’s far less beneficial for the hero. As I mentioned earlier, these hero categories usually don’t have flush bank accounts. They don’t have large amounts of cash for down payments and closing costs, so every dollar on the front end is valuable.
Yeah, definitely. I know we talked about the five categories of a hero. Are those categories something that you came up with as a company, or is that the standard?
Well, I think every program has their own classifications. Some may just be for the military, some may just be for teachers, and so on. This program, to my knowledge, has always been all five categories.
When you think about the term “hero,” these are the people – in my opinion – that really define “hero.” I mean, I have friends or family in all five of these categories and they make so many sacrifices. Not to mention the harm they put themselves in front of to protect and serve us, the stories, the deployments… I’ve heard so many stories.
20 or so years ago, I ran through a pretty tough time and moved in with my sister for a short while. She’s a teacher, and I got to see first hand how demanding her job was. She would get up at 5:30 in the morning, go to work, come home to take care of the family, then by 7pm she would work, grading papers and doing lesson plans until 10pm. She was working 12-hour days with very little pay. Those are the real heroes.
Absolutely, I agree. Well, that’s all the questions I have for you today. David, thank you for joining me on the show to talk about Heroes Home Advantage. It’s really great what you’re doing with the program and I’m hopeful that I have some listeners who can benefit from it. Can you share your website and contact information for those who want to learn more?
Absolutely. Marc, thank you for having me on your podcast. Hopefully this conversation was beneficial to your listeners.
Our website is heroeshomeadvantage.com. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. If you’ve listened to this episode but you don’t qualify for Heroes Home Advantage, you could really help us by sharing this podcast with a friend, family member, neighbor or somebody else that you know in the hero category. We would appreciate that. And liking or following us would certainly help as well.
Great, we’ll link to all of those resources in the show notes. Thanks again, David. And thank you to everyone who tuned into today’s episode. Don’t forget to follow The Agent of Wealth on the platform you listen to and leave us a review on the show. Thank you.