*This post originally appeared in the Sentinel and Enterprise on 10/12/16. View the original post here.
Every single one of the 35 agents at EXIT New Options Real Estate donates a portion of his or her commission to North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity.
Nearly three years into the partnership, the real-estate brokerage based in Leominster, has donated more than $20,000 to the home-repair and building nonprofit organization, which operates strictly off of donations.
“It’s enormous,” said Carolyn Smart, executive director of North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity. “They send down a check every month, so it really builds up. We are able to take that money and spread it over multiple projects.”
North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity is independent and does not receive funding from the international Habitat brand, Smart said.
Locke Haman, a broker and manager for EXIT New Options Real Estate, said one of the agents, Denise Wortman, approached the firm with the idea of donating money to North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity, the board of which she sits.
Haman said all the agents had the option to donate part of their commission to the agency. When he introduced the idea three years ago, all the agents obliged, and as the staff has expanded, each new addition has also agreed to donate part of his or her commission. The amount is up to the agents, Haman said.
“It’s been an amazing partnership,” he said. “I always go back to the idea of the character of the agents we have. To have all 35 agents doing good right in our backyard is amazing.”
The money donated has directly impacted 18 different families. The money has gone to critical home repairs as well as to build new homes, Smart said.
“We wouldn’t be able to do our work or help those in need without donations like the ones we get from EXIT,” she said.
Haman said he is excited to see the partnership grow. EXIT New Options is a national corporation. The Leominster location is an independently owned franchise, Haman said. He said the corporate office has agreed to match each donation the Leominster brokerage makes to North Central Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity moving forward.
“I have high hopes and am excited to continue doing good work right in our backyard,” Haman said. “It is a perfect fit for our community.”