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Home #Hwoodtimes Jay Z and Will Smith-backed Landis Brings Home Ownership Dream To Lower...

Jay Z and Will Smith-backed Landis Brings Home Ownership Dream To Lower Income Populations

By Marc Ang

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/26/21 – Landis, the Jay-Z and Will Smith-backed startup through Roc Nation’s Arrive and Dreamers VC, launches their new “House To Home” program today. Any new Landis clients who (1) enroll from October 26 – November 12, 2021 and (2) move into a Landis purchased home by December 31, 2021 will receive a $500 gift card to help turn their house into their dream home through adding furnishings and the personal touches needed to turn their new house into a home for their families. If a client who applies was referred to Landis by a real estate agent, that agent will also receive $500.

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Landis is a social impact-driven company with a mission to guide renters on their unique path to purchasing a home and making that path more accessible, transparent and empowering. The company aims to assist Americans who have been neglected by traditional financial solutions and coaches them to mortgage-readiness so they can purchase their dream home.  If qualified into the program, the client selects their home and Landis purchases it on their behalf and rents it to them for 12-24 months while they get ready for a mortgage.

Landis’s average client has an income of $3,500/month and its number one priority is to give people more opportunity and help them improve their financial education, and ultimately achieve financial equality and inclusion in the United States.

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In an exclusive Hollywood Times interview with CEO Cyril Berdugo, he answered the following questions:

How does the “House to Home” program help with financial education of the lower income populations?

Landis’s mission of helping renters transition into homeownership is through financial education of what it takes to qualify for a mortgage and coaching our clients all throughout their journey.  That process starts when they apply to our program and continues until they successfully qualify for a mortgage and are able to buy the house back from us and become homeowners.   The House to Home Program is a way for us to get the word out about our Homeownership Program and to give an extra incentive for our clients to be able to do something unexpected for their new homes.

Cyril, what inspired you to start this company and how did it start?

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My grandparents emigrated from Morocco to France.  My father grew up in low-income housing and relied on government assistance for housing.  Our mission is very close to my heart and I want to help everyone reach their dream of homeownership. Homeownership is one of the most powerful ways to build intergenerational wealth.  When we were forming the company, my co-founder and best friend, Tom Petit, and I met with hundreds of people in the housing industry and realized that while there are resources and programs to help buyers who are ready to get a mortgage now, there weren’t any to help those who need a bit more time and guidance.   So, we created a program that would help renters transition into homeowners through financial coaching, and we make a bet on their success by buying them their home when they enter the program.  Our clients get to live in their homes while they are preparing for their mortgage. My dream is that Landis can help everyone not only achieve the goal of homeownership but also to create financial stability and build wealth for themselves and their families for generations to come.

How did the Jay Z and Will Smith connection come about?

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Jay Z and Will Smith have always cared deeply about financial inclusion and economic empowerment.  Landis’s mission resonated with them and their teams, and we’re so glad to have them onboard.

How do you deal with the challenges of financial habits and does the 2 year program address the breaking of deep-seated financial bad habits in low income populations?

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We have found that when our clients are treated with compassion and understanding and given the opportunity to learn how they can achieve a goal they really want – such as homeownership – they are really committed and motivated to do whatever is necessary.   Qualifying for a mortgage and buying a home can be complex for anyone but especially for first time buyers; Landis helps to tackle those challenges head on through education early on and on-going financial coaching with clear steps and personalized plans.

Why is this only available in 12 eastern seaboard states and 47 cities? And are there plans to bring this to California and/or the other 38 states? We are only just getting started with our 47 cities.  We are working on entering more cities and states in the coming months and our plan is to expand to every state and to everyone in America.  We deeply believe that anyone who wants to become a homeowner should have the opportunity to do so.

What percentage of people complete the 24 month rent-to-own program and are successful in staying in their home? Our success rate is 80%.

For this $500 gift card to incentivize people to sign up, how are you getting the word out to the community?

The clients and agents we serve are deeply connected in their communities and networks.  Our plan is to reach out as much locally as possible, through direct communications to our existing and new agent partners, prospective clients, media outlets, social media, local events, etc.

For those below the minimum of $2,500 a month income, where do they go?

To help reach those who might not qualify for our homeownership program today, we launched a free Landis Homeownership Coaching App (available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).  Based on the financial information provided by the user, the App makes suggestions on steps to take towards homeownership such as increasing income, paying off debt, etc.

For anyone who meets the criteria below from the 47 cities, apply for free with no commitment needed at https://in.landis.com/landishome2021/. The application only takes a few minutes and does not affect credit. It is open to all individuals 18 years of age and older with a FICO 2 credit score of at least 550 and a monthly combined income of at least $2,500.  Further qualification terms and conditions of the Landis program can be found on www.landis.com. The selected home must be within Landis’s operating geographies listed below. The giveaway will run from the following dates, and no entries received after November 12, 2021 shall be considered eligible.

  • Akron, OH

  • Anderson, IN

  • Asheville, NC

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

  • Baltimore-Towson, MD

  • Birmingham-Hoover, AL

  • Charleston-North Charleston, SC

  • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC

  • Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN

  • Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH

  • Columbia, SC

  • Columbus, GA-AL

  • Columbus, OH

  • Dayton, OH

  • Decatur, AL

  • Durham, NC

  • Fayetteville, NC

  • Fort Wayne, IN

  • Greensboro-High Point, NC

  • Greenville, NC

  • Indianapolis-Carmel, IN

  • Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

  • Mobile, AL

  • Pittsburgh, PA

  • Raleigh-Cary, NC

  • Salisbury, MD

  • Savannah, GA

  • Toledo, OH

  • Winston-Salem, NC

  • Bloomington, IN

  • Charleston, WV

  • Chattanooga, TN-GA

  • Evansville, IN-KY

  • Gainesville, GA

  • Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC

  • Huntsville, AL

  • Knoxville, TN

  • Lexington-Fayette, KY

  • Memphis, TN-AR-MS

  • Montgomery, AL

  • Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

  • South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI

  • Spartanburg, SC

  • Tuscaloosa, AL

  • Wilmington, NC

  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

Landis helps people on their unique path to homeownership. The company allows its clients to rent the home of their dreams for up to 24 months and purchase it as soon as they are mortgage-ready. The Landis Homeownership Coaching App, which guides its users to mortgage-readiness, is available for free on the App Store for iPhone users (coming soon to Android).

For more information, visit www.landis.com