“It’s a real opportunity for the perception of an estate agent to be changed,” Leighton Walters, CEO and founding director of Heart for the Homeless, told Real Estate Business.
Established in 2009, Heart for the Homeless is a not-for-profit organisation which links tenants and homeowners who are moving, with charities that can collect unwanted household goods.
A free initiative, Mr Walters sees the service as something that agents and property managers – who are often best placed to know when people are planning to move - can help promote to clients and prospective buyers and/or tenants.
“We want [real estate] agencies to be promoting it at open homes, vacating notices, putting it on signboards and prospecting material on their website, in newsletters, just promoting it to their networks,” he said.
“At the end of the day, our findings have shown that 85 per cent or more of people moving home dispose of anywhere between 15 and 50 kilograms [of household goods], and we want to make sure that we capitalise on that.”
Mr Walters said clients can register their details on the organisation’s website, and a local (nearby) charity – such as the Salvation Army – then contacts them to organise a pick up.
“We didn’t want to reinvent what charities already do, or compete with any other charities,” Mr Walters continued. “We simply wanted to look at what they already do, and figure out a way and concept to be able to make them more effective, more efficient, and can help more people.”
“The great thing is, [our service] is a one-stop shop. People can log on, and it can all be done automatically for them.”
More information about Heart for the Homeless can be obtained by clicking here