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Down payment assistance valuable tool in recruiting and retaining staff

Have you wondered where money could be well spent to attract and retain quality employees while also keeping them motivated and happy? What type of bonus, benefit package or reward program would differentiate your operation from your competitors? 

This is a constant struggle for business owners, one not likely to end soon. Finding talented employees is difficult, and you must provide benefits to entice and retain them. In many circumstances, this can’t be done by simply paying more than everyone else. It costs money to run a business and generally more money to run it well and with great people and operating systems in place. It’s important that employees appreciate where they spend more waking hours than they do at home. It’s hard to say in this difficult economic time, but choosing where they spend their working years should involve more than just dollars and cents.

One way in which employers enjoy success in recruiting and retaining employees is by offering down payment assistance to employees purchasing a home.

Mortgage products are still available that allow the down payment for the purchase to be gifted directly from employers. This can be done in a multitude of ways. For example, you could decide to offer a fixed dollar amount or percentage towards the down payment, or you could offer to match the employee’s down payment to a certain dollar amount or percentage.

The ability to offer down payment assistance differs greatly from employer to employer. It’s important that employers and employees alike know what’s available. The recovery of the housing market is critical to the national and local economic future. The benefits this program could provide to you and your employees are substantial.

For many buyers, the most difficult piece of the home buying puzzle is saving for a down payment. Life events happen that drain checking and savings accounts. According to the results of a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and published in August 2010, renters were more than five times more likely to move than homeowners. Imagine if you could hold the key to this type of stability in their lives.

Based on information from the Federal Home Mortgage Corp. Workforce Home Benefit Initiative and prepared for the NAR, the benefits to employers engaging in employee homeownership assistance programs include:

  • Increased recruiting abilities.
  • Higher retention.
  • Increased employee loyalty and morale.
  • Improved employee dependability.
  • Improved stability of surrounding community.
  • Enhanced community commitment.
  • Improved employer of choice reputation.
  • The homeownership study conducted by the NAR also showed:
  • Homeowners move far less frequently than renters and remain in the same neighborhoods and communities for longer periods.
  • Homeowners enjoy a higher overall quality of life, contributing to a higher quality of life for their children and their future success, including increased educational attainment and higher lifetime annual incomes.
  • Homeowners have a much greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters.
  • Homeowners are happier and healthier than non-owners.
  • Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status and constitutes the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.

Home values are again affordable in the Grand Valley and surrounding areas. Couple this with low interest rates, and buyers are able to obtain affordable, long-term fixed payments for years to come. Offering something with this sort of value will assist in recruiting new talent to your organization while retaining the valuable individuals you already have. Moreover, you also might improve their quality of life and possibly that of their children. Invest in your employees, invest in your future.

Lonnie Knob, branch manager of Envoy Mortgage in Grand Junction, has been serving the home financing needs of Grand Valley and Colorado residents for more than 10 years. A full-service mortgage bank, Envoy Mortgage offers state-of-the-art technology, from e-signatures to automated milestone notifications. For more information, call 424-5585 or visit the Web site at www.envoymortagage.com
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