Purpose-based Atlanta real estate brokerage Bolst is on a mission to elevate lives and advance communities.
Bolst makes home a reality for individuals who never thought it would be; photo by Josh Vick
The Bolst team; photo by Caleb Jones
Home means something different for everyone. It can be something tangible like a hometown or an abstract notion like a person, feeling, taste or smell. It is a memory as much as it is a physical entity, and that is what makes it so special to the beholder. Home is the American dream and what we work so hard toward in the workforce—buy a house, get married, have a family. So when home seems so far out of reach it might never happen, it is debilitating.
Co-founder Rich Richardson; photo by Roxy Moure
Homelessness statistics in our country and our Atlanta community are sobering. Not all homeless people are crazy, mentally ill or looking for handouts, according to the Atlanta Mission; instead, they lost control of their home, a job ended, an uninsured home burned down, a teen got kicked out of the house. Enter Bolst (bolst.homes), a real estate brokerage working to provide housing for everyone. The Justin Landis Group, Team Rich Richardson and Strive Real Estate Group have joined their top-producing Atlanta teams together to form the new brokerage purposed to pursue a public benefit of a reduction in homelessness, affordable housing options, and to increase the number of homeowners in underserved communities, starting in Atlanta. “Rich and I woke up at the beginning of this year and had a feeling that purpose business is good business and that there was an opportunity to do more,” says Justin Landis. Think of Bolst as the Patagonia, Toms or Thrive Coffee of the real estate industry, a concept that hadn’t yet been tapped into on a national level. At each step of the transaction, Bolst is challenging people to join them. “We are inviting people to join us,” says Rich Richardson. “You can give any amount at closing to support the mission and it’s amazing how many clients are out there who just want to participate.” Landis continues, “Same with the transaction partners, the lenders and attorneys and insurance agents. Every time there is a transaction in real estate there are a lot of people involved, and by inviting them in, we are expanding our impact to fight homelessness on a local level,” says Landis. This year, Team Rich Richardson and The Justin Landis Group are partnering with the Atlanta Mission for their Home for the Holidays campaign and Strive Real Estate Group is partnering with Grove Park Renewal where every one of their agents will contribute a portion of their commissions per closing toward an end goal.
Co-founder Justin Landis; photo by Caleb Jones
Although just launched Aug. 9, Bolst has already added multiple new real estate agents to its brokerage and is getting people back on their feet on a personal level. “I’ve worked alongside two people who had been displaced and were on the verge of becoming homeless. I’ve helped get them into an apartment and learn budgeting,” says Richardson. “Bolst is twofold, where we encourage our agents to get involved personally as well as focusing on the brokerage as a larger entity, an opportunity partnership.”