“If the real estate agent sends that client to us, and we end up buying a property for that client, the agent represents Landis on that acquisition and makes their full commission. In other words, we’re allowing agents to make commissions on transactions that would not have happened without Landis, and the NAR loves that,” Berdugo said, adding that it was a “win-win situation” and one of the benefits of partnering with the National Association of Realtors.

“We also work with mortgage lenders a lot, and in addition to real estate agents they have been a great source of growth for us as well,” he added.

Asked why he became involved in what many would consider to be a high-risk venture, he said: “It’s deeply personal. I grew up in Paris. My parents are Moroccan immigrants and when they moved from Morocco to France, they had a really tough time reaching homeownership.

“They were at the mercy of their landlords for years, and then the French government subsidized their access to homeownership.

“When I moved to America, I realized that homeownership was even more important in terms of financial stability here than it is in Europe. But there was a lack of fairness and access to basic financial services.