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Meet Chris Jones and James Hilgesen of homePERQs in San Diego County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Jones and James Hilgesen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
homePERQs was founded five years ago with a mission to educate the employees of our partnering companies and organizations into making what is typically the single most important financial investment of their lifetime: a home purchase.

Between the two of us, we’ve worked in the California service-based industry for over 20 years. James is a California native, he and his wife have two beautiful boys and started his career in hospitality. Chris, too, has an extensive background in hospitality, he grew up in Texas but has lived in San Diego for the past 15 years, met his wife in San Diego, and they are excited to welcome their first child later this year. Many do not know this but our relationship started while training employees for a hotel opening, and our friendship grew from there. We both served as the “officiant” at each of our weddings and has culminated in running a business together. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

homePERQs is built on the principles of informing, educating, and assisting the employees of our partnering companies on the best-individualized path toward credit improvement, homeownership, home financing, and overall financial wellness.

homePERQs seeks to provide informative educational programming to companies that will assist their employees in making sound, rational, and smart financial decisions regarding credit, homeownership, and renting versus buying analyses.

We provide educational and interactive lunch and learn workshops on-site to engage employees in a fun learning environment with topics ranging from an immediate home purchase to planning for the future. We offer free advice on and assistance with achieving homeownership goals for event attendees. We encourage and assist employees in evaluating their financial situation to ensure a home purchase is the right choice for them and helping them attain a healthy and prosperous work-life balance.

homePERQs provides confidential one-on-one on-site assistance sessions with employees from our partnering companies, establishing a safe environment for employees to discuss their current financial status and life planning goals. In these private meetings, employees will realize their home purchasing potential and have the opportunity to thoroughly discuss all options toward reaching their goals, with the assurance that all conversations are privileged between the individual and the homePERQs expert.

homePERQs is dedicated to contributing to a thriving culture for the employees of our partnering companies. Statistics show that employees want financial education to be a part of their benefits package. Employees prefer to receive this information via in-person seminars and one-on-one coaching. That is exactly what we provide and exactly what companies are looking for to sustain a thriving and motivated workforce.

Not only do we provide these educational assistance programs for our partnering companies in person, but we also have a healthy presence on social media via our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and e-newsletter platforms. We use these social media and newsletter tools to connect to companies, employees, and clients, delivering relevant content about market conditions, credit information, financial assistance programs, and many other related topics.

Last month, we announced our partnership with LiveWell San Diego as our goal is to help our community THRIVE. The LiveWell San Diego’s mission of Building Better Health, Living Safely, and Thriving are driving factors in the services we provide to our partnering companies and organizations. In addition, we are very actively involved in the San Diego Human Resources community via SDHR Forum, and as a founding member of Ignite Wellness San Diego whose organizational mission is to bring financial wellness into the workplace.

Has it been a smooth road?
Running our own business has been an exciting and always changing challenge. We love the opportunity to create something that has a lasting impact on people’s lives. We, like all entrepreneurs, have learned many lessons the hard way. Now, that we are in our fifth year of operation we have a fine-tuned message and understand exactly the value proposition we bring to organizations. We have learned that organizations that embrace workplace wellness are the right fit for our services.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the homePERQs story. Tell us more about it.
We are the only Mortgage and Real Estate company that operates in a B2B model. Meaning that all of our marketing and sales efforts are to align our company with organizations that are looking at driving culture while offering benefits to employees outside traditional offerings.

We have a long sales cycle, and in our industry that is normally not a good thing. For us, we take pride in our process. A core principle for us that we are in it with our clients for the long haul and not simply transaction-based. We have some clients that we have worked with for over three years, helping them build their credit, develop a savings plan and subsequently helping them purchase their first home. Not an easy task in San Diego without someone to help you along the way. This is what sets us apart.

Also, you might see other people in our space dabble in offering this type of education for companies, but this is ALL WE DO. Hence, we take great pride in the quality of our presentations, the technology we employ, and the interactive and fun lunch and learns that we deliver.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Big technology shifts are happening in the real estate and mortgage space like most industries. The financial wellness offering is being embraced by more and more organizations as the competitive market for attracting and retaining talent becomes more competitive. We feel well positioned for this growing market and see ourselves as leaders in this ever-evolving industry.

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