2023 HW Vanguard: Ruth Johnson

1200x675_Vangaurds_Winners - Ruth Johnson

Homes for Heroes CEO Ruth Johnson is a thoughtful entrepreneur and a passionate advocate for giving back. More than 20 years ago, Johnson was a successful real estate professional who was inspired to find a way that her business could contribute to the betterment of those she served in her community, leading her to found Homes for Heroes. Homes for Heroes is a company that helps heroes buy or sell a home and earn money in the process. Thanks to Johnson, tens of thousands of heroes have collectively earned millions on their transactions, and as the company continues to expand its nationwide reach, she’s likely to help thousands more. Johnson owned a thriving Coldwell Banker franchise where she worked with her family in suburban Minnesota when 9/11 happened. She recalls being moved by a speech President Bush delivered that called on communities to rally together to work past the tragedy a speech that sparked an idea, a way that she could use her business to give back. Johnson went on to found Homes for Heroes to help local heroes in her community by assisting them with their real estate transactions. She created a network of agent affiliates who were willing to give their referral free to the hero as a thank you, amounting to an average of $3,000 cash back at closing. In the 22 years since its inception, Homes for Heroes has built a nationwide network of more than 4,500 affiliates who work to help their local heroes — including firefighters, first responders, law enforcement, military, health care professionals and teachers  by helping them buy or sell a home and earn money in the process.

What has been your secret to success?

I am passionate about my work. I am is driven to do better and work harder every day to give back to those who work selflessly to contribute to their communities.


Ruth Johnson


Founder and CEO

Company Name:

Homes for Heroes

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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