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How Agents Can Help Military Veterans Become Homeowners

November 10 2016

disruption game change

When it comes to housing, our service men and women face several unique challenges, from finding a home from abroad to navigating the confusing world of VA mortgage loans.

This Veterans Day, we want to help you serve those who serve us to achieve the pinnacle of the American Dream--homeownership.

1. Use technology to work with relocating service members from afar. Active members of the military often have to find housing before they physically relocate to an area. Tech tools like Skype, FaceTime, virtual tours, and digital transaction management are key parts of your arsenal here. For a list long distance communication tools, see 7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely.

2. Look for houses with good resale value. One challenge military members face is something called a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). This means that service men and women are often uprooted on short notice and reassigned to a new base. Because of this, it's helpful that any home they own has strong resale value so it can be sold quickly in case of PCS. This is especially important if the current home needs to be sold before the new one can be purchased.

3. Get certified as a Military Relocation Professional. As we mentioned, both veterans and active members of the military have unique housing needs. To help Realtors better understand these needs, NAR offers a Military Relocation Professional certificationMilitary Relocation Professional certification. Agents will learn how to help agents take full advantage of their military benefits when buying a home, become familiar with military culture and lingo, learn the basics of Veterans Affairs loans, and more.

4. Serve and market to veterans and active service members. The Patriot Program is a joint effort between NAR and VA Loan Captain, a veteran-owned company that educates active military members and veterans about the benefits guaranteed to them by the VA. The Patriot Program offers a comprehensive, online toolkit for Realtors to help them assist their clients in navigating the VA loan process. Agents also get a customizable website and professionally designed marketing collateral to specifically attract new military clientele. The Patriot Program platform also features a VA Loan marketplace, learning center, and portal where Realtors can track their leads.

5. Give back by volunteering or donating. And, finally, even if you don't work in an area with many veterans or active military personnel, you can still make a difference! These six organizations assist veterans--including the disabled, wounded, and homeless--in finding a home. Check out the link above for volunteer and donation opportunities.

One last takeaway: Veterans and active military members are often excellent clients. According to NAR's recent Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers ProfileVeterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, they typically buy houses at a younger age than civilians and hire Realtors at a higher rate than the general population, too. That's great news for those who serve this niche.

And last but certainly not least--don't forget to thank a veteran today! Happy selling!