Sharing tips, experiences and advice is imperative to any client-agent relationship, especially those that involve veterans and military service members. In this two-fold article, we reached out to veterans and current industry professionals for tips on creating a smooth and seamless moving experience.
Tips to Share With Clients
Find a Real Estate Professional You Trust
“When you receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, it’s imperative to establish a solid and realistic timeline for your move and when you need/want to be in your new home,” says Justin Candelaria, former Army officer and current REALTOR®.
According to Candelaria, a trusted real estate professional can provide you with several things to make your move less stressful, including local market conditions and a buying/closing timeline.
“This information helps build your plan for house-hunting trips, getting your VA loan or other financing options in place, determining how the process will be handled from under contract to close, i.e., you’ll be local during the process or still out of state, coordinate household goods (HHG), plan for temporary storage of HHG if necessary and find temporary housing if required,” he says.
Store Important Documents and Keep Them Easily Accessible
Quicken Loans® Agent Relationship Manager and Army veteran Jameson Smith is no stranger to military relocations.
“Always secure all your legal documents in a separate area that is easy to access and look up,” suggests Smith. “During a move many items get displaced. If you’re using a VA loan, you’ll need access to documents like your Social Security card and DD-214.”
Avoid Stocking Up on Household Items
Save impulse purchases and buying in bulk until after your move.
“Do not replenish liquids like cleaners or cooking oils the month or two before your move,” says Ron Webster, Quicken Loans Agent Relationship Manager and Army veteran. “You can’t pack them and you might feel bad about having to leave them behind; they aren’t cheap.”
Snap Photos and Keep Them for Record
It’s easy for belongings to get damaged or lost in the moving process.
“Inventory your belongings being packed by taking photographs; it’s a lot quicker and easier,” says Webster. “If anything goes missing or gets damaged, you have a record of the item and the condition it was in.”
Tips for Real Estate Professionals
Familiarize Yourself With Individual Situations
“I don’t think there is an extreme difference for helping a military family find their new home than there is for any other family in the sense of wants/needs,” says Candelaria. “They have a lot of basics down but it’s still extremely stressful for them to pick up and move every 2-4 years to a completely different state,” he adds. “Therefore, understanding their moving timelines/requirements, knowing the military process and jargon for PCSing and having experience with VA loans is a must to help ease the home-buying process and gain their trust. If you didn’t serve in the military and conduct a PCS move yourself, I strongly encourage getting your Military Relocation Professional (MRP) to help you better understand the process/jargon in order to deliver an exceptional moving experience,” he says.
Offer Financial Advice Wisely
Many clients will look to you for mortgage advice.
“If they are an active duty family, they likely won’t be in the home but for a few years,” says Steve Murray, Quicken Loans Agent Relationship Manager and Navy veteran. “Adjustable-rate and even interest-only loans make more sense.”
Step Up Your Communication Game
When working with married couples, Murray also suggests prioritizing communication.
“The agent will often deal with just one spouse (as the other may be deployed) and that can make communication tough,” he says.
If you have any questions or would like more information on how the Quicken Loans Agent Relations team can help you grow your business, call (888) 980-4601 or email AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com. You can also visit RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com.