RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAY 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1109029

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Page 54 of 118

50 May 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE {Strategies} Military Misconceptions, Debunked NAR'S MILITARY RELOCATION PROFESSIONAL (MRP) CERTIFICATION GIVES REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS THE UPPER HAND WHEN WORKING WITH MILITARY CLIENTS by Zoe Eisenberg K athleen Ricketts has been working in real estate for just shy of 30 years, and believes deeply in giving back to her community. But for Ricketts, an agent with CENTURY 21 Affiliated, her community is more than just her friends and neighbors. It's also the military community in her region of Northwest Chicago. Nearly 40 percent of Ricketts' clients are active mili- tary members or veterans, and she points out how difficult a permanent change of station (PCS) can be for military professionals and their families. "If you've ever relocated, you know how difficult that can be," Rick - etts notes. "Now, multiply that by 100 percent. A service member doesn't have a choice in where they're going, and many times, it's not exactly where you would want to live and/or raise your children." In 2014, to better serve her military clients, Ricketts received the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) cer - tification. "I'd been working with military families prior to the MRP class, but by attending and receiving my certi - fication, it brought more credibility to what I was doing," Ricketts explains. Following the certification, Ricketts went on to become an instructor for the MRP certification course in order to help other agents and brokers understand how they can serve military clients, and debunk several of the preva - lent myths around working with military families. One common misperception is that agents need to live in a base state to earn the MRP, but REALTORS® can work with veterans anywhere. Another myth? All veterans are relocating. "Currently, we're seeing a large number of our veterans downsizing or purchasing second homes," says Ricketts. And while working with military clients requires navi - gating a unique schedule, it may not be that different from working with non-military clients. "With any reloca - tion client, the agent needs to clear their schedule," says Ricketts. "The client doesn't have a lot of time [if visit - ing]. It's up to the agent to be in contact prior to their visit, providing them with specific information, previewing homes, Skyping those homes with prior permission of the seller, and being available at odd hours." This is the same for military buyers, and when working with military in active duty, you may need to keep your schedule extra flexible. Another misconception when working with military cli - ents is the role of the military spouse. "Many civilians think that a military spouse is only a woman," says Rick - etts. "In 2018, there were approximately 74,000 women in the Army, which equates to 16 percent of enlisted forces; 46 percent were married [to men]. Thus, we have many men who are military spouses, as well." Ricketts also points out that many picture the role of a military spouse as a stay-at-home mom or dad. "This is definitely not true," says Ricketts, who explains that most have professional careers. Whether they're MRP or not, brokers should train their agents to learn more about vet - eran benefits, which many veterans them- selves are unaware of. "This is so impor- tant," Ricketts stresses, "as many of our veterans don't know that they can take ad - vantage of their benefits forever." Ricketts reminds agents to always ask clients if they have a military background. "Many agents have worked with veterans and didn't even know it, so be sure to ask any potential client whether they've served." For more information, please visit www.militaryrelocationpro.org. Bringing Expediency, Clear Communication and Results to the Table HOW A SMALL, FAMILY-RUN BROKERAGE MAKES A BIG IMPACT WITH A SUCCESSFUL LENDER RELATIONSHIP by Liz Dominguez S peed, trust and results. For Metropolitan Real Estate Group—a small, family-run brokerage serving the Met- ro Detroit markets—those are the keys to making a big splash in the industry. The trifecta has also led to a long and profitable business partnership with Quicken Loans. "We've been working with Quicken Loans for 30-plus

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