Want to Attract Military Clients? MRP Certification Can Help

When a military family from
Little Rock, Arkansas had to
move to Florida, they told their
local Realtor they needed help. The local real estate agent
had a Military Relocation
Professional certification or
MRP, through the National Association
of Realtors®. She contacted
me through the referral network while I, just happened to be
manning the housing office
at the Pensacola Naval Air
Station. Rather than rent, I helped
them find a house to buy. They purchased in my
neighborhood and have
been there for six years. I’m Lynn Peters, a sales
associate with RE/MAX
America’s Top Realty in
Gulf Breeze. More than 80 percent of my
business is working with
military buyers and sellers. The MRP Certification was
one of the first ones I earned
when I got my license in 2004. I also gave out six referrals
to MRP members last year.
Let’s take five minutes to
talk about how to build your
military referral network. First, did you know that there
are 25 million living Americans
who have served in the
United States Armed Forces? That means, even if you don’t
work in the area where there
is a military base, you can still earn referrals for
veterans and military
servicemembers who turn
to agents in the network when they
are ready to buy or sell
a home in a new area. So, the first thing I recommend
is that you take the four-hour
class and earn your military relocation
professional certification.
There are two different ones. Florida Realtors offers a
certification and
NAR offers another. I recommend both, but
NAR offers a huge, worldwide
referral network. Next, you must get your name
out there. Make sure you
advertise that you have the MRP  certification on all social
media sites. Plus, there are all sorts of
social media sites for the
military. You can go to those
pages and offer valuable information for military
relocates or retired military. Write articles that highlight
Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) financing or offer tips on finding the
perfect retirement home. You
can also highlight and showcase
information from Florida Realtors Daily News
and even post your listings and
your company’s listings on those
pages, as long as you have your
broker’s permission,
of course. Since the State of Florida
hosts 21 bases from all
branches of the military, Florida is in the top 5
percent of retirement
locations in the country. Locate your closest military
base or your Chamber of
Commerce. Let them know that
you have your MRP Certification and can make the process of
relocating to and from your area
an easy one for our veterans, servicemembers and
their families. Finally, National Parks &
Recreation Services and
other Visitors’ Centers typically have information
walls where you can post
fliers and information sheets. Did you know that the national
MRP website offers all kinds
of quarterly webinars? There is a NAR MRP Facebook
page where you can meet up
with other real estate
professionals who specialize in this niche. Building relationships with MRP
members from other areas of the
state or nationwide means more
referrals for business. Keep in touch with those
contacts via a monthly phone
call, email or through
social media. They also offer a profile page.
Make sure your profile page
is up to date with current profile
photo and is accurate, then share
it with your prospective
customers. If you are in an area that has
a military base, visit their
housing office every few
months. At the Pensacola Naval Air
Station, they allow Realtors
to volunteer at the office for
members of the Pensacola Association
of Realtors Navy Housing
Committee. That is rare, however, as
this is the only program of
its kind. Yet it’s always good to get to
know the people at the housing
office so they call you when
they get a lead. I also recommend having a
military relocation package
ready for potential referrals. Include helpful material on
the community, schools,
maps and more. Also include sample sales
contracts, information about
military housing perks and
special financing programs that active duty and retired
military can take advantage of.
I also include a list of local hotels, restaurants and
shopping. Whether you actively work
with military relocates or just
want another source of
referrals, earning your Military
Relocation Professional
certification through NAR and Florida Realtors actively
working through their referral
network can net you
extra business.

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