The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).
Real estate professionals who work with military homebuyers and sellers attest that it is a referral-based business niche. Word-of-mouth and sphere-of-influence referrals are often the most successful marketing methods. Statistics back this up. According to NAR’s Profile of Buyers and Sellers report, 68 percent of seller and 58 percent of buyer contacts involve people who already know you. That said, how can you accomplish inserting yourself into the military market?
Build a sphere of influence. Hang out where military spouses and families do—it could be a book club, a running group or kids’ sports teams. Even one contact—a satisfied client, a friend in the service—can plant the seed for developing a sphere of influence.
Blog about real estate topics. Blog about the local community and real estate topics. Include topics that interest military buyers and sellers, like VA financing, buying a property to live in now and rent later, making the rent-or-buy decision, preparing a home for sale, making home improvements that add value, or frequently asked questions about real estate transactions. You could add a military market page to your website with links to information about the base, and rent-or-buy calculators with some scenarios based on local listings and basic allowance for housing (BAH) rates.
Get involved. Keep up-to-date on issues of importance to servicemembers. Read what they read, such as online newsletters and e-zines, blogs and social media.
Keep up-to-date. Presenting a seminar enhances your reputation as a real estate professional and provides an opportunity for attendees to check you out without making a commitment. It’s a good way to demonstrate your professionalism and sensitivity to the needs and interests of military buyers and sellers. You don’t have to wait to be invited as a guest speaker; you can schedule your own seminar. Creating a program opportunity could be as simple as contacting an organization’s leadership or administration and offering to make a presentation on a real estate topic.
Ask for referrals and testimonials. Not asking for a referral (or a testimonial) is the biggest opportunity real estate professionals miss out on. You can feature testimonials on your website or blog and in marketing materials.
To learn much more about how to provide real estate services that meet the needs of service members and veterans, please consider checking out the education, benefits, and resources offered by MRP Certification. This entire month of October, the featured 25% OFF course at the Center for REALTOR® Development is the Military Relocation Professional Certification course, which is the basic requirement toward obtaining the MRP Certification.
Katie Benson Eddy is the course development manager for NAR’s Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education. Eddy manages the development and guides the learning design of classroom course content. To learn more about NAR’s Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education, please consider checking out the designations, certifications and other real estate courses on Training4RE.com.
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Building a Referral Base in the Military Market