8 Ways to Make Military Buyers Smile

Happy buyers create happy homes and happy families. Happy buyers are a joy for real estate agents to represent. Happy buyers lead to referrals and repeat business.

It’s a ripple effect that we all want to initiate, and it’s our duty to provide quality service to our military clientele. By following these eight tips, any agent can earn a thumbs-up from their military buyers:

1. Ask questions. Lots of questions. Too many questions.

A two-way dialogue is a win-win for agents. Agents need constant buyer feedback to ensure good service, and most buyers truly enjoy talking about their housing wants and needs. Keep your buyers engaged (and the odds of repeat business high) by asking questions at all stages of the process.

2. Be ready to answer questions about financing.

Agents get a lot of questions about credit and home loans, so they need to be able to provide accurate answers. Most military buyers will probably go the VA route, so make sure you’re familiar with VA loan guidelines. Check this related post for a refresher on VA loan criteria.

3. Contact a buyer immediately after submitting an offer.

You know what it’s like to wait on an offer response. Buyers can have even more “offer anxiety,” so stay in constant contact. Call or email a buyer immediately after submitting the offer, even if there is no news to share. Example: “Hi, it’s Jessi – I just wanted you to know that I submitted the offer and I’m waiting for a response. I’ll call you the minute I hear back from the seller’s agent. Keep your fingers crossed!”

Stay Familiar with VA Criteria

Hint: This property won’t meet VA appraisal criteria.

4. Be familiar with VA appraisal criteria.

VA appraisals differ from conventional appraisals. VA appraisals hold properties to a litany of specific criteria that can quickly derail a purchase. Make sure that you are familiar with VA appraisal standards, and keep buyers focused on VA-eligible homes.

5. Keep PCS in mind.

Military homeowners can be quickly uprooted by PCS (permanent change of station). Keep that possibility in mind, and aim for homes that are good resale options.

6. Don’t hide your area expertise.

Agents know their coverage area inside and out. Don’t forget to transfer that knowledge to your clients, even if it seems mundane. Example: “Did you know that this elementary school just won a national award?” or “A new supermarket will be built across the highway next year.”

7. Alert buyers to new properties, even if you’re waiting to hear back on an offer.

Even when waiting to hear back on an offer, it’s important to let buyers know that you’re still on the case. Continue looking for new properties until you have a signed contract in place. Buyers will appreciate your continued diligence, and may need a back-up option, if inspections turn sour.

8. Keep yourself happy.

We all want to satisfy our clients. But there’s a careful balance between “going the extra mile” and utter exhaustion.

Maintain a great attitude and a winning spirit by keeping yourself happy. Don’t take on more than you can handle, and keep a good balance between your personal life and your work life.

Your clients can tell the difference between a genuinely radiant personality and a faux smile. Share your best self with clients and your business will take care of itself.


Photos courtesy of 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and _G2