Helping people find, buy, and move into a home takes lots of hard work and specialized knowledge. Even in the simplest of circumstances, working as a real estate agent is no easy task. And when it comes to the military community, circumstances are rarely simple. Pretty much never, really. Don’t let that intimidate you. Any dedicated realtor can make extra effort to handle the added tasks and lingos of military real estate. But the best way to ensure you’re fully capable of providing for the needs of military clientele is to get certified as a Military Relocation Professional.
Why is Military Real Estate Different?
Working as a realtor for military personnel and families is different from working with civilians for a number of reasons. Given the nature of military life, with its regular moves and near constant uncertainty, the prospect of home rental or ownership is typically a much more temporary and tenuous situation for a military family. The variety of programs available for military members looking to rent or buy, like VA Home Loans and military BAH, are things that greatly affect what they can afford. And knowing how those things work is key to getting your military clients into the properties they want.
Knowing the culture of the military itself also plays a part in relating to its members. That goes for both uniformed personnel and their families. Clients from all walks of life prefer a realtor who understands their specific needs beyond housing. Learning the lingo, systems, and goings-on of the military community (locally and globally) will make clients in uniform feel more confident in your ability to help them.
Military Relocation Professional
An MRP, as it’s often abbreviated, is an expert in all things military real estate related, certified by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). And any realtors looking to cater either in part or exclusively to the military community should absolutely consider becoming one. You’ll receive extensive training on the specific ins and outs of military moves, things service members consider when buying/renting a home, military finance options, and more.
In sBecoming a military relocation professional means becoming an authority on the real estate needs of those who serve. Moreover, it shows those in uniform that you are such an expert. Having this certification demonstrates your proficiency in these matters, so potential clients feel confident that you’re the realtor for them.
Military Relocation Professional Certification
Getting certified is by no means automatic. You’ve got to put in a little work (and, FYI, a little money) to earn it. But it’s definitely worth it if you want to work in military real estate. And here’s how to get a military relocation professional certification.
- Attend a one day course either in a classroom or online. The cost of a live will vary depending on the classroom you attend, but the standard online cost is $130.
- Watch the Bringing Military Families Home and Understanding VA Home Loans webinars. They’re each just over 40 minutes long, so not too time consuming.
- After completing your class, you’ll take an exam. You must score at least an 80% on it.
- With all that complete, providing you are a realtor in good standing with the NAR, submit your application through their website. The application itself costs $195.
- Complete and pay for the same course as US realtors.
- Be in good standing with a real estate associate that belongs to the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement with the NAR.
- Submit your application through the NAR website. The application itself costs $195. Approval as an MRP also certifies you as an International Realtor with NAR.
- Initial MRP certification for international realtors only lasts for the remainder of the calendar year after you’re approved. To maintain the certification, as well as any other NAR certifications, you’ll need to pay a yearly renewal fee of $75. That covers all such certifications and designations.
Benefits of MRP Certification
There are really no downsides to getting certified as a military relocation professional with NAR. You learn everything you could possibly need to know to work with military personnel in their families in any and all real estate transactions. And those in the military community know that you’re a legitimate authority on such things. It’s great for you, great for your business, and great for the service members you can help find dream homes.