Part 5 in the “Where to Find Listings” series.
Do you live near a military base or a major corporate headquarters? Have you thought about how many people who work in those places are transferred each year? Selling homes for transferees could give you steady work.
This is a group of people who actually need to sell the houses they own.
Yes, they could keep them and turn them into rentals, but that presents a whole new set of problems.
Selling homes for transferees may require added work.
Transferees may not have the luxury of staying in their present homes until a sale is finalized, so you may need to take on extra duties.
For instance, you may need to:
- Arrange for post-move-out cleaning
- Arrange for staging
- Keep an eye on cleaning and maintenance until the house is sold and closed
In addition, when selling homes for transferees, you should be prepared to make long-distance offer presentations and be able to arrange for courtesy closings in their new city.
Just because the sellers have moved doesn’t mean they don’t need your guidance when evaluating offers, so plan ahead. Transfer the documents electronically, then arrange for a telephone or Zoom meeting to go over the details. Do your normal net sheet calculations ahead of time and send those too, so your clients can see the numbers.
Remember that when you provide high-quality service, those people will tell their friends. And their friends might be people working in the same place who will be transferred in the future.
When selling homes for transferees in the military, you may need additional education.
You should become familiar with the ins and outs of VA financing, so you can answer questions competently. This will be for the benefit of your clients and for buyers who may be using VA financing.
If you aren’t already familiar with VA financing, enlist a friendly mortgage broker to teach you.
Consider also obtaining the Military Relocation Professional designation (MRP) from the National Association of REALTORS (R).
Helping members of the military buy and sell homes is not just for times when inventory is low.
Because transfers are a way of life, once you become established in a large military community, you could build your entire real estate career on selling homes to and for transferees. Word does spread in such communities, and friends do stay in touch even after transfers, so when you do a good job, your reputation will precede your marketing efforts. (Of course the opposite is true as well.)
Caution: You may earn less when selling homes for transferees
If a relocation company is involved, your commission may be less. So before you establish yourself with a corporation or government entity, get the details. As I understand it (and I could be wrong) some transferees use relocation companies and others do not.
We ran into this when selling a home for a Forest Service transferee. I no longer recall the numbers, but the relocation company did take a share.
In this time of low inventory, however, I have to quote an old saying: “Half a loaf is better than no loaf.” You’ll have to make your own decision about whether it’s worth it to you to perhaps work harder but earn less.
How can you reach those who may be facing a transfer?
Investigating and Prospecting
Do some investigative work. Based on the location of their work and their average incomes, which neighborhoods were they likely to choose when they moved in? Check to be sure the owners are the occupants, then begin prospecting in those neighborhoods. My Geographic Territory Prospecting Letters would be a good start.
Or, choose my brand new set, Prospecting to Homeowners Who Need to Move Immediately.
Next, go introduce yourself to personnel directors. Ask for an appointment so you can show them how you market your listings, the additional services you offer, etc. In other words, show them how using you will benefit their transferees. Do be concise – if you force them to keep checking the time or saying “yes, I know,” you’ll lose them.
This is one of those times when it wouldn’t hurt to invite someone out for lunch, just to get better acquainted and establish a rapport.
Looking to your past clients and your sphere of influence.
If you’re willing to make the extra effort required in selling homes for transferees, let those people know. Write to them about your willingness to do the things the transferees can’t do because they’re not here. Any one (or more) of them might know someone who is about to be transferred.
One more thing…
When one of your contacts gives you a good lead – do send a small gift and say thank you. Everyone loves to be appreciated.