How to Best Serve Those Who Served Our Country
Interest in homeownership is high across the nation, and veterans are no exception. In the past year, more and more buyers are turning to VA benefits in California and beyond. In fact, California has the highest share of veterans in the nation, so you’re likely to come across a client or two who have served. Here’s how to provide superior service, streamline the homebuying process, and, at the end of the day, get veterans into their dream home.
Study Up on Military Service
Before you help an active service member or veteran, you’ll need a basic understanding of the military. Learn the basics when it comes to the military branches, ranks, and proper forms of address. Addressing service members properly and remembering their branch and rank is a sign of respect for their service, so determine and make note of your client’s preferences. If you’re ever unsure, it’s okay to ask!
Review VA Loan Requirements and Benefits
A VA Loan can be life-changing for veterans, so you’ll want to brush up on the mechanics. If your client does not yet have a loan, review the requirements and benefits with them. For example, service history and duty status can help determine if a VA loan is in the cards for your client. Qualified borrowers could receive a no-money-down home loan, waived private mortgage insurance, lower closing costs, and more. If you have a good contact, part of being a great agent can also include pointing your clients toward a finance professional who is familiar with their situation and ready to work with you both.
Dig Into Your Local Market
Research your local market for relevant statistics, programs, and financing options that might apply to your client. For example, while the general VA Loan program is popular across the country, California veterans can also take advantage of the CalVets Home Loans Program. This program could provide your clients with a simplified lending process, financial savings, and protection for their investment. Plus, programs like CalVets can cut down on insurance costs, which are typically higher in California due to the risk of wildfire, floods, and earthquakes. At the end of the day, familiarizing yourself with the local VA landscape will help you market, cater to, and serve veteran clients.
Whether you’re helping a young servicemember find their first home or a long-time vet find their fifth, serving the men and women who serve our country is a privileged and unique experience. If you’re looking for even more in-depth information, consider taking our Did You Serve? Identifying Homebuying Advantages for Veterans course to make a powerful and profound impact for those who served all while expanding your business in a patriotic way.