What Is a Relocation Specialist?
A real estate relocation specialist explicitly handles all the details that help movers transition to new environments. Relocation specialists not only help to sell their client’s home and purchase a new property in their target area, but they also connect their clients with professional movers, packers, and aid in the visa process as needed - and much more. If you’re looking to stand out as an agent, it may be worthwhile to pursue this niche.
The following guide will break down how to become a relocation specialist and make a name for yourself while helping your clients to establish themselves in their new home.
How to Become a Real Estate Relocation Specialist
To branch into a real estate niche, you first want to become a real estate agent. Consider joining the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) as well - the resources and networking opportunities afforded to REALTORS® can aid in your journey to become a real estate relocation specialist. Since your future employers will likely require one to three years of relocation-related experience, take relocation process training.
Next, you'll want to become a certified relocation real estate agent. The Worldwide ERC offers the Certified Relocation Professional (CRP®) and Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP®) designations. There are two avenues to qualify for the Worldwide ERC’s CRP® exam.
The first option requires you to join and maintain an ERC membership for at least one year before applying for the exam. Alternatively, you can ask a current CRP® or SCRP® designee in good standing with the ERC to vouch that you have at least one year of relocation-related experience. By joining the ERC for at least a year or having someone who’s already a member attest to your experience, you’ll be able to take the multiple-choice CRP® exam. To learn more, check out the Worldwide ERC’s full explanation of the designation and its eligibility requirements here.
After acquiring enough experience and a relocation specialist designation or two, you'll want to get involved and network with relocation companies so you can find one that suits you. Research various relocation companies in your area. Once you find a good match, sign up as a real estate relocation specialist to start working.
This job requires you to hit the ground running, so you'll need to direct your efforts toward becoming an expert on your market. Network with your fellow agents as you learn the ins and outs of your local area so that you can answer any questions a newcomer might have upon arrival. Then, market your services on social media or on your website so that clients can reach out to you. To further build your influence as a local expert in your market, create content centered around what new residents have to look forward to in your area or by divulging secrets of the relocation process.
To summarize, you can become a real estate relocation specialist by:
- Becoming a real estate agent and joining NAR
- Acquiring relocation-related experience
- Applying for certification(s)
- Researching relocation companies and real estate agents
- Becoming an agent in a reputable relocation company
- Building your local market knowledge base to become the go-to real estate expert
- Advertising your real estate relocation skills to the high heavens, especially through content that showcases your chops
Pursue the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification from NAR to offer your relocation services to military personnel, both active and retired, in addition to assisting their families. They regularly need relocation specialists due to the nature of their work - and now you know how to become a relocation REALTOR® so that you can serve those who have served our nation.
What Do Real Estate Relocation Specialists Do?
You must be wondering what these services you're supposed to market to clients should be. There are so many things that real estate relocation specialists do:
Selling a Client's Home
Your connections to experts in the area will allow you to refer a credible real estate agent to sell your client's home so that they can focus on moving to their new location.
Packing and Moving a Client's Belongings
The relocation companies with which you're associated will help you find movers for the client's belongings, which may even need to be shipped. Luckily, the client has you and your expertise to help them navigate this process.
Handling Visas and Immigration
For international moves, you should help make sure your client is legal to enter and work in their new country, such as helping them to pursue a work visa.
Locating a New House
You'll also be in charge of referring clients to an excellent real estate agent who can help them find the home of their dreams in their new state or country.
Navigating the Closing Process
Closing on a house can be a headache, especially when relocations are involved. You'll need to be there to answer the client's questions and help them wrap up the process smoothly.
Knowing Service Providers and Amenities
Schools, eat-out joints, the best parking spots - you should impart as much local information to your clients. Also, give them a list of professionals you trust, like doctors, tax experts, etc., since they’ll likely not know anyone in the area.
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