Are you looking for an agent for your upcoming move? We have found it is so helpful to have an agent that understands our military community and special needs which is why I wanted to share my interview with agent Michelle Killian
How long have you been an agent and how did you start serving the military community?
I am sliding into my 3rd year of real estate. I was able to be part of the market during the historical low interest rates and now the shift in the market. As a military spouse myself, part of my big why for joining real estate was to serve my military counterparts. I understand and relate to families going through a PCS and if I can alleviate any stress and education them through the process, then I am doing my job well. In joining a team with the same shared values, I was able to jump right into to helping our military clients as this is a huge niche of who we service.
How is the military community unique when it comes to buying or selling a home?
The military community is unique as they typically have a very strict timeline they need to follow, their move is not always by choice, and most of the time they are not familiar with the area that they are moving. But one of the benefits is the tight nit community of each branch of the military. There are amazing resources and networks. There is also a great chance that someone in your circle is familiar with the new base that can give advice. Another unique feature when it comes to military is the VA loan product. This is a government back loan which allows the service member to purchase a home with little to no down payment.
How do you support your military clients with their unique circumstances?
I support my military clients by keeping them educated on the market. I find out their must haves in a home or area and really communicate with them so we can be in full understanding of the situation. I have also had military clients PCSing from overseas or stateside and unable to make a house hunting trip to San Antonio to view homes in person. I understand that I am their eyes and ears when they are purchasing a house virtually and my job is to fully arm them with as much information as possible to, they can make the best financial decision for their families.
How do you prepare a house for viewing? What about open houses?
As the clients are ready to start viewing homes and ready to possibly make an offer, we tailor our search to the best fit houses that meet their needs. I send over the school ratings website as well as the crime map report so they can do their full due diligence of the area. I also send any disclosures posted by the listing agent so they can have all possible information on the home. Once we schedule and tour the home, then I would send over a market analysis of the property to show what fair market value is and what other home in the area have recently sold for.
To prepare for an open house, you first want to schedule with the sellers with a date and time. Once you have the open house scheduled then planning your marketing materials is key. You want to make sure the times/dates are uploaded to the MLS so you can guarantee the most traffic during that time. Then you want to make sure you have printed marketing material ready for prospective buyers. You want to pull your neighborhood statistics, school district information and property information. Then you want to set out your signs hours before the open house, set up the property by turning on lights, opening blinds, staging, setting out your marketing materials and snacks for prospective buyers.
What sets you apart from other agents?
I believe in educating the clients to be able to make one of the largest financial decisions in their lifetime. Whether it is educating them on the buying process, connecting them with a lender, finding off market properties that meet their needs, my job is solely to help the client meet their real estate goal.
How do you stay up to date on current trends in the market? My team has monthly market updates to help us see what is happening in the market nationwide. I also utilize my local market resources. MLS has great market data to see if we are transitioning to a buyer’s market. San Antonio Board of Realtors has great market statistics that they post weekly. I am also in the market daily submitting offers for my clients and seeing the shift firsthand with days on the market for certain properties, areas, and price points. I also utilize my lending partners for what they are seeing for current market interest rates.
What is your process when meeting a new client, shopping, or listing with clients and closing on houses?
This is probably my favorite question. When we initially meet the prospective client, we will do a full consultation to determine what their real estate goals are, what is their timeline and what they are looking for in a home. This helps me determine their BIG WHY for making the move and helps me connect with my clients and fully understand what their current situation is. Once I have all the relevant information, I set them up on home searches so they can start learning the market and the area that best suits their needs. I also have a home search app that I send for them to create their own search and have a little fun during the process. We connect throughout the process and make sure they have connected with a lender if needed, that they understand what the next steps and timeline are and that we have all of our ducks in a row for touring homes. Part of my job is to make sure that they are ready to make that jump when we find that perfect home for their family.
Once we find that perfect home and are officially under contract, myself and my team are with the clients through the entire escrow process and beyond closing. Our goal is to make the process as seamless as possible by keeping the sellers, buyers, agents, lender, and title company all informed so we can easily meet deadlines and get our clients into their next home.
How do you make your military clients feel special?
Military clients are my people. I have been a military brat and now military spouse. I understand the stress and excitement of a military move. No question is too small and now being local to San Antonio for over 5 years, I can educate them on the military side of the area as well. Aside from showings, I am with the client through inspections, appraisals, walk throughs and closing. I am their loyal advocate for helping them meet their real estate goals!
If you are looking for an agent you can find Michelle at Michelle.Killian@homefrontunited.com
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As CEO for Inspirational Inc. and founder of “Tea With Chantel” trainings & workshops, Chantel Mathson inspires women to live with purpose and build thriving community. She has traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, speaking and inspiring others to become impact makers. Chantel has been a featured speaker at NASA Space Center, The University of Notre Dame and numerous national conferences. She is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, blogger, bible teacher, military spouse mentor, author, and professor of communications. Chantel shares her heart and home with her husband, three kids and two dogs in California. As a Military spouse she has moved twelve times and has a heart for helping military wives connect, find their purpose, and create community. Her Tea with Chantel business evolved as she moved across the country and had to create new community herself. She is always ready to share a cup of tea and would love to connect… FB/Twitter/Linkedin/IG @teawithchantel or Instagram.com/teawithmilitarywives and teawithchantel.com