- Certification is achieved via a one-day class and one-time $225 fee.
- MilRES notifies local military bases when an agent obtains certification and also runs ads in military publications.
- Most agents don't know what is required of veterans.
Aimed at helping agents better serve veteran and active-duty buyers, the Military Residential Specialist (MilRES) program has certified roughly 2,500 agents since 2010.
A significant percentage of those agents operate in Florida and California. With six upcoming classes set up in Florida it appears the state will continue to account for more MilRES certifications.
It was recently announced that Joe Robaina of Keller William Realty Coral Gables – Coconut Grove became the first Miami-Dade County agent to receive the certification.
The certification requires that agents must take a one-day, $225 class, according to Buddy West, MilRes’ CEO and president, adding there are no monthly or yearly renewal fees. Once receiving the certification an agent can take it a year from now, as a refresher, for free.
Military Residential Specialist agents become part of a community
Possibly the program’s most beneficial aspect for agents is its referral system.
According to West, once an agent takes the course and receives certification, MilRES alerts local military bases that they’ve gone through the program. MilRES also runs agent ads in local military publications to better connect veterans, who total roughly 24 million, to those that are certified.
The program’s teaching points
The curriculum and information taught at certification classes was written by the military for agents who deal with military buyers, not by agents for agents.
“Most agents don’t know what is required of veterans,” West said. “Most don’t know that if a military member or veteran defaults on a VA loan they lose their security clearance.”
The classes are split into to stages– recruitment and boot camp. The two phases focus on educating agents not just about VA financing, but also on “mila-speak” and how to counsel veterans looking to buy.
“We know the jargon,” West said. “What is PCSing, what is basic allowance for housing, what is a transition assistance program.”
The MilRES program is also available to all RE/MAX agents via their site and classes.