At Mainstreet, we believe in giving back to those who have served our country. If you are an active member of the military or a veteran, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible finding your next home, and all the information you need to take advantage of your benefits.
The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification is for real estate professionals who want to work with current and former military service members. The MRP certification program educates REALTORS® about working with U.S. service members and their families and veterans to find the housing solutions that best suit their needs and to take full advantage of available benefits and support.
Why Military Relocation Professionals Make a Difference
All MRPs have specifically chosen to specialize in helping military personnel, often because they are veterans themselves or come from military families. Others feel that helping veterans and active-duty military is their calling.
MRPs pair this with the expertise that all REALTORS® develop, like knowledge of the local market and the skills to navigate the full buying and selling process from marketing to paperwork. Additionally, they have built up relationships with mortgage lenders over the years and can help veterans and active-duty military access the best deals possible.
Meet Illinois Military Relocation Professional Yvette Jones-Swanson
Mainstreet REALTOR® Yvette Jones-Swanson is an Army veteran, MRP and Accredited Buyer’s Representative. What’s more, she’s written a book on veteran homebuying, Veteran’s Buying and Real Estate: Guide for Today’s Market, and runs veterans’ real estate home buying and investment workshops. She’s married to fellow veteran retired Army Master Sargent Steven Swanson, who also recently became a REALTOR® and MRP.
Jones-Swanson emphasizes that working with an MRP is all about connection.
“That’s what makes this MRP, and being a veteran, more powerful—we have those conversations about how it is being a veteran, being in the military, what’s the most important thing to us,” she says. “We can talk about more than just houses.”
Additionally, she says that MRPs can work on quick timelines to help servicemen and women find the homes they need quickly. MRPs meet veterans wherever they are at, whether that’s looking for a home after a period of homelessness or buying a second property as an investment.
In Jones-Swanson’s case, her work as an MRP is just one facet of her devotion to helping other veterans. She also founded and runs 100 Pretty Purses for Female Veterans, a nonprofit dedicated to providing respect, dignity and love to female service members both past and present. Since 2015, this organization has donated purses filled with items like toiletries, jewelry, gift cards and books to thousands of female veterans. The nonprofit gives shoes to female veterans as well. In 2021, 100 Pretty Purses for Female Veterans expanded into giving away book bags full of school supplies, games, snacks and more to children from veterans’ families.
Moving Out of Illinois? A Mainstreet Military Relocation Professional Can Make the Connections You Need
If you currently live in Illinois and need to relocate to another state, it’s still worth finding an Illinois MRP to help you. Jones-Swanson deals with this on a regular basis, and has a large network of MRP connections across the country.
“I’ve relocated veterans to other states and helped veterans who move here—it’s not that different,” she says. “I have to find another MRP in the system, and I talk to at least 3 to get a sense for who is best suited to the veteran who is moving.”
Military Relocation Professionals Know Your Benefits — And Can Help You Maximize Them
There are a variety of real estate resources for veterans and active military, including VA loans and housing grants. There’s a wealth of information available about these benefits online. However, if you are looking into these options on your own, you could be missing out on additional benefits.
According to Jones-Swanson, many mortgage lending companies offer additional benefits and features for veterans and active members of the military—and an MRP will already have close connections with several of these companies and know what to look for to maximize your benefits. For example, Jones-Swanson is often able to work with mortgage lenders to lock in time-limited deals that might otherwise expire while an applicant is going through the pre-approval process. Some of these benefits can save buyers significant amounts of money—such as credits of $2,000 or more to put toward closing costs.
In short, if you are a veteran or active member of the military looking to buy a home, one of the best moves you can make is hiring an MRP. These specialized REALTORS® prove their devotion to helping servicemen and women again and again, and know how to help you find what you need.