By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications
Each year approximately 650,000 service members are issued orders to relocate to a new duty station. According to the Blue Star Families 2015 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, military families move, on average, seven times more often than civilian families. Of those families, the 2008 DMDC Survey of Active Duty Spouses tells us that 37% report buying a home as a current family goal.
PCSgrades is a trusted third party platform founded and run by fellow military members and spouses. This unique website provides the armed forces community with a voice in the PCS process that has never existed before. More and more military and veteran families are turning to PCSgrades for all their relocation needs in large part, because PCSgrades.com is not the same old tired REALTOR® network we’ve seen time and again.
EVERY review is submitted by military members, veterans, or their spouses AND that has real meaning to the military community. There is a level of trust that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else. The military and veteran consumer are significantly different than their civilian counterparts. A PCSgrades Focus Group survey shows that when considering similar products and services, more than 50% of military consumers choose companies run BY and FOR military families even before price.
Military and veteran consumers are very loyal, and without the traditional roots our civilian counterparts enjoy, we depend on each other for needed information. Word of mouth marketing is never stronger than between military families when sharing information to make a move go smoother. When moving to a new city, one of the first things we do is reach out to our military network. And that is EXACTLY what PCSgrades is – a network where military families can share trusted reviews on housing, neighborhoods, REALTORS® and more!
Real estate agents featured on PCSgrades are the most reputable and highest-rated, not because we “certify” them as such, but based directly on feedback from the people the military community trusts the most – our fellow military members, veterans, and spouses.
Here are a few other important highlights:
- Unlike other networks, REALTORS® can’t pay for inclusion on PCSgrades. Instead, all professionals and communities must first be reviewed by military and veteran families.
- PCSgrades provides REALTORS® a chance to proactively engage, interact, and ultimately help shape the online reputation created by their clients. This is not another unfiltered and unrestricted social media forum for disgruntled clients to rant unfairly.
- While any REALTOR® with reviews from the military community can be featured on the site, those with a veteran or spouse background are highlighted with distinctive badges.
- Not only do REALTORS® receive instantaneous notification for every new review, but they have the ability to contact reviewers through their PCSgrades username to thank them for their review or begin a dialogue toward resolution.
- For an overall grade of “C” or below, there is an automatic 72-hour hold before the review is published.
- Reviewers have a total of 90 days to personally edit or delete their own reviews. So there is ample time for REALTORS® to clear up any confusion or make things right.
- Finally, REALTORS® can professionally post their perspectives and opinions alongside a reviewer’s open comments.
One more game changer…PCSgrades members are not assigned a REALTOR® of our choice, but can instead make their own choice based on reviews from their military peers. This is particularly appealing to a community that typically doesn’t have a lot of choice in the relocation process.
One final bonus…the website is completely free and has no annoying ads.
If you are a REALTOR® looking to serve the military community, contact PCSgrades for more information on how you can become a featured REALTOR® on the one-stop website that’s changing how military and veteran families help each other with frequent relocations.