There’s a new powerhouse in the world of military relocation (yes, I’m talking about the dreaded PCS). Its name is MILLIE. Ever heard of it?
No? Well, it is a grassroots movement that is changing the way military families connect with their new duty stations, even before they set foot in the area.
Roots in AgentHero
MILLIE was co-founded by veterans, Ken Robbins and Jason Dempsey, after years of active-duty service and buying real estate throughout their military moves. They realized there was a fundamental flaw with the PCS process. Military families were moving across the country to places they had never been, and they were relying on real estate agents who didn’t understand what it really meant to PCS. They believed that if they could bring together a vetted network of veteran and military spouse realtors, they could bring peace of mind to military families looking to buy homes. So, they set out to build their company, AgentHero.
AgentHeroes are real estate agents who are exclusively veterans or military spouses. They have lived the life and know exactly what military families are going through when they PCS. AgentHeroes are vetted, meaning they have at least five years of experience, with at least 20 transactions per year, and they must have experienced at least one PCS. There are currently over 600 AgentHeroes across the country. If you’re PCSing soon and need to buy or sell a home, you can fill out a contact form, and a MILLIE team member will contact you by phone within the hour and pair you with an AgentHero in your area! You can also apply to become an AgentHero and help PCSing families.
Soon after AgentHero was born, Ken and Jason came across Lauren Rothlisberger and Amy Shick and their company, Military Property Project (MPP), which provided resources for military members looking to manage, own, and invest in real estate. After a few months of partnership, they realized something bigger was afoot. They began to think of MMP and AgentHero as foundational pieces to a much broader concept that would become MILLIE — one of helping military families, not just after a PCS, but from the very beginning of it.
As soon as orders drop, what do you do? You head straight to the internet and start researching. With MILLIE’s installation guides, it’s a one-stop shop. Just search for your new base, and you will find:
- Information about the city
- Important base numbers
- AgentHeroes and Scouts in the area
- Suggestions of mortgage lenders or rental properties
- A map of the area
- Commute times
- Neighborhood guides
Hundreds of hours were poured into creating these online MILLIE guides. Local military spouses helped build them through photography, graphic art, and participation in focus groups. Military spouses with PCS experience (and the buying, selling, renting, and community involvement that are part of the deal) are also at the core of the groundbreaking MILLIE Scout program.
Scouts are not MILLIE employees, but independent contractors, who are able to take their jobs with them with each PCS. Scouts are the eyes and ears — the link between your internet research and your actual move. Think of a Scout as your recon!
A Scout may do any number of things for a client. Let’s say your orders dropped; your research is done, and you nailed down the area you want to live. There’s only so much you can learn through Google Maps. You can fill the information gap by hiring a Scout already living in the area to conduct a neighborhood review, take pictures and videos of your potential new street and surrounding neighborhood, and then email it all straight to you.
Maybe you have found the perfect house, but those listing photos just aren’t doing it for you. You can hire a Scout to conduct a house review. Your Scout will take you on a FaceTime tour of the home, so you can see exactly what you’re getting into.
Perhaps you’re a homeowner planning to rent your home when you PCS, but you’d prefer not to use a property management company. You can hire a Scout to complete a property photo shoot and upload the photos for online advertisements. If your house is vacant between tenants, you can hire a Scout to access and secure your property, letting in the cleaning crew or plumber, then locking your house back up once the work is complete. There are currently over 100 scouts across the United States. You can find a scout in your area or apply to be a scout if it sounds like the perfect job for you.
In its first year, MILLIE took on some of the military’s largest and most complex markets, and it currently has over 70 installation guides, all free to military families! Plus, MILLIE has refresh cycles for all content, keeping the information as current as possible.
PCSing is one of the most stressful times for military families, but MILLIE helps you take charge of your move. Read the wealth of information in the MILLIE Journal, follow the MILLIE blog — a platform for military spouses to share their stories and become a tighter military community, and follow MILLIE on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, so you don’t miss a thing (including the occasional social media giveaways).
Photo Credits: Miscellanea Photography