The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” For families who are moving with children it not only takes a village, it takes a strong team to ensure success is the end result. I recently had the pleasure of talking with Debbi Hester, a Moving Families Participating Real Estate Agent in El Paso, Texas about how she helps families navigate the rocky terrain of moving with children.
There are many words I would use to describe Debbi…awesome, caring, committed. But mostly she is so skillful at not only understanding the challenges families face when moving but so consistent in providing guidance, support, and a shoulder to lean on. Let’s see what you think…
Q: In your opinion, what are the key components of the Moving Families Initiative that benefit families most?
A: It’s a very strategic approach to help moms, dads, and children through the challenging, difficult, and mostly tiring process. Moving takes an emotional as well as physical toll on families. We can help them get through it.
Q: What do you feel is the greatest challenge moving families face today?
A: The mortgage process has changed so much now in the wake of the real estate crash. The process is very hard for consumers to go through. It is a real compliment that they’re able to do so much. They want a secure family home in a safe neighborhood and they are willing to go through all this work because they love their families. The stress and work involved for parents to complete the mortgage process, the goodbyes in the old neighborhood, all that takes a physical and emotional toll and realtors have to be sensitive about it.
Q: If there were only one thing you could tell parents with children who are moving, what would it be?
A: Reassure your children, “We are going to a different place, but we will be together as a family. This is a wonderful adventure.” There is a strong reason driving people to move, to make life better. We are seeing great growth in El Paso. People are coming in to support the great economic drivers. There is a great quality of life here and once families get here, they love it. It’s important that parents reassure their children that they are going to be together and it’s going to be great. The reason we are coming here is for a better future. There is a great discussion in the Great Moving Adventure DVD that kids can’t always connect the dots. Parents need to reaffirm it’s going to be positive.
Q: If there were only one thing you could tell a real estate professional working with a family who is relocating, what would it be?
A: Try to be extra comforting and thoughtful and sensitive. The dynamic is different for every family so you can’t use the same approach for every family. It’s not just about sell, sell, sell. It’s about will this family fit in this neighborhood and in this home? It’s not about just selling them the house because they’re qualified.
Q: Final thoughts, Debbi?
A: It is very positive for realtors to be strategic in their approach to serving these families. I am finding that families will rent for a year to test out the neighborhood. If they can’t or don’t want to rent, they rely on my expertise. It’s a lot of work and a lot of responsibility and I take that very seriously. I am very happy that with the Moving Families Initiative tools, I can serve families better. You have to bring more help to these families because they need more help all the time. You can’t do the same thing over and over. This is the perfect tool for realtors.
To read more about how Debbi serves moving families, go to Debbi Hester-HGTV FrontDoor.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.