Using Trulia in San Antonio>Question Details

Bruce Mckenz…, Home Buyer in San Antonio, TX

how do I find USAA-certified realtors here on Trulia?

Asked by Bruce Mckenzie, San Antonio, TX Fri Mar 12, 2010

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Hi Bruce and Jillie,

I feel like Bruce's question got answered really early in this protracted dialogue, which turned into a knock down, drag out, not only over the way USAA does it's referral based, rebate business, but also over Trulia's revised , Find a Pro, best match methods.

Jillie, if Bruce signs a Buyer-Tenant relationship agreement with his agent, he will have to go back to that Broker to be released before going to USAA to find another agent. Also, most everybody has been tap dancing around the fact that many agents - good, bad, & in-between will match or do better on the rebate that USAA offers. As is often the case, you have to communicate your wishes when interviewing your agent.
There are somewhere around 5,500 licensed Realtors that are members of the San Antonio multiple listing service. Any number of us would love to have Bruce's business and a lot are willing to pay a rebate, help with closing costs or guarantee him one heck of a deal.

In San Antonio - Military City ,USA, and home to USAA, we are very appreciative of the business relationship with USAA and our city, but also protective of our own business as Realtors. Contrary to some reports in this dialogue, ANY agent in San Antonio cannot take a class, plop down fifty bucks and be a USAA "certified" agent. There has to be a relationship established between the relocation company, broker and the Realtor. Even after taking the USAA class, signing an oath, and all but giving them our first born, we have to pay so much "ransom" to USAA for their referrals, that many highly qualified agents choose not to do so.

I have found a perennial downside to buyers using the USAA lenders. The buyers and their agents have difficulty talking directly to their USAA loan officer because of the "gate keeper" system that they employee, but that opens another can of worms. As I said before in my comments, I am very familiar with their system, as are many good agents in San Antonio. If Bruce wants a USAA certified agent, Alan May gave him the right contact information to get in touch with USAA directly. On Trulia, unless we work for the selected USAA brokerages here in San Antonio, of course we are going to give him the rest of the story. I would love to hear back from Bruce in this forum and see if he feels his question has been answered adequately, or if he is just overwhelmed by all the back and forth.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Well, Bruce, didn't your question stir it up!

There are many referral programs that offer to put you in touch with a "certified" REALTOR®. Some of them also offer you a rebate for using their service. Almost all of them charge the REALTOR a hefty fee for that "paid" endorsement, and the fee you earn back is a portion of that charge. The qualifications for that referral vary widely from program to program. Some require a certain number of transactions, some require designations of one sort or another, and some only require that you have a license and be willing to pay for the referral.

So, you know up front that the REALTOR you are assigned to is one who is willing to discount their services deeply in order to get a client. That's OK. Most of us pay up to 1/2 or more of our gross commissions to attract new clients, to market properties, and to keep in touch with clients and friends who may send us referrals. It's a cost of doing business. Most of us will match the rebate that USAA gives you if we have to to get the business, so that's really not a big factor for you as a Buyer.

A better way to choose a REALTOR is to do your own homework. Ask your friends who they used and how they fared. Check out REALTORS' web sites and Facebook pages, and see what references they can provide. Ask how many transactions they have done in the last 6 months. Ask for some examples of how they served their Buyer of Seller clients, what their results were, what the ratio between List price and Final price were (although price isn't everything), what Seller concessions they normally ask for when representing Buyers, what is their negotiating style, etc. If their habit is to just drop you off at the home builder who is paying the biggest bonus this week, they might not be your best bet.

Every profession has a few people who are "overpaid" because they don't do the work that is expected and customary. Every profession also has many people who continue to provide superb service and value at a fair price. Your task is to use your intelligence to tell the difference, rather than blindly picking one from a list that someone paid to be on. You wouldn't pick a Doctor or Lawyer or Accountant like that, would you?

Find a REALTOR who will listen to you and take the time to really understand your needs and requirements, who knows the market well, who has the experience and education to represent you intelligently, and who is committed to a true Fiduciary relationship (putting your interests ahead of their own). Always value things by what they are worth, not by what they cost. Your assigned, "certified" agent might cost you a lot more than your rebate, or they may be a real gem. By the time you know which, it's too late.

Best regards,

Doc and Ellen Stephens, REALTORS®
Keller Williams Realty
10999 Ih-10 West, Suite 175
San Antonio, TX 78230
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Bruce, call USAA, and they'll hook you up directly with a USAA mover's advantage certified agent.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Toobad, I was really trying hard not to be "snarky" and to be helpful. Sorry you took it that way. Good Luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Bruce, I still haven't heard back and it's a slow Monday, so here and below is the link directly to the USAA Mover's Advantage site, (just so I am not off topic) You will find the sliding scale of rebates there, depending on the amount of house that you purchase. If you buy and sell they will double it! That means two agents have paid them a referral fee, and you get a small portion of that referral fee. Wonder what they do with the rest? After you have sifted through the agents on Trulia, you can go through to USAA and see what everybody else has already told you, that the Coldwell Banker and C-21 are the main Brokers for USAA here in San Antonio.

Jillie, Congrats on finding a great Realtor, and on getting your rebate and on being able to choose your lender. If you opt out and go to a different lender and your rebate is $100 less, it will cost you a nice chunk out of your rebate, it will cost your agent the same amount, so other than making your transaction go smoother, it should make no difference. Other than costing USAA the profit on the loan, it will make no difference to them either since they will have the referral fee that the Realtor paid in their pocket.

You might want to ask your agent about the different types of agency in the State of Texas. Most folks don't think twice about signing an agreement when listing a house to sell, but are scared to death of being "locked in" when signing a Buyer's agency agreement. I can understand why you would feel that way, but there are protections built in for both the buyer and the agent and without it, how can you be assured that you have anything more than an implied agency (a relationship indicated by the words and and/or actions of the agent rather than a written agreement.)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Bruce. I am just curious what you expect to receive from a USAA certified real estate professional that you would not expect from a non-certified agent. There are so many certifications out there and the question is, are they really meaningful. In the big scheme of education, none of the certifications requires super powers to qualify and I would just want to know what's in it for you to work with a USAA certified agent as opposed to any other qualified and experienced agent. If you are just in it for the rebate, I can tell you that there are many non-certified agents who are willing to work with you and give you a rebate or other incentive. I have no problem with someone looking for a particularly certified agent. Just curious what motivates you. I don't want to make assumptions without asking the question.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
USAA does not require an agent be certified. However, some brokerage firms create an annual 'training' class where they take $50 at the door, walk you through the answers and then hand out a test. Then, they give you a certificate to take USAA referrals. When you don't have other forms of generating business, a new agent feels compelled to take part in rituals like this. At least, that's true in the beginning.

ANY agent who agrees to pay the USAA referral fee can take on a USAA member as a client. I used to be one of those 'certified' agents. But, when you grow your business to a certain point, you no longer need to jump through hoops to satisfy the broker and earn specific referrals. You do your own marketing and you can just work to satisfy the client. All of my USAA member clients came with me when I changed brokerage firms. They know who took care of them.

Have a blessed day and get Top Block service from a Realtor in your area who you know and respect. Chances are, they are happy to help. My USAA member clients are some of the best and most loyal clients I've had the privilege of serving. From Mr. Jim, the 55-year USAA Member and retired submarine Captain, to the Easterly's, a Master-Sergeant still in active duty who was relocating his family to McKinney, TX, these are members I am proud to serve and to call friend.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
So it sounds like this turned into a contest?? Dan and Dunes... you both sound like you've definitely got me topped on who can spend the most time on a website. I'll give ya that. Rock on yall. Those stats are staggering!

What I don't get is... you both sound like very educated individuals that somehow completely missed my point and perhaps that's expected when you do make it a point to brag about how much you both post on a site, maybe it's quantity over quality eh? You both seem quite happy about your "post" numbers, but why are you complaining so much about a site that you're now obviously bragging about on how much time you spend on? I'm just curious.

Either way, it's one thing I learned quickly in life. The one that does all the talking isn't doing any of the listening. And effective communication certainly isn't one sided.

You both do certainly offer your own unique perspective that certainly has value in the eyes of other individuals that do take the time to post here on Trulia. I can recognize that and am obviously giving you public recognition here by saying so. However, why when I simply state a fact about the website and suggest as to why things may not be as fair as you would have them, do you make it a personal attack on me? Also just curious?

Keep up the great work you both do here and for goodness sake, remember that if you're not happy with Trulia and the policies they act on; you are certainly free to create your own web forum that you can manage any way your heart desires. God bless this country and those that fight for our freedom to do what we want! :)

Love ya like brothers.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
David, can I steal (or at least borrow) that statement?

"I'm trying to put the TRUE back in Trulia,"

but my answers seem to vanish after they are posted. <--- I know that feeling.

Apparently if you do not precisely answer the exact question asked you can have your post removed. Notice how to do this effectively...

(on topic) go to find a pro and type the term in something will show up but may be a horrible referral (on topic) See, I replied on topic and STILL said what I wanted. The key is not to be insulting and to say they are wrong but answer the actual question asked.

p.s. being a bit obnoxious and demanding answers will eventually wear down the resolve of any who take away your replies. I have done it before, I will do t again, I fight for what I believe in even if it costs me points. If I get vip3 in 2 weeks which is possible or on tax day (april 15) it does not matter much to me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Dan and Dunes....

Since when did I log into Trulia Voices and find that it instead said "Dunes voices or Dan's Voices"?? Therefore.. whoever owns the website... owns the rights!!! Why, oh why would you start attacking Emily for doing her job as Trulia see's fit?

As you can well and certainly point out..... I don't even pay for leads here on Trulia since I am NOT a "PRO".. however, Trulia is such a great website that offers such a great forum of education to the consumers; you can't fault it's system.

By the way... is today "let's pick on anybody that posts on Trulia" day? I'm laughing at some of those that think it's actually constructive to try and pick flaws at somebody else's business? Guess he who is without sin can cast the first stone??... that's all I 'll say about that.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Bruce any Realtor can be USAA certified as long as pay the referal fee to USAA. What branch did you serve in?
Actually, James, that's not correct.

USAA puts it's certified agents through serious training, and that training must be kept up twice annually. Occasionally, if a buyer already has an agent, USAA will agree to allow that agent to serve the member, and will ask for their contribution of a portion of their commission, but that's not the general rule of thumb.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Hi Dunes,

The question at hand asks how to find USAA certified Realtors here on Trulia. It doesn't ask about Find a Pro rankings however and your comments are thus off-topic. If you would like to share your opinion about of Find a Pro rankings, please create another blog post or share your answers to questions that ask specifically about these rankings.

Thank you,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Bruce,

Our Find a Pro directory lets you search for professionals by both location and keyword. If you access the link below you'll find the results of a search I performed in San Antonio with the keyword "USAA".

I hope this helps you. Please be sure to let us know if you have any other questions or feedback for us.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Community Moderator
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Stephanie - (sorry Bruce - off topic)

I never replied to you. I did state my experiences with the USAA program as a buyer.

In your 1st post to me you stated "Jillie, if Bruce signs a Buyer-Tenant relationship agreement with his agent, he will have to go back to that Broker to be released before going to USAA to find another agent. "

This implies Bruce will be locked in with the program and it will be difficult to change realtors; and it certainly implies it's a bad thing. I simply said to Bruce that I didn't sign anything.

So, you posted to me again stating "You might want to ask your agent about the different types of agency... Most folks don't think twice about signing an agreement when listing a house to sell, but are scared to death of being "locked in" when signing a Buyer's agency agreement."
Now it appears you're implying the buyer's agreement is a good thing! Whether it's good or bad is irrelevant Stephanie, since it's not required for this program.

Honestly Stephanie your comment that starts "Jillie, Congrats on finding a great Realtor..." is pretty snarky. Obviously you're not glad that I've said I'm happy with the program. And I don't really know why you replied to me anyway, I was posting to Bruce, and stated facts based on my experience with this program in the state of Texas.

Again, apologies to Bruce for adding to the numerous thread Jacks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
I had a friend that used USAA for her home loan. Now she swears against USAA's mortgage lending program. She told me that, throughout the process, it was impossible to talk directly to her loan officer without going through one or more intermediaries. She was really extremely frustrated when no one at USAA was allowed to give her a direct phone number to her loan officer.

Does anyone know if the same problem occurs with the USAA Movers Advantage Program? If so, it's a shame because USAA is basically a good organization.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Bruce - I am currently working with a USAA certified realtor, I have not signed, nor was I requested or required to sign a buyers agreement that locks me in. in fact, I can change LENDERS if I want to (it will reduce my rebate by $100). If you use the referral system, do check out your realtor, just like you would if you walked in to an office or called an office to ask about a listing. Your specific question was how do you find one on Trulia. Several experienced realtors have indicated that they are USAA qualified. I gave you some tips on how to use this site to pick one. Everyone else is off topic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Hi Bruce - I found a USAA realtor on this site.

You may know this already - but here goes: When you request a referral (use the USAA referral service), they refer you to a broker's office in the area. That office assigns a realtor to you. If you're unhappy, you can request another realtor AT ANY TIME through USAA's referral service - no questions asked. Nice that you don't have to ask the Realtor's office to switch, huh?

As for finding one here - i did just that. I posted a question here on Trulia, and got many answers. Some were good, some not. I then put in a referral thru USAA; once I knew which broker company I was assigned to, I looked over the people that responded to my question. One of them gave good answers and was working with the company I was assigned to. I contacted him, and he went to his broker to get assigned to me. It went pretty smoothly and I felt I had some control over who I was going to work with. And I'll get my little .5% refund at closing.

BTW- He's been in business many years, is not part time, is a professional, and is not in need of "building his business.' At least one realtor eluded to the idea that a USAA referral agent s are somehow inferior. That's pretty sleazy. Buyer's want that .5% discount, so we have to use someone that USAA has "certified." This does not mean that they are new, or sucking around for business. It also is not a guarantee that the realtor is competent. It just means that the realtor is in the USAA referral system. We still have to vet the realtor ourselves. Bruce, I hope that helps. I looks like your question got thread jacked. If you want to use my suggestion to find a USAA realtor, post another question about real estate, and proceed as I did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Josh, you asked "Therefore.. whoever owns the website... owns the rights!!! Why, oh why would you start attacking .."

That is incorrect. Trulia has guidelines. If those guidelines are instituted they must be followed legally. By placing guidelines they have a legal obligations to both live within them AND to ENFORCE THEM. If the website does NOT apply the guidelines equally and consistently that can legally be seen as discrimination. Discrimination is illegal. It can result in lawsuits and lost profits not to mention a bad reputation for the site and bad attitudes from those discriminated against.

This does have a legal precedent. Lawsuits have been filed over similar actions elsewhere. I have no desire for that level but the liability issue exists. When a post is removed and it IS no different from many others that are neither removed or different from a guideline perspective except some moderator did not like the message it is a serious mistake.

I posted a message that absolutely did directly reference the question asked and it was deleted anyway. That took something of value from me (free speech, reputation, and 30 vip points). If this has caused me to suffer damage and others doing similar things are not suffering the same damage my rights were violated. In this case my reply did even go within the guidelines and was removed inappropriately.

Would you ask for a refund if you just paid with a $20 and the cashier did not give you a $10 back they should have? This is the same thing. I had something taken from me without just cause.

I reported a few hundred similar posts for the same violation. They remain. WHY??? I simply asked for explanation and equal treatment for all people and viewpoints on here. Nothing more.

(on topic part) use find a pro type in the words it will show you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
In keeping with Ellen & Doc's response, I am not a USAA certified REALTOR but have successfully relocated West Point transferees. I was "found" by referral from previous clients, directly or indirectly; indirectly, when the transferee contacted a recent purchaser found on a USMA bulletin board posting of recent transferees. In one instance I was asked to credit the buyers what USAA would have given them had they used a certified agent. I did so with my broker's permission. I was also required to undergo a background check for which I paid a fee.

The key is finding a good agent, certified or not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Josh, when you are a part of something you like and see problems in it do you just walk away or try to see it changed for the better?

Dunes and I simply are trying to make better something that is not right. I saw the featured listing on find-a-pro. I said it should be renamed to "paid to be here", but did not object strongly to its presence. But when best match is changed to mean "paid the most to be in the front of the line" something is wrong. I asked long before the recent change what best match meant. I had no clue. It made no sense. Now best match only means paid a lot. It is both obvious and clearly stated.

Would you want to search a quality website about real estate that you think you can trust, go to find a pro and get someone who has no website qualifications for being there except they paid a big fee? I would not want that. I can think of no one who would.

(PSST... hey buddy, if I slip you and $50 and a $20 will you send the suckers my way? I need the business)

That is the appearance that find-a-pro best match (the default by the way) gives if you read the blog and Emily's posts about it.

Comparing numbers is not an attack. Saying I beat your scores here is a fact. Wondering why trulia chose anyone as a mayor still is confusing.

Do I own this site? No. Do you? I doubt it. Maybe you do.

This is the sandbox I like to play in. It was nice of the community to place it here. If I see someone abusing the sandbox in some way shouldn't I show what the problem is, complain, and try to improve it? Sandboxes need to be maintained at times or they just are not fun to play in any more. This whole thing is about maintaining the sandbox so everyone can play in it safely and enjoy the experience. I am trying to bring in a bucket of sand to replace some that was lost. Why is it so hard to see that is all that is going on?

I never came over and peed in your pool. Please do not mess up my sandbox.

Josh "You both do certainly offer your own unique perspective that certainly has value in the eyes of other individuals that do take the time to post here on Trulia. I can recognize that..."

For a long time I never considered that anyone except the person posting a question would notice me. I did not expect or want that. I did consider that what I posted here could be used against me by a realtor I might choose to someday use but decided I would take that risk.

WHY do you think Dunes and I would risk the reputations we have built here over this and the vip issue?
I will tell you why. It matters. Home buyers who come here should have a clear way of finding help that is not contaminated. When someone is recommended by this site they should be qualified by MORE than a fat wallet. They should be qualified by more than posting tons of replies.

Who is more valuable, The person who posts 500 high quality life changing replies or the one who posts 15,000 quick cut and paste replies saying nothing? The vip system says the cut and past one does.

Who is more valuable, someone who pays trulia their $69 a month or someone who posts high quality answers talking about all aspects of real estate including the investment aspects?
According to best match Don Tepper is on at least page 358. The big cash payment means more.

How can a buyer come on trulia and depend on a rating system that is so flawed that it supports the weak and pushes the best to the back of the line?

I fight, because of that one thing. There should be accountability when it comes to recommending realtors beyond they paid up well and posted a lot.

p.s. I will get vip3 before tax day. Do you know what that really means? Nothing of consequence except I will do it in the shortest time ever on trulia.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
I'm trying to put the TRUE back in Trulia, but my answers seem to vanish after they are posted. It seems that sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes you have to wonder if it's a "smokin' Deal" or if your Realtor has been Smokin' something else! You find a USAA certified Realtor by calling USAA. I have been a USAA member for twenty years and actually used a USAA "certified" Realtor when I purchased my first home. It was then that I knew that the system was broken, and shortly after founded Half Priced Real Estate.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Josh, If I posted 7 more blogs I would have you beat in every category except for being licensed. If I post more blogs and get a license can I become a mayor also? I am already towards the top of every list except best match.

Lets look at numbers.
Josh has 373 answers 140 helpful and 5 best answers.
Dunes has 2201 answers 1,722 helpful and 55 best answers
Dan has 1631 answers, 491 helpful and 33 best answers.

I wonder, who does it look like has a better grasp of trulia and respect here? The numbers sure suggest an answer don't they?

I got 13 thumbs up yesterday. Yet you think you should come in here and say anything when you did not even see the posts that were deleted or why? I will fight when needed. I will ask politely when possible. I will push back when pushed.

I expect rules to be applied evenly, consistently, and per the guidelines period. If I go outside the lines I accept the punishment. I would appreciate a warning for a first time offense instead of a 30 point punishment. I would appreciate someone thinking maybe I misread a question or tried to show something I thought could be related. When I see the above simple guidelines thrown out it bothers me. My last reply below was posted in protest fully expecting to lose another 30 points for doing so.

Stand by the courage of your convictions. I know find a pro is worthless It does not affect me. What it does is throw innocent unknowing buyers potentially into the hands of ill informed and incompetent realtors just because they paid a high subscription price.

Trulia says it is a real estate site for consumers. If that is true why do things this way? It makes no sense.

(on topic at last) use find a pro, type in the usaa and hope for the best. results may or may not be worth anything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Josh, I only ask that the guidelines be applied evenly. I ask that as has been said before that other voices be allowed. I ask that no one be singled out because their message is not liked. I ask that is one post is removed for being off topic that ALL posts off topic are removed. (there is a 6 month job alone)

Offering honest input believing it is correct is to be punished? That is news to me.

Trulias system became very corrupted and worthless to buyers when they changed best match in find a pro.

Saying pay more to be recommended is almost the definition of being corrupt.

Look at Emily's reply below. Your reply was off topic so it was removed. Yet I see hundreds of posts all over trulia off topic that remain. WHY?

I gave an honest reply to another reply posted in the thread. All previous activity on here has shown that to be acceptable behavior, until today.

WHAT changed?

(on topic) use find a pro type the word in and hope you get a half decent referral, it might not as bribes form the list
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Guess you told me Mayor Josh lol..............................I'm not thinkin you own the site either and my objection is to the arbitrary use of a Trulia Policy as explained by a Trulia Staff member.....

IMO a LEGITIMATE questioning of this policy mentioned by a Staff member,.
If you don't agree fine but jumping in with "Since when did I log into Trulia Voices and find that it instead said "Dunes voices or Dan's Voices"?? "

I asked Emily her reason, stated my view and left..wrote a blog about it....I haven't run around anywhere acting as if this is my Site...I state my opinion and respond.

My reaction to your comment... I can see why they chose you for Mayor....I mean besides your great contributions to this Forum.... 383 answers..135 helpful answers..20 blogs..Rock on!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
(use find a pro, type the phrase in and get results not worth trusting) <--- on topic

Emily look below. 294 replies…

Kevin Tomlinson said "

You think Emily is going to wipe out all the comments in this post? OMG---there are like five comments in there that are on topic to the "buyers" question."
When are you going to be consistent and remove ALL 250+ realtors comments on THAT thread? Or do you only remove off topic from consumer advocates and buyers like Dunes and I?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
(on topic) use find a pro and type in usaaa
You should find someone who typed in that they have it. The ratings should not be trusted but hey, it is your choice you know.

Since the 2 replies below are not precisely answering the exact question asked the need to be removed.

Emily, I trust you can take care of it.
(I forgot to ask, would you like a html of the deleted post showing it was legit?)

p.s. 4 points for directly answering a question and showing a problem.

SInce I did answer the question this post will not lose context (use find a pro, just do not trust) it should not be deleted as spam. I obeyed the exact rules you laid out below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Alan sorry but I could only go off past experience. I had a client a friend of my son that wanted to purchase a home and use me as his agent. USAA sent the paperwork to my broker to be able to get their referall fee. At that point we told I was certified and we could proceed with finding a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Bruce-

What a can of worms! Because USAA is such a large company and there is so much opportunity for realtors, it is a contentious subject in San Antonio. I am a USAA member but not in the USAA Mover's Advantage (MA) program . Coldwell Banker pays a vendor fee to USAA and in turn, members like you can log into your benefits intranet site to sign-up. A CB agent will be assigned to you. To recover the fees CB pays to USAA, the realtors take a pay cut. CB agents already only get 30-40 cents on the dollar, and then take a further reduction on their earnings from the MA program. Ouch. From my experience, not all CB agents want to do the MA program since it means they get paid less commission for the same amount of work as a non-USAA MA client. All agents are independent contractors, not employees, so it is like having 500+ independents rather than dealing with a company, the company is just a name in this instance. The benefit to you is saving commission on a sliding scale.

I own my own company so I get $1 for $1 on my earnings. My agents keep a larger percentage than most companies. Because I keep 100% of commissions and to pay tribute to our military, I offer my own USAA discount. My family has served in the military since the 1920s including my husband. I have worked with a few people from USAA and would be happy to provide their name as references.

I specialize in helping people make smart decisions about real estate, I consult, not just sell. GREEN Home Realty is a certified MBE & WBE (Minority and Woman owned business enterprise), and the only green real estate company in San Antonio registered with the award winning Build SA Green. Not everyone wants green, but everyone wants to keep their utilities down and increase their investment (home) value. Call me and we can discuss further. Finally, there is a financial benefit to you besides getting a good consultant. I will beat the USAA MA program, guaranteed!

Cathy Bureau
GREEN Home Realty
(210) 378-2489
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Alan, read EMily's post below.
The question at hand asks how to find USAA certified Realtors here on Trulia. It doesn't ask about Find a Pro rankings however and your comments are thus off-topic.

Expect your reply to be deleted.

(ON TOPIC) put the term in find a pro it should work

do not trust the results in find a pro if you value your quality referrals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Emily, James gave a good overview of what it means to be a usaa certified realtor but did not say how to find on on trulia. He is off topic and needs to be removed also. Why should dunes and I be the only ones to lose 100 points or more today for genuinely trying to help and reply to a whole thread?

to be legal....

use find a pro type in the words it will show you

trust the results at your own peril they are worthless.

p.s. I am waiting for Pete's reply. I am ticked...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Josh Boggs is also off topic and even stated "Sorry Bruce, for jumping off topic here on your forum. "

Please delete his comment.

Also Steve Collins comment and David Marne and any others not answering the specific question who are off-topic by your explanation of a deletable off-topic comment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Bruce any Realtor can be USAA certified as long as pay the referal fee to USAA. What branch did you serve in?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010

The comment by Ellen & Doc while a good one is not addressing the Question asked..

"how do I find USAA-certified realtors here on Trulia?"

Their entire answer is in regards to Finding and using a Realtor, it has nothing to do with how to find a USAA-certified Realtor here on Trulia....

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
I think if this is not resolved immediately it will be time to send an email to Pete Flint and ask him why this is happening. We have already talked a couple of times.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Emily, you deleted my post also. I DID reply about finding a usaa realtor in it. I simply added more information.


I am sure you can use find a pro to find the ---> usaa criteria. <--- But the rankings from here can not be trusted. As an example consider that dunes replied to Emily's reply showing some critiques of how it works and almost immediately had his post removed.

on topic and removed anyway. My first post here I was reworking ready to delete when you did. I noticed that when I was reworking it for the second post. Do you work on a 30 second rule?

REPEATED POST FROM BEFORE LOOK AT PARAGRAPH 2 ON TOPIC. ( no guidelines about rambling on or adding extra information. If there were 50% of posts would be deleted here)

Since find a pro was mentioned by Emily as a way please consider my blog.
(TITLE) “Do not use or trust find-a-pro. It is worthless now. Look inside for the truth.”…

( notice )
I am sure you can use find a pro to find the usaa criteria. But the rankings from here can not be trusted. As an example consider that dunes replied to Emily's reply showing some critiques of how it works and almost immediately had his post removed.

If you really want to find a half decent realtor using find-a-pro change from best match (which is useless) and instead look for best answers and most helpful answers. The rest is pretty much junk. If you want to look for top contributors (all members) you will find me on page 1.

As Emily said on…

"Trulia Pro subscribers are listed in order of the plan they are signed up for - Deluxe subscribers are at the top followed by Plus subscribers and Starter subscribers."

The find a pro is based on how much trulia is paid by the realtors in best match. Best match = pay trulia the most to be there.

Don Tepper (one of the highest in respect from me) shows up about page 358. That one thing alone shows it is WORTHLESS. When I say to someone this person would be worth contacting for a realtor it is both rare and real. Only a handful here have reached that level as of this date. I base it on many quality contributions based on knowledgeable input and understanding that goes beyond the minimum needed.

Once someone is told something on here if there is an issue with that advice is is within the guidelines to say so.

Sharing your knowledge, opinions and experience is a way to make positive contribution to the community

The community is made up of many types of people, with different backgrounds, knowledge and beliefs; please be considerate of others

5 SHARE YOUR SOURCES (Posted links showing why Emily's reply was a bad one done)

6 LEAD BY EXAMPLE (Dunes and I did, EMily made our replies relevant)
Please help us keep the content in the community on-topic and relevant.

While asking, answering or browsing, when you see informative or high-quality content from other community members, give it a thumbs up vote

Your answers and your blog posts in some cases are intended to provide advice and guidance to people who ask questions and not to force your opinion. Be considerate of other opinions and never present your answers or comments as a guaranteed successful course of action

trulia guidelines above were all followed.

Answers must make a clear attempt to address the questions asked. (the question was asked replies were given different views came up, those views received an opposing view and were deleted. Since threads often go beyond JUST the original question I instantly DEMAND that you look at…
and remove about 60% of the replies. Fair is fair. Many of the replies there have ignored the original question. Be consistent OR restore the previous posts here. If you remove posts there I will come back with hundreds of other threads to also clean up.

Every single guideline above WAS followed by me. I want my previous posts restored.

You need to read the guidelines before you just remove something.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
So will you be applying this logic of what's on-topic to all the questions/comments in the Forum?

All comments that do not DIRECTLY address the question will be deleted?

You said use the Find a Pro and why..I said do not use the Find a Pro and why....mines deleted as off-topic

(BTW you know I never mentioned Rankings, I merely posted "Please consider my opinion on why not to use the Find a Pro" and posted a link..There was no discussion in my comment about anything)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010

I see you deleted my comment, so it ok to for you as Staff to say Use Find a Pro (That's on topic) but saying IMO do not use Find A Pro in response to your comment gets deleted..Why?

Is it Spam, off-topic, not factual or just not an allowable opinion to express?…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Bruce,

I think the question has been answered as to how to find a USAA-certified realtor, but I am curious as to why you are looking for one? Is it for the discount, or is it for the reputation?

My team can certainly relate to the military service members needs. My husband/partner did a 30 year career in the US Army, I have a son -in law who is a combat medic and two sons currently in the Coast Guard. We have been members with USAA for well over 40 years, and have over 26 years combined real estate experience. We really do know their system and we do know about their rebate program. Everybody in the business does. It doesn't mean that the agents they provide are any better than anybody else in the business. I think we are a really good match for the USAA program, but unfortunately I can't be "certified" because my brokerage was not selected by USAA, which is kind of weird since Keller Williams is #1 in the city.

The only real problem that I have with their program is that it locks you into using their lender, their vendors, and while USAA is very good, it always pays to shop around - for your loan, for your home, & for your realtor.

Good Luck in your search!

Stephanie Kelley, ABR,CRS,GRI
Keller Williams, Legacy
210 867 8743
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hello! I am a USAA Mover's Advantage agent here in North San Antonio. Let me know if I can be any assistance to you in providing more information on the program as well as enrollment.

Lori Stipetich
(210) 385-5808
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010

I know here in SA, USAA is mainly working with Coldwell Banker Realtors. I've actually worked with a few very happy clients that were initially working on the USAA program because they were expecting a discount for using the Realtor that was pre-selected for them, and were quite shocked at how much we were able to beat them out in service, results, oh...and discounts.

If you can show me any other qualifications that USAA demands of the agents in addition to just collecting a nice, hefty fee each month in return to be on their "Certified" list, i'd love to know about them.

My question I always pose is... instead of "greasing" the large company my hard earned dollars just to be placed on a "round-robin" lead sheet, why not save that revenue and use it to give a larger discount to the client whom chose me because of my credentials, character, morals and personality rather than because I'm on a list?

Just my two cents.

God bless on your search.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
The program is called USAA Movers Advantage. These brokers belong to the same referral network with USAA, such as CARTUS. They will refer their buyers to a USAA Certified Broker, who has agents that have been schooled in how to treat USAA clients. Since this business is important, a close eye is kept on each transaction by management.

Part of the criteria is having comleted x amount of transactions and x amount of experience.

USAA will also offer a rebate to it's client base for using one of these agents, paid by in the form of a referral fee. The local brokers are Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper, Century 21- United, and one other that I cannot recall at the moment I beleive they have to compete for the listing as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010

I am a USAA certified Realtor who can also help you as I have helped many other USAA buyers and sellers. If you e-mail me directly, I will be glad to help you findwhat you want where you want it. I have sold real estate in 14 different counties here in Texas. I am sure I can help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Hi Bruce,

I am a certified USAA realtor with Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.

Zilkia Olmeda-Martins, GRI, REALTOR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
That would be me!

Thank you,

Michael Morehouse
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper, Realtors
7523 N Loop 1604 W
San Antonio, TX 78249
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
What is USAA-Certified?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
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