Compass real estate announces a new military division.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

New Compass division aims to be a trusted resource for military families 

The team, led by a retired Navy Senior Chief and an active duty Navy Lieutenant Commander, will help service members navigate the VA loan process.

May 8, 2023
3 minutes

Key points:

  • The new division, launching in select cities, is significant for being the first military-focused team at one of the country’s largest brokerages.
  • Agents on the team will all have extensive experience and knowledge of the VA loan process.
  • CEO Robert Reffkin said that the effort will focus on a “population that has been underserved.”

Most real estate agents are prepared to assist buyers and sellers from a variety of backgrounds — but they may not be familiar with the specific needs of active duty and retired service members. That's why Compass has formally launched its national military division, which is helmed by two decorated veterans: retired Navy Senior Chief Todd Armstrong and active duty Navy Lieutenant Commander Michael Nyland. 

The aim of the division is to better understand and serve the needs of those who have served our nation, whether they are relocating or trying to navigate financing.

"We built this division with the support and structure I wish that I had for my first real estate experience," Lieutenant commander Nyland said about the new team. "Within the military, there is a high level of trust amongst those who have served or are currently serving. The Compass Military Division is the headquarters for that trust."

As the largest residential real estate brokerage by sales volume, Compass has the potential to reach a significant number of military families who are looking to buy or sell homes. Other firms, like The Real Brokerage, have also created military divisions to tap into this specialized market.

At Compass, the division will be staffed by agents who are either veterans, active duty members, military spouses or those with extensive Veteran Affairs (VA) transaction experience.

It's that extensive knowledge of the VA loan process that will be the key to much of the team's success, Compass said. One of the benefits of being a service member is the ability to apply for a mortgage through the VA, which can include loans with low or no down payment options.

According to the VA, there were nearly 105,000 new VA-backed loans made in the first quarter of the year. The average loan amount was $350,000. Assuming that a borrower put 20% down on a new mortgage, the average VA loan amount falls almost exactly in line with the current median home price of $436,800, according to Fed numbers. 

Currently, the military division serves select markets — typically places where there is a large military presence or regions where vets may be looking to retire.

But beyond sharing core values and professional backgrounds, the other main goal for the military division is to help service members achieve homeownership and build generational wealth, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said in response to the division's announcement.

"Compass' Military Division will serve a very important set of the population that has been underserved with a lack of home-buying resources," he said. "We are proud to have Todd and Michael spearhead this effort to further support our active duty and military families with the tools to build a real estate portfolio and move their families toward financial wealth."

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