Above: Tonya Towles
In real estate, personal connections are everything. In Tonya Towles’ case, those connections have built up an army of like-minded individuals who are passionate about helping military families thrive.
A homelessness survivor, military spouse and mother, Towles is the founder of The PCS Pro Team within Keller Williams’ Expansion Network. On a mission to help military families build wealth while educating and empowering the community through careers that will follow them wherever the military moves them, since 2019, The PCS Pro Team has provided careers to 100-plus military spouses and service members.
Here, Towles talks about how her experience built an enterprise.
What inspired this unique venture?
When I got into real estate in 2017, it was around the time I met my now husband, who was—and still is—active duty Army. We bought our first home utilizing the VA loan, and I figured that all military families knew they could take advantage of the VA loan and the unique opportunity to build real estate portfolios for themselves in the process…but I was very wrong. Therefore, I made it my mission to educate as many people as I could about how to use the VA loan to their advantage. I then translated my passion for educating military buyers and sellers into educating military real estate agents to serve those buyers and sellers.
What must agents understand about permanent change of station (PCS) moves?
Firstly, compassion for the military families you serve is key. Secondly, the military community deserves our guidance to set them up for the future. Understand the significance of a home purchase to your client. Just because they may have access to the VA loan doesn’t mean they’re rolling in dough. Lastly, honest, informed and individualized service is critical for military families.
What is your best advice for agents looking to enter this niche?
Become a pro at communication Tetris. Trying to coordinate all the logistics is like playing Tetris in that every piece must be in the right place to make it work. Communication challenges tend to be more difficult for military-family clients, so commit to making sure lenders, title companies and attorneys are aware of any possible communication challenges, timelines, time zones, etc.
How have you sought to pave the way for future female leaders?
Obtaining a career as a military spouse is incredibly challenging. The PCS Pro Team strongly believes in providing and building careers for those who don’t think it’s possible. Through the culture and community within our network, we’re on a mission to empower each other and reach out and empower others.
As we work through 2023, what are you doing to innovate and stay creative?
We’re continuing to lean into our core values as a company, with an emphasis on increasing the scale of our impact. This past November, my partners and I launched Seasons Mortgage, a brokerage that provides a handful of loan products and can help anyone, including civilians, but has a VA loan-specific department that is veteran-led to serve our military community. I’m also in the process of developing Virtpros, an organization focused on providing stay-at-home careers to the military community.
For more information, visit https://www.thepcsproteam.com.