Regardless of the military branch or division through which you served (or are currently serving), there’s a certain comradery shared by the military community — and that’s evident from the first time you meet a member of the AAFMAA team.
Take Charles Skinner, a fairly new team member who joined AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC (AMS) as Military Mortgage Advisor in June 2021, working in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Skinner grew up in Orange County, CA, went to high school in New York, and joined the military just after graduation. Skinner served six years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division as an infantryman and sniper. As he was transitioning out of the military, he gained his real estate license and work experience as a real estate agent. “My goal during my last six months in the Army was to set myself up to be more employable once I got out," Skinner tells us.
Skinner saw that AMS was looking for a Military Mortgage Advisor on LinkedIn. The location (in Morrisville) was ideal because his wife would be attending law school nearby. He contacted Chris Grady, the branch manager, who helped him plan for transitioning seamlessly into his new job at AMS.
Joining a Proud Legacy
AAFMAA enjoys a long history of employing Veterans who want to continue serving others. Yet some Members may not know that AAFMAA was established on January 13, 1879, after officials in the U.S. War Department saw the need for an association to aid the families of the deceased in the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Custer's Last Stand).
Since then, the non-profit association has grown tremendously, enjoying active support from well-known military officers including Generals John J. Pershing, George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl A. (Tooey) Spaatz, Omar N. Bradley, William C. Westmoreland, Creighton W. Abrams, Walter T. “Dutch” Kerwin, Michael S. Davison, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Ronald R. Fogleman, Michael E. Ryan and Eric K. Shinseki, to name a few.
Over the decades there has been plenty of other expansion, too. Eligibility was extended to all service branches and to include enlisted servicemembers. New divisions, including the mortgage division, were added to offer Members additional financial products and services. We’ve also expanded geographically to serve more areas of the U.S. with in-person offices and extended office hours.
Today’s AAFMAA is led by an executive team of seasoned industry professionals and is guided by a Board of Directors and various committees — many of whom served in the military themselves. Our mortgage division operates in 28 states, with plans for expansion in 2022 and beyond.
From Sniper to Salesman
In being employed at AMS, Skinner says he’s found the “perfect fit.”
“AMS is a very pro-military environment. My co-workers and the company’s leadership have been very supportive of me making a smooth transition, which, of course, came right down to the wire in timing,” he says.
In Skinner’s first month at AMS, he hit the ground running, closing $1 million in business. He’s been consistently finding and closing mortgages ever since, many from networks he’s been building locally with real estate agents. “Agents who live and work in the Fort Bragg area tend to understand the military and how we may need to buy or sell a home quickly,” he says. “I’ve built relationships with quite a few agents here, which, in turn, helps me provide better service and referrals to our Members.”
“Many of the best real estate and title agents around here are former military, too, and we like supporting each other,” Skinner says.
Skinner also makes use of a list of AAFMAA Members who use the Association’s investment and insurance products. “It’s a pretty easy sell to tell them about our mortgage products because Members have a lot of respect for AAFMAA and know we’ll offer them quality products at competitive prices.”
“Being a Veteran does give me a leg up in talking and working with our Members,” he adds, “especially when they ask if I make a commission on my sales (which I do). If all other things are equal, like the interest rate and fees, a Veteran most likely will choose to do business with another Veteran. That’s just how it is.”
“We’re a very supportive and loyal group of people.”
We’re Here to Help
An AMS Military Mortgage Advisor will be happy to provide you with an honest and fair comparison of your mortgage options, including a wide range of low-rate and low-cost mortgages designed to meet your needs.
Ensuring our Members obtain the best mortgage possible is our mission. Get your free mortgage assessment today or give us a call at (877) 387-6856!