Growing up as the daughter of a veteran, Haley Schuster learned at a very early age how important it is to care for members of the military, as well as first responders.
“It is in my blood to take care of the people who take care of us,” said Schuster, who is married to a city of Phoenix police officer who served in the U.S Marine Corps. They live in Peoria with their two children.
When Schuster got into the real estate business a couple of years ago, she made a commitment to donate 25% of her commission toward closing costs for all veterans and first responders she worked with.
Schuster, who joined Platinum Living Realty in late October, works in Scottsdale and said she is not only passionate about giving a generous portion of her commission to veterans and first responders but it is also great for business.
“I have really focused on giving back to first responders and veterans; in doing that, I tripled my business within a year,” she said.
“It is what I built my business off of, it’s in my email tagline and if the amount ends up being more than the closing costs, the money can go toward buying my client’s interest rate down.”
Prior to jumping into real estate a few years ago—Schuster worked for another company — where she spent over a decade working in hospitality refining her client-centric approach at Starwood Hotels, which is now Marriott.
Although she enjoyed the work and its focus on putting the customer first, Schuster said the long hours eventually got to her.
“My husband pointed out that we were paying about the same amount for daycare as I was making working,” she said, adding he then suggested real estate would be a great fit for her.
At that time, Schuster, who recently gave birth to their first son, looked into real estate and got her license when baby Wyatt was 9 months old. About two years later, her second son, Sawyer was born. The family resides in Peoria.
As Schuster noted, there are definitely some similarities between working in hospitality and real estate.
“Being a people person, being in hospitality was one of the best ways for me to learn about customer service and really knowing what people need,” she said.
For instance, because she understands not all first time home buyers will have a solid idea of what they need to do prior to listing their home, Schuster said she is happy to advise them on what they should put away before an open house, as well as arrange for a professional cleaning, staging and photographing of the home.
“I know that buying or selling a home can be one of the most stressful things, and so I do everything I can to make it less stressful as possible.”
And, as a wife of a police officer, Schuster said she truly understands the often atypical schedules many first responders face and is happy to work with like-minded clients, whenever she can.
“I get first responders and their lifestyle, and I know that sometimes they are not available at all until 3 p.m. or another time. I’ve heard other officers say ‘she gets it because she lives it.’”
Because first responders have such busy work lives, Schuster said most of her clients are looking for turnkey homes, rather than a project house with a big to-do list.
Schuster said she is already enjoying being part of Platinum Living Realty. She works with clients from all over the valley, and since starting her career has sold a number of homes in Glendale, Peoria and further out locations like the San Tan Valley, Maricopa and Prescott.
While most of her clients are already aware of how she gives back a quarter of her commissions to the closing costs of veterans and first responders, Schuster said every once in a while a new client is pleasantly surprised by her policy.
“Just last week I was working with a new buyer who is a Surprise police officer, and I was sending him home search information he saw my signature line for the first time,” she said.
“He took a screenshot of it, sent it to me and said ‘By the way, this is awesome.’ But I’ve always truly had a service lifestyle.”