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Training & Business Development: Are You Truly the Neighborhood Expert?

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RISMEDIA, June 13, 2007-For years, puffery has been used in the real estate industry to describe?properties such as “Best Home in Neighborhood” or “Great Deal.” Unfortunately, it has even extended itself to agents’ descriptions as the “South Area Specialist” or the “Neighborhood Expert.”

Some agents tout the term “expert” or “specialist” when they start selling in a community while others are putting up neighborhood-oriented Web sites. Utilizing a Web site or just selling in a particular neighborhood, however, does not make someone that neighborhood’s official “expert.” Agents need to do more, know more and be a cut above the “other” agents in the neighborhood to earn that title.

So what makes a “neighborhood expert”? What knowledge should an agent have to call them self a specialist of the neighborhood? What proof can validate or demonstrate this knowledge and expertise?

After 12 months of research, writing, focus groups and editing, the answers recently resulted in the creation of a new real estate course focused on enabling agents to learn the intimate details of their neighborhood. Aptly titled, “Certified Neighborhood Specialist” (CNS), the course goes beyond just using the information found in the MLS and seeks to empower agents by advancing their skill set as true specialist in their neighborhood and community.

Stefan Swanepoel, CEO of RealtyU states, “This is a powerful, dynamic, new course that shows Realtors the enormous resources and huge pool of information available via the Internet, which can be used to vastly improve their personal knowledge of their neighborhood. This will allow them to ensure that home buyers are aware of all pertinent and critical information they need to know about the neighborhood they plan on buying in.”

Allen Wright, one of the primary contributors to the course states that, “This designation is a necessary tool for any serious real estate agent in any market. You have to really know your area.”

The course not only enhances agents’ knowledge, but for the first time it provides a designation that home buyers and sellers can actually relate to; Certified (being approved by an authoritative group); Neighborhood (the area they live or want to live); Specialist (having specific knowledge beyond the level of their peers).

“It couldn’t be any more comprehensive or simpler than that,” Wright says.

Over the past several years, more and more emphasis has been placed on expanded knowledge of a specific community. As thousands of new agents have flooded into just about every neighborhood in the country, it has become increasingly more difficult for consumers to distinguish between those that art truly specialists and those who just claim they are.

By covering property development and construction, critical neighborhood information and community demographics, the course not only fills the void by identifying and illustrating to agents the vast resources that are available to research a specific neighborhood, but upon completion, the course provides access to a special Intranet site with tools and links that can be used for neighborhood research and samples of ways to disseminate information.

The Certified Neighborhood Specialist course and CNS designation is now available from the RealtyU Network of over 200 real estate school locations (www.RealtyU.com) across the country or can be taken online at www.RealtyUonline.com.

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