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Training & Business Development: Do You Know the Dirt on Your Neighborhood?

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RISMEDIA, June 20, 2007-No it’s not a new reality show or a rumor, it’s the inside scoop. It’s the information, resources and knowledge about your neighborhood packaged into a comprehensive offline and online course to help you become “The Neighborhood Expert.”

The new course leads to the CNS designation (Certified Neighborhood Specialist), and is designed for the new real estate industry of 2007 and beyond. Justifying the claim of being a neighborhood expert requires more than just local MLS sales information and a general lay of the community.

The CNS covers the total gamut of property, construction, improvement, zoning, community and vital facts and figures, and weaves it together in a concise, logical manner – helping each agent compile a “master information file” on each neighborhood they serve.

For example, starting where all neighborhoods begin, the CNS course opens with a section on dirt (soil to be more specific), something that many in the industry take for granted. The soil beneath a house and the preparation of that soil prior to home construction can mean the difference between flooded basements and cracked walls. Before development of a parcel of land and well before the first trench is dug, soil testing is performed. Soil engineers are looking for slip planes, compactness and amount of clay and drainage of the existing soil. Many a potential building site has been scraped for bad soil.

Other possible conditions that every agent should know about their neighborhood soil include the aspects surrounding, drainage, expansion and contamination. Drainage happens to be the root of many problems today. Follow along through a typical house inspection and at least once the conversation will turn to drainage of the run off water. As a Certified Neighborhood Specialist you will learn how to identify potential issues in your neighborhood that will lead you to ask better questions and direct your client to the professionals that can resolve a problem before it has severe financial consequences.

Expanding soil is found throughout North America and has caused billions of dollars in damage. If you are working with a client that has come from an area with expanding soil you may get the third degree about the soil in your area. Expanding soil problems can be mitigated through a variety of construction techniques and drainage solutions.

Understanding the potential problems within your neighborhood will separate the want-to-be expert from the true real estate professional; the Certified Neighborhood Specialist.

Contamination issues have occurred in many areas in North America. Many of these areas (Brownfields) have been re-developed into thriving residential, commercial and community areas. Brownfields is the industry term used to describe blighted industrial areas. However, these are not the only soil contamination that can affect a neighborhood. Underground gas tanks and chemical storage facilities are also a source for contamination.

“The above has barely touched the surface, or should I say dirt, of the new CNS course,” says Allen Wright, one of the researchers and contributors to the course. “Next week I will delve deeper into another interesting facet of becoming a true Neighborhood Expert,” he said.

Meanwhile to become one of the first to become a Certified Neighborhood Specialist visit www.CertifiedNeighborhoodSpecialist.com.

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