RISMEDIA, April 25, 2008-On a recent Saturday, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage real estate agent Robert Aldana let it be known throughout the Hispanic community that he would be at his office should anyone want to stop by with real estate questions, get help with documents they didn’t understand, or get his assistance one on one with any other housing issue.
The host of a daily Spanish-speaking radio show called “Hablando de Casas,” Aldana referred to the Saturday event as “Puertas Abiertas,” translated “open doors.” His plan was to keep his door open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but when he left for the office he told his family he would probably be home by early afternoon. To his amazement, Aldana was greeted by a line of people out the door and around the corner at his Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office. His day didn’t end until 10 o’clock that night.
The tremendous popularity of that initiative has led Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the Bay Area’s largest real estate company, to launch a sweeping new community outreach program called “Puertas Abiertas” to provide much needed help and support for Spanish-speaking residents on a wide variety of real estate issues – all at no cost.
Dozens of bilingual Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agents from Sacramento to Santa Cruz will be taking part in the program, agreeing to hold regular open-door sessions where they will provide free professional advice on real estate-related matters, as well as referrals to other professionals able to help Latino consumers who may need to seek advice regarding tax and legal issues.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage executives said the issues facing Spanish-speaking residents range from relatively simple real estate and mortgage questions to much more serious financial matters, brought on by language barriers, cultural misunderstandings and sometimes by unethical business practices.
The Puertas Abiertas initiative is part of Casa Coldwell Banker, the real estate brokerage’s overall effort to support Latino residents.
“What we’re trying to do is give these people an honest broker, if you will – someone who speaks their language and they can trust to provide clear, professional advice to help them out,” said Todd Mendoza, chairman of the Casa Coldwell Banker program. “There’s a real need for this in the community, and we believe that we can make an important difference in the lives of our neighbors through this program.”
Mendoza said that the Puertas Abiertas program is “one more way we can give back to the community that has helped build our success. We are proud to be that trusted member of the business community residents can come to, one that has a long history of service to our Northern California communities.”
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said Aldana’s experience has shown that there is a tremendous demand for the Puertas Abiertas program.
According to the company, since he opened his doors that one Saturday Aldana has been swamped with requests for one-on-one meetings. Over the past two months he has met with more than 600 people and has increased the sessions to two days a week. Last month alone, he received 4,000 calls for help on his toll-free line via his daily real estate radio show, Hablando de Casas, which airs on KZSF 1370 AM.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage participating agents will hold Puertas Abiertas sessions on May 17, June 21 and July 19.
For more information on the program or to find an agent in your area that is offering the service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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