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RISMEDIA, May 31, 2007-Last month, First Team’s Executive Vice President Bill Plattos was among a select panel from The Real Services Advisory Board invited to attend a private meeting hosted by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in Washington D.C. Formed by the National Association of Realtors®, the Real Estate Services Advisory Board is comprised of representatives from the largest brokers in the country. Chairman Bernanke was seeking direct feedback on how the real estate industry fared at the close of the first quarter.

Of the 25-person panel, First Team’s Plattos was the only member representing Southern California. A strong advocate for industry policy changes and evolving innovation, Plattos is a 28-year real estate industry veteran who has been an integral member of The Real Estate Services Advisory Board since the group’s inception in January 2006. He was honored to be a part of the panel and intrigued by Chairman Bernanke’s tactful attention to detail.

“First we reviewed the conditions in each market, than we focused on the real estate market as a whole,” said Plattos. “Chairman Bernanke was highly interactive in this process. It was refreshing to see a high profile government figure learning and utilizing data from each panel member’s commentary.”

Among the topics of discussion, the panel zeroed in on solutions for problematic sub-prime loans. Plattos addressed the immense value of a short sale as a smart alternative to a foreclosure. In addition to providing specialized agent training courses in mastering short sales, First Team has created a comprehensive, step-by-step manual and a convenient on-demand video library accessible to all agents 24/7.

“A highly trained agent will have the dexterity to educate not only the consumer at risk, but also the bank,” said Plattos. “A bank will be more willing to work out a fair solution with a trained agent who knows what their doing and who is someone they trust.”

As the meeting came to a close, Chief Bernanke asked the panel how the Federal Reserve could assist them in combating nationwide real estate challenges. In unison, according to Plattos, the panel replied, “Lower the rates!” Although the panel is not expecting Chairman Bernanke to jump on that request anytime soon, Plattos explains with a grin, “It was worth a shot.”

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