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Commentary by Walt Baczkowski

RISMEDIA, Feb. 19, 2008-While attending various events and gatherings during the holiday season, real estate and the housing market seemed to be a leading discussion topic. What I learned ran from surprising to enlightening. The participants represented a broad demographic-from highly educated individuals to 30-somethings just starting out with young children and college students. Although by no means a scientific survey, here are some thoughts, and opinions, for consideration: -Not surprisingly, a significant majority of individuals have been to various real estate Websites to learn more and educate themselves regarding housing prices and availability. However, most indicated that they would seek professional assistance when they were ready to enter the market. The assistance discussed was more in regard to guiding them through the purchasing or sales process, rather than finding and showing properties.

Several negative comments all came back to communication. The biggest dissatisfactions were the result of a lack of communication. Even if the news is not good or answers have not yet been obtained, they would rather hear that in a call or e-mail instead of hearing nothing and feeling left in the dark.

When selecting an agent, testimonials significantly related to the decision.

Consumers were more interested in the services the agent and company would be able to provide for them rather than the franchise or company name. A caveat here-while listening I realized that several services discussed were provided through the agent’s company affiliation.

Lastly, the social networking being done through services such as myspace.com and facebook.com is-and will continue to be-a growing factor. Look into getting online with them. Your next customers may already be there. Walt Baczkowski is president of the Metropolitan Consolidated Association of REALTORS¨. To contact him, please e-mail walt@mcaronline.com.

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