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By Kayla O’Brien

RISMEDIA, Oct. 8, 2008- “In any market that has an overabundance of inventory, differentiation is important,” says Henry Brandis, senior vice president of corporate services for Edina Realty. So when it came time to update his company’s route to differentiation, Brandis knew it had to be customized and beneficial to clients and agents alike.

After meeting with HSA Home Warranty President Mike Clear and Gary Lombardo, executive vice president of sales and marketing, just about one year ago, Brandis says he was immediately impressed with HSA. The Wisconsin-based company offers its real estate clients, like Edina Realty, quality home warranty products coupled with service that exceeds expectations.

“The home warranty is a marketing opportunity for our sales associates that offers protection to our buyers and sellers,” says Brandis. “For buyers, it offers another reason to go ahead and purchase a property, as they’ll be protected against unexpected expenses. For sellers and their agents, home warranties assist in marketing properties by emphasizing a point of differentiation-helping prevent and solve problems that could potentially jeopardize the transaction.”

HSA is known for its broad-based home warranty products that include coverage for items not typically found in home warranties-at a competitive price. “Our warranty program covers items in the base plan that oftentimes are not covered by other home warranties-or they are covered, but at an additional cost, such as water softeners, roof leaks and sump pumps,” says Brandis.

But what Brandis says was even more impressive about working with HSA was the company’s flexibility and willingness to meet their specific needs.

“HSA was very accommodating and excited to create a custom product for us,” says Brandis. Today, Edina Realty offers its clients a private-labeled product-Edina Realty Home Services Plus-combining home inspections with home warranties. This plan includes coverage for the foundation and enhanced roof coverage. What’s more, HSA provided Edina Realty with two, full-time marketing representatives, exclusively dedicated to the company’s account.

“They have a real commitment to quality and service,” he says. “HSA was quite excited about the program, developing marketing materials specific to Edina Realty and supporting the program with the network of contractors,” says Brandis.

HSA’s standard of marketing seamlessly helps to support Edina Realty’s private-labeled program. Speaking directly to today’s marketplace, HSA equips Edina Realty agents with marketing materials that can be applied to foreclosed properties and properties sold “as is.”

“These marketing pieces can be used to show consumers that the warranty is available in the event that they purchase one of these homes,” says Brandis. “Our clients appreciate the fact that we’re offering them a service that can help them deal with unexpected issues. National statistics indicate that, on average, each homeowner will face two problems within the first year of homeownership. Our private-labeled warranty covers those items, so the consumers appreciate the fact that it saves them money and gets the problem solved quickly and efficiently.”

When it comes down to it, Brandis says Edina Realty’s partnership with HSA was something his company needed. “And we have been very pleased ever since,” he says. “We believe that this relationship will continue to evolve as we move forward, making the value proposition of Edina Realty home warranties known to the general public.”

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