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RISMEDIA, February 16, 2010—While prospective home buyers continue to wait on the sidelines, it is crucial that real estate professionals take the time to reach out and educate this group about the buying opportunities available today. Here, Rich Gloor, Broker Associate with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty Company in Oak Park, Illinois discusses how he is taking advantage of incentives such as the first-time buyer credit to lure prospective buyers into the market.

Rich Gloor
Broker Associate
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty Company
Oak Park, Illinois

Region served: Chicago area
Years in real estate: 15
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 43
Average sales price: $430,000
Biggest myth about the current economy: The idea prospective sellers have that if they wait out the market for another year, they will make their money back.
Reaching out to first-time buyers: First-time buyers are a big part of our market right now, so it is crucial that we stay in front of them. Not only are we gearing our traditional ads toward first-time buyers, but we have also started teaming up with local lenders and conducting seminars for this group.

How are you keeping consumers educated about today’s buying opportunities?
Besides the usual outreach from agents directly to sellers, we send out a “Real Estate Reality Check” to everyone in our customer database on a quarterly basis. The Reality Check gives our customers real numbers pertaining to how many properties have sold, what the time on the market is as well as whether there has been an increase or decrease in market values. We have also been working hard to get the message out to consumers that now is a great time to buy a house as the market is more affordable than it has been in years.

What is the biggest challenge in working with today’s consumer?
Our biggest challenge is managing our customers’ expectations by showing them the facts so they know what to expect. Sellers’ expectations have adjusted significantly and become more realistic and the media is starting to help us by painting a more accurate picture of the real estate industry. We make sure our buyers have been prequalified and preapproved by quality lenders before we begin working with them.

How has working with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate allowed you to stay ahead of your competition?
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has provided our company with an entire behind-the-scenes corporation that does the legwork in order for us to be successful. They take care of figuring out information such as where our money will be spent most efficiently as well as what today’s buyers and sellers are looking for and then provide us with the tools and strategies we need to stay on top of the market.

Where do you see the market headed as 2010 continues?
As 2010 continues, we are hoping to see serious opportunities for those in the industry who are willing to work hard. We hope 2010 will bring an increase in sales while keeping the average sales price lower than usual. Short sales and foreclosures aren’t going away anytime soon either, especially since agents are now getting more comfortable working with them.