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With an improving housing market, smart real estate professionals are stepping up their game to keep up with the increased demand. Many are finding new strategies to succeed and more efficient ways to get things done. That means taking advantage of the latest technology, helping sellers stand out like never before, making sure buyers stay interested, and ultimately, streamlining transactions. Strong, value-enhancing home warranty programs are a key part of 2015 business strategies for savvy real estate professionals looking to stay on top of this competitive trend.

As a national home warranty leader, American Home Shield® (AHS®) is known for providing exceptional coverage to buyers and sellers alike. Now, with our newly redsigned plans built with input from real estate professionals and their clients, the company’s home warranties provide even greater protection while a home is on the market, and after the sale.

Here are the top five ways American Home Shield Home Warranties provide the most value to help support your business:

1. Redesigned to be simpler with expanded coverage
Driven by research and feedback from real estate professionals, home service contractors and customers, AHS real estate home warranties now bring greater value to your real estate transactions. Our new plans—ShieldEssential®, ShieldPlus® and ShieldComplete®—are geared exclusively toward protecting major home appliances and system components during and after real estate transactions. Our easy-to-understand, good/better/best coverage options and innovative pricing model bring high across-the-board coverage levels that make listings even more attractive to buyers and sellers alike.

2. Competitive advantage
Our home warranties can be leveraged for what they do best—provide confidence during a real estate transaction. Research has shown that when an AHS home warranty is in place, homes can sell on average 11 days faster and for an average of $2,314 more than homes with no home warranty.*

3. New, easier-to-navigate real estate website
Real estate professionals need better, faster ways to manage home warranty accounts and access data online, and AHS delivers with its enhanced online account management portal called My Account PRO.

With My Account PRO, real estate professionals can now register using a single-step process. Navigation is faster, reducing the number of clicks necessary for profile management and updates. Users can even enter orders on-the-go at property sites from mobile devices. Instant information on users’ dashboards and proactive alerts keep real estate professionals in step with the industry.

4. Expanded service contractor network and full-service account support
Keeping up with the demands of the market goes way beyond adopting the latest hardware or software updates. Staying true to the basics of reliable repair service and excellent customer service remains at the heart of our home warranty experience. This comes down to providing the best service in the industry—to real estate professionals and buyers and sellers.

At American Home Shield, our service contractors share our commitment to customer service excellence, and this year, the company set aside $1.3 million to award top-performing service contractors who earned the highest scores in customer service, performance and quality. With the nation’s largest network of service contractors, our customers can count on their service request being assigned to a professional contractor within 15 minutes over 90 percent of the time.

Our better-service philosophy continues through our full-service account support team designed to ensure that any issues are resolved in a professional and timely manner.

5. Award-winning service, two years running
Needless to say, we’re proud to have been recognized in the industry for our service quality two years running. selected American Home Shield for its “2014 Best in Service” and “2015 Top-Rated” awards. In addition, we have been named Most Recommended Home Warranty Provider by Women’s Choice Award in 2014 and 2015. These awards are based upon reviews made by real consumers, and in this era of social media influence, this recognition is very meaningful.

Today, home warranties are poised to provide the best possible experience for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals. So, if you haven’t considered making home warranties a part of your strategic plan, now’s the time to give them a fresh look.

In today’s competitive market, you’ll need all the tools available to help you grow your business. With American Home Shield Home Warranties a part of your toolkit, you’ll be prepared to do just that.

*Information above is based on data collected by AHS and a large national real estate firm of the firm’s listings that closed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. AHS studied 24,230 listings from across the country ranging in price from $100,000 to $500,000, and found that a home warranty sold properties an average of 10.7 days faster, and the sales price was an average of $2,314 more than homes without a home warranty. These results were verified by Cannon & Company, a third-party accounting firm.

Laird Hamberlin is vice president of sales, American Home Shield.

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