New Website Makes Shopping for Brand New Home Easier

Written by Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2006 17:00

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) features plenty of re-sale homes, but if you're in the market for a brand new home where do you go to look? Frequently buyers will look online at numerous individual builders' websites. The process can be very time-consuming.

"There's really nowhere a consumer can go and look and find information on builders' models. They can only go onto the websites and find what is actually listed," says Bill Evans, president of HER Real Living in Central Ohio market.

But now Real Living Inc., the nation's fourth-largest residential real estate firm with 64 franchises throughout the country, is taking a pro-active approach in an effort to differentiate the company and provide consumers with valuable information on new construction all on one website.

The brokerage firm created a new construction portal accessible to consumers by visiting the Columbus market website and clicking on New Construction. It claims that, by using this new website portal, consumers will be able to make their "dream home a reality."

Currently there are about 46 builders on the HER Real Living website, but there are more being added.

"We're rolling it out in Ohio and testing it here because this is where we have the bulk of our business and then working it out from there into other markets," says Evans.

On the parent company website , Realliving.com, click the Build Your Dream Home button and that portal features approximately 167 builders from areas such as Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Michigan and West Virginia. You can access each state by going to RealLiving.com, choosing 'buy a home', selecting one of these states, and then clicking on the New Construction driver on the right side of the page. You can access the Cleveland market portal which has 78 builders by going to Realtyonerealliving.com .

"This really differentiates us in the marketplace; no one else is offering this kind of service," says Evans.

"If you go to the different builders you can see the different communities and the different models. The models are the to-be built, in other words, those are models that they can do," says Evans. There are also custom builders on the website with information about the locations that these builders have built in.

The new construction portal features overviews, photos, specifications, active models as well as agent representatives for the builder communities and models. Details on multiple builders' homes including square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floor plans, school districts, virtual tours and starting price can all be found on one website.

"We're taking this process to the next level by offering a one-stop shop -- a site where consumers can search for new builds from multiple builders and benefit from an agent's knowledge and expertise at the same time," explains Evans.

"Our goal is to build enough content there so that [consumers] truly do have a one-stop shop to compare regionally all the different builders," says Evans.

Evans believes a cooling in the new home market across the country is driving more builders to want to participate in this type of new construction portal which ultimately benefits the consumer.

"[Builders] want to use every avenue they can to get exposure of their products, services and homes," says Evans.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or phoebe@livefitmagazine.com. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.

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