According to Moody's Economy and the National Association of Realtors, the Tampa Bay area is well positioned for a housing recovery, putting it among the top areas in the nation to buy a house. Cathleen Smith, regional senior vice president for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Tampa Bay, says the company has invested in technology and training and is poised to handle the resurgence.
"We are a highly resilient market with a very strong underlying economy. With all the baby boomers retiring and having as their dream a home in the Sunshine State, they cannot do better than Tampa Bay."
Smith says great beaches, golf courses, museums, theaters and major league sports teams are just some of the benefits of living in the Bay area.
"We are rebuilding and drawing more people to our downtown cores in both Tampa and Clearwater," Smith says. "Temple Terrace is also in the throws of creating a more dynamic downtown. What's not to love?"
Smith says Coldwell Banker has been laying the groundwork for the past two years to take advantage of the technology advances that are revolutionizing the real estate business.
"With 80 percent of home shoppers using the Internet as part of their home search process, we understand that a comprehensive online marketing program is essential to generating the greatest possible exposure for a seller's home.
"Sellers know they have received the best price for their home when every potential buyer in the market is aware of their property's availability and has had the opportunity to make an offer," Smith says.
Coldwell Banker's move to host its listings on leading search engines and real estate industry Web sites, such as Google, Yahoo and Realtor.com, is designed to capture the online consumer at the point of entry in their Internet search and direct them to a home's property details page, hosted on the company's Web site, www.floridamoves.com.
Smith says even the non-savvy computer consumer will be able to use and understand the system.
"Our technology is so sophisticated and yet so easy to use, when a consumer visits FloridaMoves.com they will be able to find the home of their dreams in a few clicks," Smith says. "We have over 375,000 Florida homes to look at comprising all of the listings from the various regions we serve throughout the state. If they do not feel comfortable, all of our contact information is readily available so anyone who has a question can easily call or e-mail. We make every effort to respond to our consumers within minutes of their inquiry."
Smith says training has helped its associates adjust to the change from an appreciating real estate market to a depreciating one.
"From 2002 to 2005, we also had a very large increase in the number of Realtors who were just starting their career. Many, of course, have never been in a depreciating market," Smith says. "We have provided expert training for our associates to develop the skills necessary to educate buyers and sellers in making the right decisions for the real estate goals they set.
"We pride ourselves in always taking a leadership role with our highly trained associates, enabling them to earn customers for life by dealing with our buyers and sellers in an honest, open and ethical manner."
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate serves Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Central, Northwest and Southwest Florida, Palm Beach, Sarasota Bay and the Tampa Bay area.
For information, visit the Web site or call 1-800-624-5292.