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Recognized, Endorsed
or Supported by:

First American
First American Natural Hazard Disclosures is among California's top providers of hazard, tax and claims history disclosure reports providing real estate professionals and home owners with the "best and the brightest" of the disclosure industry.

RealtyU® Group
Leading educators in the nation helping real estate professionals gain a better and deeper understanding of the knowledge they need to gain to better server the home buyer and home seller such as the Certified Neighborhood Specialist course.

eNeighborhoods, Inc., the nation's premier compiler of home and neighborhood information, providing real estate professionals with a comprehensive set of tools they use everyday to present buyers and sellers with the most up-to-date, localized information.

Connecting Neighbors
Connecting Neighbors, division of Reply! Inc., is the country's leading provider of Internet-based neighborhood marketing programs for real estate professionals in more than 13,000 neighborhoods.

Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Neighborhood Info Questions

1. How does the CNS course help me know more neighborhood info?

Being an ‘Expert” is more than knowing MLS Statistics. As a Certified Neighborhood Specialist (CNS), you learn how to easily uncover the details, information and benefits of a neighborhood.  This will allow you to tailor your marketing to those that would be more interested in purchasing a home in your neighborhood for a specific reason.

EXAMPLE: Your neighborhood is primarily young married couples … As a CNS, you will know how to tailor your strategic and tactical marketing strategy to attract young married couples. 

Additionally, the information you learn by taking the CNS class transcends any neighborhood your customer is considering and will enable you to shorten your search time by eliminating those neighborhoods that would not work for your buyer before spending the time showing them.  Pre-qualify your buyers to key neighborhoods before looking at homes.

2. Do Buyers and Sellers really care about or find value in the in-depth neighborhood info?

According to a National Association of REALTORS® 2006 study, next to reputation, neighborhood knowledge was the #1 factor in selecting an agent. 

EXAMPLE: Consumer will prefer working with an agent that knows more facts and details about schools in the community that their kids might be attending.

3. Is it wiser to spend money on marketing or on studying a course? 

These two are not mutually exclusive. Of course you should spend money on marketing but you cannot operate as a real estate professional if you do not have the knowledge either.

Learning is an ongoing process and in today’s changing landscape it is more important than ever that you do not get left behind or are out of touch with the latest techniques, resources and sources of information. 

EXAMPLE:  Your neighborhood has proportionally higher number of late teens, you should be marketing a situation of sellers moving down in home size because they are or will soon be empty-nesters. 

4. Will I be wasting my time taking the CNS class?

No. The CNS course was created in 2007 as is the latest program to show real estate agents how to find key neighborhood info and hot buttons of potential sellers in your neighborhood. It is a course created today, about today.

If you don’t have a day to take the CNS course in a classroom setting you can also take it online at where you can complete the course at your own pace.

That is why the CNS course is available online.  There are four modules, each with approximately 10 sections. Each section will take between 5 – 10 minutes, meaning you could complete the course easily in two or three evenings.

5. What if the course does not help me in my business at all?

The CNS course online carries the RealtyU Quality Seal and their Money Back Guarantee. That means if you do not close one extra transaction from what you have learned RealtyU we will refund you 100% of your online course fee. 

6. How is the course going to help me close more deals or get more listings? 

The more neighborhood info you know about a neighborhood the more opportunities you will become aware of. The more resources you learn about in the course, the more you can put to good use. The more knowledge you gain from the course the more confidence you will have to work with your Buyers and Sellers. 

In summary, the CNS course will show you numerous money-making strategies that you can use immediately, each one having the potential to help you close more deals or get more listings.

7. Does knowing more increase my liability? 

No, exactly the opposite. Ignorance has never been a valid excuse in court.  The course will help keep you out of hot-water by showing you what to look for.  Learn to identify hazards, both past and present, in your neighborhood, understand the key features of a neighborhood that could trigger a potential suit. 

8. I don’t want to be limited to only a couple of neighborhoods.  

Skills acquired transcend any neighborhood. However the Neighborhood Specialist Council, in order to keep the integrity of the CNS designation, limits each designee to be registered in five neighborhoods; with the ability to add neighborhoods each year.  This avoids the situation of someone attempting to claim expertise of every neighborhood in the entire country.  Remember, you cannot buy this designation - you earn it by completing the course and completing the practical component that proves that you are an “Expert” in that neighborhood.

9. Is this a meaningful / NAR designation?

Few other designation courses are as practical and close to consumers’ home as those dealing directly with their neighborhood – Certified Neighborhood Specialist – does that say it all. And remember according to a National Association of REALTORS® study released in 2006, next to reputation, neighborhood knowledge was the #1 factor in selecting an agent.

Speaking of NAR. No this is not an NAR approved designation but it is a RealtyU® approved designation. NAR only approves designations that they own, whereas RealtyU® approves all quality designations and courses, be they NAR owned or owned by another body. (NAR only owns 15 of the approximately 80 designations in the real estate industry). Founded in 1995, RealtyU is the largest network of real estate schools in the country educating over 300,000 agents every year.

10. What resources does the Neighborhood Specialist Council offer designees? 

Upon graduation as a Certified Neighborhood Specialist you will be given special access to a “Members Only” Intranet site where you will find a host of information from links that you can post to your own website to marketing tools and tips that you can use to special offers focusing and presenting your new gained neighborhood info and knowledge.  Also various added benefits such as complimentary copies of the guidebook discussing “Ways to use your CNS”, the special report “Real Estate confronts the Information Explosion” and special annual discounts on the Swanepoel Trends Report.

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