Positive Signs at Weichert, Realtors Project Sense of Optimism for Spring Market

March 17, 2011 // Franchising.com // MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. – Spring is on the horizon, and signs of renewed buyer interest are sprouting up as record affordability remains in play. At the Weichert Family of Companies, there is considerable evidence of a solid spring market, according to a collection of internal consumer data that includes customer inquiries, website traffic and visitors to new-home communities.

The year got off to a quick start, with Weichert recording an all-time daily high for online buyer inquiries in recent weeks. In addition, as of February, online consumer inquiries sent to Weichert's franchise offices were up 85 percent over 2010. Totals for all of 2010 were up 56 percent over 2009.

"The consistently higher level of consumers who are contacting us through our website clearly supports the notion of renewed interest from potential homebuyers," said Martin J. Rueter, president of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., (WREA), the franchise division of Weichert, Realtors®. "Based on the recent results of our weekly 'Activity Barometer' and feedback from our offices across the country, I expect we will see improved home sales in the coming months."

In addition to rising consumer inquiries, there has also been an uptick in visits to the company's website, Weichert.com. In recent months Hitwise, a company that monitors the activity of major websites, has consistently ranked the site among the top real estate brokerage websites.

"So far this year, Weichert.com is averaging more than 3 million visits per month, making it one of the most popular real estate websites," said Jim Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. "By offering a user-friendly interface and robust content, Weichert.com has quickly become a valuable resource for homebuyers and sellers, earning it a spot in the Hitwise rankings above many of its national competitors."

According to John G. Udell, president of Weichert New Homes, there has also been an increase in the number of consumers visiting the new-home communities that the company is marketing.

"Not only has overall attendance risen, but we are also seeing more new-home buyers writing contracts than this time last year," said Udell. "Owning a new home remains a dream for many, and there are some terrific opportunities available in a number of great locations. Savvy new-home buyers appear to be ready and willing to take advantage of the current market."

About Weichert, Realtors

Since 1969, Weichert, Realtors has grown from a single office into one of the nation's leading providers of homeownership services by putting its customers first. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. Weichert leverages its customer website, www.weichert.com , one of the most visited real estate websites in the nation, to help families and individuals realize the dream of homeownership through quick and easy access to listing information and the services of its real estate professionals nationwide. For more information, Weichert's customer service center can be reached at 1-800-USA-SOLD. Weichert franchised offices are independently owned and operated.

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