Published October 17, 2006
Volume 14, Number 10

Prudential California Realty Serves Northern California with High Tech Tools and Training

Sherry Chris, CEO of Prudential California, Nevada, and Texas, is focused
on using the latest technology to enhance their customers’ experience.

By Scott Eldredge
Special to NETWORK

Prudential California Realty, located at 5724 W. Las Positas Blvd., is part of a tri-state affiliation that includes Prudential Nevada Realty, Prudential Texas Properties, and Prudential Texas Realty. The organization was founded in 1887 as Mason-McDuffle Real Estate and adopted the Prudential name in 1997. In 2005 the company handled more than 29,000 transactions and generated $14 billion in sales, making it the eighth largest real estate broker in the United States among brokers offering settlement services.

The entire company comprises 5100 agents in more than 140 offices; Prudential California Realty has 44 offices and 2200 agents. A program of comprehensive services, strategic business partnerships, sales agent training and marketing support, and the continued development and deployment of technology tools for both clients and realtors has helped Prudential California Realty (PCR) become one of the largest brokerages in Northern California.

Prudential California Realty considers itself an agent-centric company. It constantly monitors and assesses trends to help its agents understand industry changes and provides them with state of the art technology and training to help them stay on top of the market.

PCR was one of the first brokerages to use online real estate tools when it launched its own proprietary agent application nine years ago. It launched version 5.0 in January 2006-2007. The application is so effective that other brokerages have asked to license its use, something PCR is considering.

PCR's Webtop 5.0 application lets agents build individuals websites, manage their own database, and provides a sophisticated toolset for managing their business. The customer-facing part of the application has features developed in response to the company's research on consumer wants and needs relating to home buying. A listing can be searched for and located with only three clicks, and each has photos that are easy to browse. Users can save listings, sign up for email alerts, browse local school profiles, query the agent, and use a mapping feature to get driving directions and even information about neighborhood valuations.

'We are seeing some very interesting technology come on the market for the real estate industry. One is mapping," says Sherry Chris, CEO of Prudential California, Nevada, and Texas, "anything having to do with pictures of the house, determining where the home is, what's around it, how the properties around it are priced. One of the major trends in the future is going to be the increase in sophisticated technology for listing and selling real estate."

Trends also play an important role in how PCR trains its agents. A large part of PCR's client base comes from two very different groups: baby boomers and echo boomers. The two demographics have very different buying and selling habits, and serving such different groups requires different approaches. Baby boomers grew up in what is termed a "high relationship" environment. PCR agents are trained to work with boomers in a way that is oriented to relationships. The Echo generation, the 18- to 34-year-olds, grew up using technology. Agents are also trained to be proficient in using and communicating with technology. The company offers its agents a variety of training courses and seminars.

Prudential California Realty continually works to stay ahead in the changing real estate market, developing the tools to help its clients and the agents who serve them.


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