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New Innovative Tool at First Team Allows You to Discover

February 25, 2011

From family friendly and hip & trendy to school performance and quality of shopping or restaurants

Consumers have made two things crystal clear about buying real estate.  First, searching for a home based on bedrooms, baths, and price alone is obsolete; today’s buyers wisely put lifestyle factors at the top of the list in finding the right home. Second, they prefer to research properties on their own before they contact a real estate agent. In answer, First Team Real Estate is premiering a new Lifestyle Search on its website specifically to meet the evolving consumer needs.

“Typically, people wanting to start their searches without involving an agent have had to rely on sources such as Chambers of Commerce and social networks for information on where to look for their ideal home,” said CEO/Owner, Cameron Merage, at First Team. “The Lifestyle Search lets them do it much more easily and thoroughly. Everything from quality of schools to pet friendliness to local culture and vibe is covered in this great new feature.”

Merage said it is ideal for homebuyers who want to put the most crucial search criteria up front, weeding out search results that turn up homes that may be ideal in terms of size and price, but all wrong in terms of lifestyle needs.

“This lets people begin the search in terms of their lifestyle goals, where they then identify the energy and identity of local neighborhoods ideally suited to them. For example, young, single professionals who enjoy the nightlife and may be searching in the same price range as a young family, but will have completely different lifestyle preferences. With Lifestyle Search, everyone can start their search in the best direction,” he explained.

The search feature’s lifestyle factors consider several different dynamics. Using a sliding scale, consumers determine the priorities they give to whether the area is family friendly; fun, hip, and trendy; its convenience for commuting and traffic; whether it is dense-urban, light-urban, or suburban; the proximity of golf courses; quality of schools; nearness of cultural arts and theater; public transportation; quality of shopping; and pet-friendliness.

“The sliders are especially helpful because you can adjust the priorities and see how it changes the recommended neighborhoods,” said Merage. “You can become comfortable with a variety of locales, knowing they all have what you want in terms of nearby parks, family friendliness, or other factors which are as important to you with regard to your lifestyle. From there, you can search with confidence for homes based on price range and the number of bedrooms and baths.”

The Lifestyle Search is as valuable for people new to Southern California, as it is to locals wanting to transition to a new life stage such as retirement, when things like pet-friendliness and the proximity of golf courses and cultural arts become more important than the quality of schools and ease of commuting.

“We are partnering in this venture with an innovative company, Onboard Informatics, the leading provider of trusted real estate information and technology solutions, who has access to billions of details on every area in the country. Onboard Informatics has chosen to work with us to launch Lifestyle Search because it knows First Team is innovative, ranking 9th in the nation, and continues to understand the needs of its consumers and also because of our close relationship with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the nation’s foremost relocation service,” said Bill Plattos, Executive Vice President at First Team.

Plattos invites you to “test drive” the new Lifestyle Search feature at First Team’s user-empowering, easy-search website, www.firstteam.com.

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