U-T San Diego Unveils Innovative Real Estate Marketing Program

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New Strategy Positions Consumers, Real Estate Agents for Unprecedented Success

U-T San Diego has launched U-T Certified™ Real Estate Services, a unique and multi-faceted program that helps consumers connect with established, top-tier real estate agents and opens up a new universe of marketing tools to facilitate home sales.

The program will make it easier for homebuyers and sellers to know that the real estate agent they’ve chosen is among a select, vetted group of individuals with proven sales records and other important credentials.

“We are very excited to launch the U-T Certified™ Real Estate Services,” said Mike Hodges, U-T San Diego’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We believe it is a game changer in terms of bringing together top real estate professionals and consumers in the San Diego County market. This program is the first of its kind in the media or real estate industry and helps solidify U-T San Diego’s position as a multimedia platform innovator.”

U-T Certified™ Real Estate Services is designed to:

  •     Identify a class of experienced real estate agents who, through a vetting process, have met the criteria required to participate in the program (more on that below).
  •     Ensure that properties for sale by these agents receive substantial exposure through the U-T’s multimedia Real Estate platforms (online, print and television). This means more people will see the property, increasing the odds of a quick sale at the best possible price.

Here’s how it works: Interested agents are invited to submit to the vetting process to verify qualifications. All U-T Certified™ Real Estate Agents must, among other things:

  •     Be affiliated with an active real estate brokerage office;
  •     Have recent sales activity that places them among the top 10% of all active Sandicor agents by transaction;
  •     Be in good standing and have a clean record with the California Department of Real Estate and any applicable local board of realtors; and
  •     Submit to a limited background check.

People interested in buying or selling a home can find U-T Certified™ agents featured on any of the U-T’s multimedia platforms and connect with them, taking some of the guesswork out of what is often a complex and frustrating process.

“The Union-Tribune Certified Agent program brings something very unique and long overdue to the real estate industry” said Glen Henderson, founder of Alliance Group, a San Diego real estate company. “For consumers, it will make choosing their next real estate agent a more simplified process. They will know that a real estate agent that is U-T Certified™ is a seasoned professional that likely provides a higher level of service than is typically found in the real estate industry. Plus, for real estate agents, it offers a vast amount of marketing and exposure at a reasonable cost.”

U-T San Diego studied the local real estate market from top to bottom, working with scores of consumers and agents to develop the U-T Certified™ Real Estate Services program.

One of the key lessons learned was that, with over 16,000 agents in San Diego, consumers want an easy way to connect with highly capable and professional agents they can trust to get the job done; those with a demonstrated ability to close deals.

“U-T Certified™ works for San Diego County consumers,” said Pat Veling, a Southern California real estate industry analyst and consultant. “Home sellers and buyers are more likely to have a better experience through choosing and working with the right real estate agent. Sellers can be assured that U-T Certified™ agents are statistically qualified in the all-important areas of pricing homes, positioning them effectively against the competition, and negotiating to their advantage in today's market.”

The program provides a number of benefits to qualifying agents who become U-T Certified™ Real Estate Agents. One of the goals of the program is to make stars of its agents, profiling them across the U-T’s powerful online, television and print platforms.

The program also provides valuable lead generation opportunities for agents and will provide flexible escrow payment options.

“U-T Certified™ drives more business opportunities to the best agents, which makes them even more qualified as a result of being further immersed in today's real estate market dynamics, working effectively with more consumers and properties,” Veling said.

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About U-T San Diego
The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC, owner of the 144-year-old U-T San Diego, is San Diego’s leading media company and its most comprehensive source of news and information. Each week, U-T San Diego products reach more than 96 percent of all San Diego County households through the combined strength of its integrated media portfolio: the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, U-T San Diego; the website, UTSanDiego.com; the Night + Day weekly entertainment guide; Spanish-language products, Enlace and Vida Latina San Diego; an all-day local television station, U-T TV; and additional home-delivered products. The U-T also operates eight community newspapers under the U-T’s Community Press Division.

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George Bonaros
U-T San Diego
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