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May 7, 2007

RealTown Online Store Is Open for Business is proud to announce the opening of the InternetCrusade’s RealTown Store. Featuring a wide assortment of real estate-related goods and services for real estate professionals, members can access the page to obtain product information, reviews and discounts.

The store is part of our ongoing effort (since 1995) to provide community members with a voice and to improve their results with product and service vendors. The program is designed to give vendors feedback and hold them accountable as one of the many benefits for those participating in any of RealTown’s online communities.

To assist us in our goal, we have created a RealTown “Seal of Approval” program that clearly sets out the standards we require of our vendors and affiliates.

Here is a portion of RealTown’s  “Consumer Bill of Rights.”

All vendors and affiliates will agree to:

  • Provide RealTown’s subscribers with the vendor's most competitive price available for their product or service.
  • Contact consumer within two business days of a service request or inquiry.
  • Provide a contact person to RealTown managers serving as RealTown's direct connection to questions or problems.
  • Provide access to information on goods and/or services either through a website or blog.
  • Respond in the timely fashion to any e-mails from InternetCrusade.

Over the years, we have seen a large number of vendors contribute solid content to the community, respond to customer service requests, provide valuable goods and services and contribute to the knowledge base of the members we all serve. In keeping with that philosophy, RealTown has instituted a system which does not specifically endorse companies, but rather screens them and requires their commitment to customer service, per RealTown's Consumer Bill of Rights. Vendors meeting and exceeding our standard are given  our  “Seal of Approval.”

We set the standard and rely on the community to police and hold vendors accountable. This can be done through feedback on RealTalk or any number of communities and blogs we have created.  RealTown also wants community members to relate good service received by specific vendors so other members of the community can benefit.

We ask our communities to review the product or service offered by Approved Vendors and respond with any feedback, good or bad. Those vendors with a solid product, who stand behind their work, take responsibility for their actions and do the best to work out problems with their customers will benefit. Those who can’t live up to their claims will be left behind.

That is the power of community. That is the power of

Content. Context. Collaboration. Community.

(Saul Klein is CEO of Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, home of RealTown.)

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