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President's Note for August 8, 2013

PatWattamGreetings from the President's desk.

There are a couple of GBRAR business items on which I'd like to update you.

As you may have heard, CB&I, the company that bought out the Shaw Group, is moving some 400 positions to Baton Rouge. BRAC and LED did a stellar job putting on two Newcomer's Fairs to help orient the potential new Baton Rougians. They asked for GBRAR to help, and we gladly did. Your Executive Committee and GBRAR staff have been very busy the past two Saturdays doing presentations at the fairs for the people from CB&I who have the opportunity to move here. Please make sure your broker has signed up to receive leads from CB&I!

We have only received 38 requests for housing assistance, and many of them are looking for apartment rentals. Whatever comes to the board, whether to rent or to purchase, those leads are passed on to you all and we need to take care of what ever they need. I thought that low number was a little strange until I met with the people over the past two weeks. Their situations vary, but all face a challenging situation and have been given very little time to make a decision that changes their lives and the lives of their families. Many of them are coming from areas that are significantly less expensive than our area, and they have to be here so quickly that they don't have time to sell their homes. Others were close to retirement age and figure they would only be here 4 years and would move back home. Most of the people I met had lived in their current city for many years and are just unsure of moving – especially if they can find another job where they are. If you have rental properties now would be a great time to put them in MLS!

Speaking of, work continues in evaluating alternative MLS platforms. In July the MLS task force spent a full day meeting with three potential MLS vendors. It was a long, hard day, but we saw some pretty cool things. We were able to narrow it down to two options in addition to Solid Earth's new Spring platform. We will have a final decision this fall. Stay tuned for more updates!

And last but not least, in this heat I hope everybody is staying cool as possible when showing houses. A tip for your sellers from the folks at National Foundation Repair: Have your sellers put a soaker hose around their slab to help stabilize the soil. With the amount of rain we had the first of the year and the lack of rain we've had this time of year, the soil dries up causing foundations to shift.

That's all for now,
WattamSignature

Pat Wattam
2013 GBRAR President

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