By Iris Richmond

For every dollar spent to buy a house, a consumer shells out an additional $.20 to $.40 cents on home-related services, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. What do they buy? Coldwell Banker knows. Last year, more than 106,000 customers enrolled in the company's concierge program for homeowners, making requests for everything from the mundane to the fastidious. The list at right reveals its most popular services.

"Instead of a homeowner having to do research every time he has a homeowner-related need, the concierge program can be the resource for that," says Kelly Magallanes, vice president of marketing for the Atlanta-based company. "We're in the business of homeownership, which is more than facilitating the sale."

Internet-based software exclusive to Coldwell enables its affiliates to manage the thousands of requests, as well as the numerous alliances formed with builders and vendors, at no extra cost to the consumer. A recent survey of 2,000 home buyers, completed by the Real Estate Service Providers Council in Washington, found that 82 percent "strongly or somewhat strongly" prefer one-stop shopping for these home-related services.

Top-10 Buyer Wants

Established in 1998, 80 percent of Coldwell's affiliates participate in its concierge program and offer, at minimum, the top-10 requested services.

1. Utility hook-ups/shut-offs

2. Moving companies

3. Handyman services

4. Painting services

5. Contractors

6. Plumbers

7. Electricians

8. Cleaning services

9. Roofing repair

10. Carpet cleaning

Source: Coldwell Banker

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, June 2002