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Today's Sunday Tribune confirmed something that I have noticed for quite some time now. The big franchise real estate companies - Coldwell, Banker, Prudential Rubloff and At Properties - seemed to all be locked in a heated battle for the moniker of #1. What's going on here? Coldwell Banker touts that it is "#1 in Chicagoland." Prudential Rubloff claims the title of "#1 Luxury Firm." At properties gives itself three titles: "#1 Company in Chicago," #1 In The North Shore - Winnetka Office" and "#2 In The North Shore - Evanston Office."  Is there an upcoming trophy ceremony that I missed? Who awards such distinguished prizes? 

Does any of this really matter when you are trying to buy or sell a house? Seems that the big franchises are caught up in a storm of self-adulation. Shouldn't YOU be the focus of their marketing efforts instead of THEM? I found it amazing to see that At Properties took out a two page, centerfold spread to tout its own accomplishments and the volume sales that its agents had supposedly achieved. Could this space and the advertising dollars it required have been better spent showcasing one of the THOUSAND or more properties that remains unsold? I know that if I had my unsold property listed with this company that this would certainly be my wish. If you are a buyer out there looking for the perfect new home, would you rather see the mugs of Realtors congratulating themselves or of properties that might be available for sale that you may want to purchase? It seem that the Sunday tradition of opening up the real estate section of the Trib and actually seeing properties that are available is dead.

If all I have done is sold your house or found you the perfect place to buy, then give me third place any day.