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Realtors Look to Tech-Supported Language Co. to Boost Home Sales

May 30, 2008

In an effort to cast wider nets in a worsening real estate market, a Connecticut trade association announced today that it’s looking to a tech-supported language company to help communication with non-English speakers.
 
The Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors is looking to Washington, D.C.-based LLE to interpret and translate in 150 languages, the association said. Under the partnership, association members and potential non-English speaking homebuyers and sellers will have access to live interpreters over the phone, 24 hours per day.
 
They’ll also be able to have real estate documents translated quickly, the association said – a prospect that pleases John Bolduc, the association’s executive vice president.
 
“We are very excited to be able to provide this service to our membership and the non-English community,” Bolduc said. “We selected LLE because of its linguists’ knowledge in the real estate industry.”
 
The terms of the deal were not released.
 
The real estate market could use a boost. Like the rest of the nation, Connecticut is seeing dramatically dropping home sales.
 
According to the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s most recent statistics, median sales prices fell from $381,700 to $365,600 between the second and third quarters of last year.
 
The association serves 1,400 member realtors. According to the association, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that more than 600,000 Connecticut residents speak a language other than English. It isn’t clear how many of those want to buy homes in the eastern part of the state.
 
According to the association, the deal with LLE will expand “the options available to real estate professionals and the limited English proficient.”
 
Interpreters familiar with real estate jargon will be available on-demand, under the agreement with LLE, according to the association.
 
“For property listings, email messages, Web sites or other real estate specific documents and forms, actual linguists are available to translate materials to or from English into another language,” association officials say. “LLE reports that linguists, rather than software or automated programs, provide a more accurate and credible translation from one language to another, because human translators are able to recognize cultural nuance and meaning within words.”
 
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
 
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