AZ Department of Real Estate streamlines with use of more technology

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judy lowCAVE CREEK – Monday night’s council meeting included a presentation by Arizona Real Estate Commissioner Judy Lowe (r).

Lowe, appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer, has served in that post for about four years.

She said the department’s mission is to protect the public interest through licensing.

According to Lowe, the department oversees over 8,300 licensees, of which 5,500 are “active in the trenches.”

Since the downturn in the economy and slowdown in real estate, Lowe said licensees were declining at a rate of about 700 per month, while new licensees are starting to come in at about 500.

She said as the department streamlines its operations and enhances its technology platform, its focus is on those causing harm.

Lowe said all complaints will be investigated.

Previously where they had two people trying to answer 1,000 calls per day, they now have incorporated technology so people can contact the department through the Internet.

She said the department now has 100 percent at-will employees, which she said was a decision made by the employees.

With online licensing exams currently being beta tested, Lowe said technology is definitely a time saver.

She also said there is cross training going on so employees will know more than just their job.

Noting increases in Phoenix Valley prices, some as much as 23 percent, Lowe said some of the critical issues her department is addressing include: property management violations, fraud, loan modifications, short sales and foreclosures.

Lowe also said they must make sure the public is protected against unlicensed activity. 

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