BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Well dressed people with tote bags packed with laptops, packs of business cards and more are in the Baton Rouge Hilton Capital Center located downtown.
The Council of Residential Specialists have gathered for their "Spring into Spring" Luncheon Meeting. WAFB's own Donna Britt played her part as the guest speaker.
If you have ever walked into a room with a bunch of real estate representatives, then you know how friendly they are. They can not good sales people unless they know how to speak warmly with strangers and convince them to part with their money for one of life's major purchases, a home.
Moving around the room, there are people from New Orleans, Shreveport, and Lake Charles. Some Baton Rouge realtors wave and chat for a while. A group of young women from the Red Stick are discussing the shootings of two Southern University students.
"This is not a seedy neighborhood," one woman commented.
Jane St. Amant later explained that "The Cottages apartment complex over there on Ben Hur [Road] is near LSU's campus, and usually the apartments are higher priced. It's a nice area."
Council of Residential Specialists includes realtors, but also is the go-to support organization for the workers who line up housing in the literally thousands of townhouses, condominiums, apartments. CRS provides a way for agents to exchange references, share tips on good deals. The organization gives webinars, seminars, and educational gatherings like this one every quarter to help improve the professionalism of all Residential Specialists.
But does an event like the tragic deaths of bystanders of a party dampen the prospects for renting in that area?
Lauren Becnel, a realtor with Burns & Company in Baton Rouge says you can't prevent crime, especially when it seems random.
"I as a mother of five," Becnel said, " I have five kids, and I have four who have actually gone through the ropes of college and the ins and outs of apartments. You do your homework, you pray a lot, and the aspect of community, I think community plays a big role in keeping crime out."
No doubt, it will take time before realtors will know if there is any impact on the apartment traffic in that area. But should it become a trend, the CRS is bound to make it a topic for brainstorming to get a solution.
Pam Testoret, a realtor from New Orleans and representing the Louisiana Association of Realtors spoke to the group and commended them on their efforts Tuesday. She also issued this invitation: "I encourage everyone to stop by your new Louisiana State Association headquarters located at 821 Main Street in downtown Baton Rouge. We're extremely proud of it," said Testoret."Because of your support, Louisiana Realtors has a state of the art, one of a kind home just 2 blocks from the state capitol. We're so happy that you're (CRS) part of a legislative meetings. as we lobby lawmakers on key real estate issues and make a difference in the political process."