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The DeWolfe Companies, Inc. Releases Results From Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Business Editors

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 28, 2002

83% of home buying customers used the Internet to search for homes; 81% of all customers expect broadband access by 2003

93% of all customers express their satisfaction with the DeWolfe homeownership experience

The DeWolfe Companies, Inc. (AMEX:DWL), the largest homeownership company in New England, announced today that it has completed a comprehensive customer satisfaction and loyalty study. DeWolfe surveyed recent customers who conducted insurance, mortgage, moving, relocation or real estate transactions with DeWolfe. The study, designed and executed in cooperation with a marketing research firm, assessed customers' satisfaction with their transaction, attitudes towards DeWolfe, likely future behavior and general homeownership trends. Overall, 93% of all customers expressed satisfaction with their DeWolfe homeownership experience. "Our corporate mission is to deliver `100% simple satisfaction' in the homeownership process. These survey results re-affirm that commitment and point the way for continued improvement," said Richard B. DeWolfe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The DeWolfe Companies, Inc. "Our core customer values the convenience and consistent quality of integrated service delivery, embodied by our `one stop and you're home' business model," explained DeWolfe. "For example, 79% of our customers who only purchased a home through us were `very satisfied' or `extremely satisfied' with us," added DeWolfe, "but fully 93% of our customers who purchased, financed and insured their home through us were `very satisfied' or `extremely satisfied' with their DeWolfe experience."

The survey is part of a company-wide customer relationship management ("CRM") initiative launched in 2001. "We took a very different approach than most companies to the CRM challenge," stated Paul J. Harrington, President and Chief Operating Officer of The DeWolfe Companies. "Instead of treating CRM like a multi-million dollar technology solution looking for a problem," Harrington explained, "we focused on talking to customers and identifying concrete opportunities to enhance their experience. As a result, the survey findings are already being integrated into key corporate standards and business process areas, like recruiting, training, communications and service recovery."

The survey provided additional evidence of Internet use among homebuyers. 83% of survey respondents indicated that they actively used the Internet to search for homes. The survey also confirmed that consumers value broadband access. 47% of respondents already have high speed Internet access at home and another 34% expect to have high speed, home access within the next year. "The Internet is clearly changing how people find homes," commented John R. Penrose, President of DeWolfe.com, Inc. "For example, we know that consumers use the Internet to help them focus their home search," added Penrose, "and the survey confirmed that satisfaction actually increased with the fewer homes a consumer visited in person."

The DeWolfe Companies, Inc. also announced implementation of a continual customer satisfaction measurement program that will build on the survey insights and DeWolfe's existing technology infrastructure. "Our customers will complete a survey online, the data will be captured in our Oracle back-end and our managers will access performance reports via our Cognos business intelligence tools," Harrington explained. "Because we have the infrastructure in place already," Harrington added "we can concentrate on the more rewarding parts, including educating our managers and sales professionals and providing the proper incentives to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty."

Cautionary statement for purposes of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements contained in this press release, which are not historical fact, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. There are many important factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, interest rates and economic conditions generally, regulatory changes (legislative or otherwise) affecting the residential real estate and mortgage lending industries, competition, and other risks identified in DeWolfe's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 28, 2002
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