A group of us at Westburn Realty joined over 2,700 agents from the US, Canada, and abroad in Manhattan at New York City on Oct 7-8 for the sold out conference. The opening session was held at the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Centre with special guest, Tom Selleck, while the phenomenal education sessions were held at the World Stages. Much discussion focused on technology and the global economy. The closing party and dance was at the American Museum of Natural History.  It was a very cool venue with the dinosaurs in Coldwell Banker Blue!  Our own Tina Mak was recognized at the opening session for her involvement with AREAA and the importance of the Asian market in Canada and the United States to their economies. It was a great opportunity to learn about trends in other market areas and discovery investment properties that may be suitable for our clients who wish to diversify their real estate portfolios.



--Arthur Ng




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Coldwell Banker released their 2012 TV ads at the Generation Blue convention in New Orleans last week. The ads focus on the "emotion and lifestyle" of homeownership and not the usual ads promoting reasons to hire a Real Estate agents that you find in most realty company TV ads. In addition the voice in the ads is that of Tom Seleck, the famous actor from the current TV series Blue Bloods and well he is known from the movies and of course his break through role as Magnum PI. Mr. Seleck has a real connection with Coldwell Banker as his father, brother and sister all worked for Coldwell Banker and his father was a VP for 33 years. The following article was recently published by the NY Times reporter Stuart Elliott, who comments on the refreshing message the ad creates for the slow to recover American housing market, and celebrates "the Value of a Home".
-- Paul Prade


Coldwell Banker Sings ‘Home, Sweet Home’

Scenes of home life fill a commercial for Coldwell Banker that is part of a new ad campaign.
What would you do if you were a leading real estate broker during this sluggish, problematic market for American home sales? One such firm plans to accentuate the positive by playing up the emotional reasons for owning a home, now that the rational reasons like making a killing no longer seem relevant.

The firm is Coldwell Banker Real Estate, which in a campaign that is scheduled to begin on Monday will celebrate what it calls the “Value of a home.” The start of the campaign, with a budget estimated at $15 million, is timed with the approach of spring and the start of the home-buying season.

In this instance, each value cited in the campaign is a warm and fuzzy one, ranging from “the warmth of a winter fire” to “a grandmother kissing her grandchild.”

The values are brought to life in a television commercialthat cranks the emotional dial to 11, or maybe 12. The vignettes, photographed with a gauzy, well-lit look, celebrate “about 50,000 memories and a hundred thousand smiles,” which are generated, according to the campaign, by living in a home of one’s own.

Tom Selleck with Coldwell BankerAnother way the emotional approach is intensified is through the use of the actor Tom Selleck to supply the voice-over narration in the commercial. It is no coincidence that Mr. Selleck is currently playing the paterfamilias of a clan of New York City police officers in the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”

“How to put a value on a home,” Mr. Selleck begins, then cites intangibles that include “the smell of pancakes made on a Sunday morning,” “the taste of a good cabernet with family at Thanksgiving” and “the power of a bedtime story.”

He also urges those listening to his voice to “subtract the stress of work” as well as “the struggles of the outside world” when considering “the value of a home.”

“Coldwell Banker,” Mr. Selleck concludes. “Where home begins.”

The campaign is created by Siltanen & Partners in El Segundo, Calif., which was selected as the Coldwell Banker creative agency in August. Siltanen & Partners replaced McKinney in Durham, N.C., whose last campaign dramatized the pitfalls of selling a home without using a Coldwell Banker agent.

“People buy homes for lifestyle reasons, for emotional reasons, and it’s not always a rational decision,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

“But everything out there,” he added, in terms of advertising, “is about a rational decision.”

“There needed to be a better voice, a more positive voice,” Mr. Fischer said, that brought up “all the things that make a house a home” like “a large backyard, the outdoor fire pit” and being able to have pets.

The upbeat message is aimed not only at potential home buyers, he added, but also at Coldwell Banker agents, to remind them of what he termed “that emotional higher kind of calling of their business.”

The campaign is not a Pollyanna-like paean to buying a home at all costs, Mr. Fischer said.

“We’re not running away from” being realistic about the state of the housing market, he added, and the firm says “don’t buy a house” to those without sufficient income or plans to stay in a home for a long time.

Mr. Selleck was chosen for the campaign for “that authentic, trusting, warm voice,” Mr. Fischer said.

There also turned out to be, appropriately enough, a warm and fuzzy connection between the actor and Coldwell Banker.

Mr. Selleck’s father, Robert, “was a vice president for 38 years at Coldwell Banker” in Los Angeles, Mr. Fischer said.

And Mr. Selleck’s involvement in “Blue Bloods” resonates apart from the part he plays, Mr. Fischer said, because agents of Coldwell Banker, which has blue as its corporate color, “will say, ‘If you cut me, I bleed blue.’ ”

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Gen BlueIt's very important to keep current with changing technology. Social media and Gen x,y has a profound effect on how business is conducted and how we communicate. We at Coldwell Banker Westburn are taking this head on with our real estate. 15 of our agents are here in New Orleans with over 3000 agents from the US and Canada. This is how we value education to help serve our clients better.
--Arthur Ng
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Flying to Gen BlueI just learned that if you are taking a connecting flight(s) to a destination, ensure that you are doing so with the same airlines and have ample time between flights with the necessary boarding passes.


There is no direct route from Vancouver, BC to New Orleans, Louisiana so I flew to Los Angeles via Air Canada to connect to United Airlines at LAX. There was about 70 minutes to spare and I was not issued my connecting board pass in Vancouver. As luck would have it, the 1st leg was delayed by 35 minutes and, of course, the United Airlines gate was on the other side of the airport at Los Angeles. LAX is a large airport.


And then there was the security check all over again with the full body scanner.


You guessed it.  I missed the flight. United Airlines re-booked for me but now I had to fly to Chicago and connect to New Orleans. Instead of catching the opening ceremonies and dinner extravaganza, I ended arriving just in time at midnight for bed at the hotel. Oh, and I got up at 4:30am to leave for the airport to catch the first flight.  I did get to my final destination safely, just a bit late and tired but all ready for the Coldwell Banker conference!


I hope that my return flight would be smoother.


--Arthur Ng
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