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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 Coldwell Banker continues to lead the way with innovative Real Estate marketing methods, the latest way to use social media and Facebook to promote listing between agents is demonstrated in the cool video link below. The 2nd Annual Generation Blue Coldwell Banker International Conference is coming up in late February and focuses on the internet and specifically social media as the best way to market Real Estate today. Please take a look at this video and see what the younger generation of realtors and buyers are looking for when searching for properties!
--Paul Prade
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As quickly as Moving Picture Video Listings are becoming a required service for real estate Real Listing Videos with Kim Cheng in Vancouver Gastownagents, the speed of technology and the insatiable appetite of the younger market have already pushed this video listing medium to the status of outgoing fad.  The new trend of 2011, the marketing tool that is distinguishing front line real estate agents in the industry, is – for lack of a better descriptor – Live Action Listing Presentations.  Getting in front of a camera and selling the listing to your audience of, potentially, hundreds offers something very rare in the online community and incredibly difficult to convey in conventional listing videos: human connection. 

Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and all of the other social media sites provide an almost immeasurable exchange of information between people.  However, in hosting this vast exchange of information online, these social media sites have, ironically, diminished the human interaction they were designed to promote.  There is also anonymity in posting videos or opinions online.  Rarely are faces put to screen names, the absence of which robs the viewer of that personal connection that real estate agents are encouraged to create.

Live Action Listing Presentations, video listings with the realtor on the screen and talking directly to the interested viewer, give back that human element that many mainstream promotional videos lack.  And the public reaction has been stellar.  The few real estate agents using these Live Action videos boast enthusiastic new clients and business growth that stems primarily from, not surprisingly, word of mouth.  Happy clients Tweet or Like or simply pass videos on to the myriad web of friends online, and suddenly one local real estate agent with a quality camera has his name in the homes of hundreds of people across the city.

The younger generations live on social media sites.  It’s a fact that psychologists, sociologists, and real estate agents alike have to come to terms with. For the real estate industry at least, which is founded on finding people great places to live, this should make real estate marketing easier than it ever has been.  We know where they’re looking. We just need to give them something to look at.
- Sarah Mah
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Gone are the days when purchasing a newspaper ad was sufficient to sell a house in Vancouver.  The simultaneous aging of both the traditional real estate agent community and the tech-savvy Y Generation – two generaBurnaby Home For Sale Slideshow Listingtions that have never seen eye to eye with eachother – has created a noticeable disconnect in the current Vancouver real estate industry.  The twenty- and thirty-somethings are looking for property, and their main avenue of shopping – the Internet – is void of any medium that speaks their mono-syllabic language.
Enter: Moving Picture Video Listings.  These short, highly-visual listing tours are intermediaries between your basic filmstrip-style listing photography and the high-end, three hundred and sixty degree tours.  At just over a minute long these videos are short enough to keep the attention of the younger generations, usually all the way to the end!  Best of all, the relatively small file format make these short videos ideal to put up on virtually any website capable of supporting video, websites like Facebook, YouTube, and most personal websites.
Moving Picture Video Listings are, admittedly, nothing revolutionary.  Several Vancouver-based companies have been offering products like this for years.  What makes them so vital right now is the higher demands and higher expectations of buyers and sellers in the current real estate market.  Not only are younger buyers looking almost exclusively online, but sellers are expecting their real estate agents to provide more, do more, and produce more for their business.  What most of these real estate tour companies have not realized is that, with so much expected of real estate agents now, their prices for their simple products are becoming less viable.  Many real estate agents are expected to produce video tours not only for their multi-million dollar listings, but for every listing on their docket.  The three hundred thousand dollar apartment in residential New Westminster needs a listing, and it is unrealistic for the agent to spend four hundred dollars on a ninety-second video tour.
- Sarah Mah
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