In Rome, it’s cohesive. In France, it’s impactful. And in North Cyprus, it’s stylish. These are just some of the praises being sung about the revamped Coldwell Banker Global Luxury℠ program, launched earlier this year.
As Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, embarked on a whirlwind 60-day Global Luxury launch tour this summer, many of the brand’s top sales associates and brokers around the world united together and applauded the evolved program.
“I would tell them about how the new luxury identity creates a stronger connection to the Coldwell Banker name, and pays tribute to our legacy in luxury and strong global connections in 49 countries and territories,” Hogan says. “I would also show them our new logo, our new signage, business cards and collateral materials. I would walk them through the enhanced and immersive certification course, and our new international website, ColdwellBankerLuxury.com. Everywhere I went this summer, I heard how excited people were about the enhancements. They know it’s going to give them a competitive edge.”
Overseas, the reaction has been particularly positive, as cities across Europe are riding a wave of economic growth and stronger real estate numbers. Many offices are already using the new branding in refreshing ways to make a stronger impression in their luxury markets.
Spain and Italy
During June’s Coldwell Banker Master Franchisor Meeting 2017 in Barcelona, Hogan led a discussion about the current state of the luxury market, and rolled out the enhanced luxury marketing program. Held at legendary Hotel Majestic and the Spanish head-office of Coldwell Banker, the event was a place “for the exchange of ideas, experiences and anecdotes that entertained and enriched all the participants,” according to François Carriere, CEO of Coldwell Banker Spain and Andorra.
“It was such a great opportunity to meet face-to-face people with whom email or phone are the usual methods of communication,” he says. “All of the participants received relevant inputs on how to build their value proposition and information on digital marketing tools enhancement, which are so important in their day to day business.”
Real estate masters in 11 different countries also heard about the enhanced digital experience now offered to their affluent clients, thanks to a unique network of international websites that link to www.coldwellbankerluxury.com. For Cassiano Sabbatini, Vice President of Coldwell Banker Italy, the three-day event demonstrated Coldwell Banker’s focus on international networking and fostering strong personal connections.
“We can share ideas, projects, listings and job opportunities around the world,” says Sabbatini. “Coldwell Banker Global Luxury closed the gap with the new website. I’m really excited about it because our agents can reach new affluent buyers thanks to the advanced database. The website is versatile, powerful and easy to use.”
Beyond the website, Sabbatini has been most impressed with the enhanced marketing resources, and specifically the new listing box, which “was love at first sight,” he noted. He also believes the stronger brand alignment with Coldwell Banker will also help him win better listings in his marketplace, which covers cities from Monte Argentario to Rome. Italian destinations that have the most international appeal include Venice (“the French love it,” says Sabbatini), while Americans and English prefer Tuscany and Apulia. Russians gravitate to areas from Porto Cervo (Sardinia) to Forte dei Marmi and Argentario, he said. International buyers from Europe, Asia and USA, he says, “dream of buying properties in big Italian towns and art heritage cities, of course.”
He notes: “The agents like the expression of power that comes from the new Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program. Now we can breathe in excellence. ‘Excellence’ has an allure, almost like the smell of the sea. The new Global Luxury Program is absolutely cohesive. We have the opportunity to share experiences and values across the world. It’s easy to understand and it offers major opportunities. Everyone loves Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program.”
While real estate prices in most Italian cities have still not fully rebounded from the 2008 global recession, Barcelona itself is in the midst of luxury real estate boom, as international investors and a strong office market have helped push higher than average price increases in the luxury real estate sector this year. The evidence of this resurgence recently arrived with a landmark sale from Coldwell Banker Prestige in Barcelona: a gorgeously remodeled apartment in the city’s highly sought-after L’ Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample district for €10 million — a record for the market.
Hogan followed up Barcelona with a trip to Rome for the first ever international training event for the Global Luxury certification course, called Blue Spirit 2017, which Sabbatini also attended along with other International Masters and U.S. representatives from six countries. The immersive certification experience proved to be yet another moment for the revitalized luxury brand to shine on an international stage as instructors from six countries were trained in the program for the first time.
“In Rome, people were really excited — because they really felt like we were truly coming together as one global company,” says Hogan. “Now we have the same message, same tone and same brand story told across all of the continents.”
With Brexit opening more real estate opportunities in France, Coldwell Banker leaders in France and Monaco have capitalized on the consistent brand story now being expressed through the revamped Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program. An influx in foreign investment from the British, Russians and Middle Easterners has begun to raise prices, making it more necessary than ever to have a solid brand message that resonates with high-net-worth buyers looking for the French dream, according to Laurent Demeure, president of Coldwell Banker France and Monaco.
Demeure himself expressed excitement over the new brand identity, and recently debuted the new Global Luxury brochures during an exclusive Polo match held at the prestigious Polo Club of Paris established in 1892. The premier event captivated nearly 500 polo fans and ultra high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Proud of their Coldwell Banker heritage, the group formed its own Global Luxury polo team to compete against the Satcom team, which provides connectivity solutions for business aviation. The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury team eventually ended up winning the competition.
“We believe Polo and real estate both require hard work, experience, precision, dedication, team spirit and constant focus to reach the highest possible level and reach our goals,” says Demeure. “Our values are quite similar in a way, and we thought it would be a nice way to launch Global Luxury.”
To mark the occasion, a charitable drawing was organized to benefit Rire Medecin, an association of artists and clowns who visit sick children in hospitals. Coldwell Banker France and Monaco also partnered with Aston Martin to deliver the ultimate prize giveaway: a luxury weekend with accommodations and dinner in a luxury hotel and rental of an Aston Martin.
“It was a great success,” says Demeure. “Our participants greatly appreciated seeing our French listings as we displayed the latest copies of our French Homes & Estates magazine. Plus, they had the opportunity to watch one of their favorite sports. It was a chance to reveal the new brand identity to our clients and potential clients, and really show them the power of the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program internationally. ”
In North Cyprus, where luxury real estate market conditions are rising due to improving local and international economic conditions, Luxury Property Specialists are thrilled with the new branding.
“The new identity is simple, more stylish, elegant and has much more of a global impact,” says Aylin Pelin Onar of Coldwell Banker Maximum. “The perception of the brand and brand awareness is much more higher among our customers. The meaning of Global Luxury reflects the understanding of our business and shows what we do much clearer.”
The new marketing may provide the 20 real estate professionals in the Coldwell Banker Maximum office with more opportunity to capitalize on the stable economic growth in North Cyprus over the last four years. Pelin Onar says the market continues to be buoyed by an increasing appetite from foreign investors from places like Turkey, Russia, Scandinavian countries, Middle East, England, Israel and Australia.
This is one of the reasons why Pelin Onar regards the international reputation of the Coldwell Banker name, and by association, the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program, as such a high point of distinction.
“None of the local market players can compete with us when it comes to international recognition,” she says. “This gives us strength and confidence, which allows us to better serve our clients’ luxury property needs. With Global Luxury, we are able to present the distinction of having the real networking power of Coldwell Banker with its unique marketing tools. The new program will lead us to greater international marketing power.”
To commemorate the Global Luxury launch and unveil it to the luxury consumer audience in North Cyprus, the office recently partnered with a local luxury auto dealer to create a heightened service experience for their clients. The office has been given access to three fully loaded Jaguar cars, decorated with Coldwell Banker logos, which real estate agents may use to shuttle clients from house to house. International Coldwell Banker clients may also receive 1) special discounts for Range Rover and Jaguar cars through the dealer, 2) a two-day driving experience with any Range Rover and Jaguar cars of their choice, and 3) a special discount for Turkish home buyers who are able to exchange their cars with Range Rover and Jaguar from North Cyprus who buy property from the Coldwell Banker Maximum office.
“We are the No. 1 agency in our region, but we are targeting our marketing to attract even more luxury customers,” she says.
The brand expanded their launch reach to Asia as well. Coldwell Banker Thailand recently hosted a well-attended Asia Masters Meeting at the W Hotel in Bangkok, which is located adjacent to Coldwell Banker Thailand’s headquarters. The meeting was attended by franchise masters from the United States, Thailand, China, Dubai, Singapore and Indonesia. As part of the festivities, Coldwell Banker Thailand also participated in a press conference designed to launch the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program to Asian audiences. The introduction of the new identity could not have come at a better time for the Thailand luxury market, a segment that is showing the highest growth.
“All Asia Masters are very excited about the new brand identity,” notes Adam Taugwalder, CEO of Coldwell Banker Thailand. “Each country already has deployed teams to implement it across their respective regions. In particular, they like the slick and luxury look of it as well as the much-improved global connectivity to make Coldwell Banker a truly global luxury real estate power house.”
Taugwalder added: “Thailand, in general, is very brand conscious. Ever since introducing the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury brand identity and combining with Coldwell Banker’s uniquely rich 111-year old history, the high-end market is talking about us and seeing us as a serious player.”
A Banner of Global Excellence
From Thailand and North Cyprus to Monaco and Barcelona, these examples underscore the overwhelming international response to the launch of the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program.
Concludes Hogan: “The more I travel and the more I share the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program story with people worldwide, the more I come to appreciate this fact — that luxury knows no boundaries. The Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program is founded on this very idea — that to succeed in luxury, we must cross oceans, continents and language barriers. We believe that the best way to do that in today’s real estate environment is to cultivate personal connections. That’s what makes the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program so unique. We give all of our Luxury Property Specialists the tools and knowledge they need to not only succeed, but also to exceed expectations. We unite all Luxury Property Specialists under a banner of excellence.”