In the last decade, we’ve seen a proliferation of digital applications and automated tools that aim to streamline the home buying and selling process. Agents are engaging on social media more than ever before. The Coldwell Banker® brand itself has been on the cutting edge of technology. We took a leadership role in the smart home space. We were the first real estate brand to create a YouTube channel that broadcasted homes for sale via online video and allowed people to search for them. As well, we were the first national real estate brand to launch an iPad app, the first to augment our website www.coldwellbanker.com for smartphones and the first to create an iPhone application with international listings. When we debuted the CBx application, that was another first for the industry, as we combined big data with our agents’ local expertise to help create a custom listing price that is relevant to the most likely buyer profile in a given community. And while so many of these developments have created undeniable value for our clients and agents, we cannot discount the power of the human touch.
Real estate has always been a relationship business, but it’s even truer in the luxury realm. A recent New York Times article supports this view. “Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them,” wrote Marta Monteiro. “Conspicuous human interaction — living without a phone for a day, quitting social networks and not answering email — has become a status symbol.” As such, the world’s affluent buyers and sellers of real estate not only want — but also expect — the luxury of having human engagement. They don’t want to connect to a computer screen or talk to a robot. They want a real human on the other end of the line. They want to know that their desires are being heard, their financial goals are being understood and they are sitting across from a true master of his or her profession.
What makes the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program stand out from any other luxury real estate marketing platform today is our steadfast focus on the relationship. It’s not just about fostering the agent-to-client relationship — although we emphasize this crucial aspect during our rigorous Coldwell Banker Global Luxury certification courses. It’s also about fostering the agent-to-agent relationship. We invest a considerable amount of resources into our people. With a network of 92,000 agents strong, our Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Specialists also have well-placed connections around the globe. We create numerous opportunities for our Global Luxury Property Specialists to have face time with each other at different networking events throughout the year. When you’re selling homes in the top 10% of the market and looking to reach a rarified niche of potential buyers who may live anywhere in the world, the human connection is often the most important tool in an agent’s toolbox.
Of course, we’ve augmented these opportunities with best-in-class marketing tools that make connecting across borders easier. For example, our website, Coldwellbankerluxury.com, was created with the purpose of facilitating international networking, co-marketing and referrals, and offers access to luxury agents across other brands. Understanding that luxury clients still enjoy the feeling of having a magazine physically in their hands, we have our award-winning magazine, Homes & Estates, which will be launching its first global issue of 2019 this month. This magazine — sent to affluent addresses around the country and overseas — underscores what we’ve known all along about affluent consumers: They want to be a part of something special and exclusive. They want that experience no one else can have. With the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program, they can have such an experience. Because of the investments we make in our people and in our network, we can honestly say that the ultimate luxury is our agents.
Craig Hogan is the vice president of luxury for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and a 20-year real estate veteran. When he is not traveling or offering his insights on high-end real estate trends, he spends time in Chicago, where he enjoys walking his rescue dog Cooper along the lakefront, collecting wine and satisfying his real estate “addiction” with a luxe open house tour or two.