The Silicon Review
Our in-house teams work symbiotically with our affiliated agents and leadership developing insights that successfully continue to push our brokerage model into the 21st-century real estate landscape: Mike James
The days of signboard advertising and print adverts may have become a distant memory, but technology will never completely replace human interactions. Most property purchasers still approach agents for help in making buying decisions and some deal directly with the builders of move-in ready homes. No leasing or buying transactions are based purely on algorithms alone. The best agents combine technological advances with people skills to ensure that clients get the best deal.
In view of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – dedicated to providing residential real estate brokerage services. The firm helps its clients in buying and selling open houses, luxury homes, new developments, lots and land, and commercial properties.
The company was established in 1906 and is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.
Interview Excerpt: Mike James, Group President
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
Shortly after the 1906 earthquake and in the time immediately before World War I, San Francisco was hardly the booming real estate market it is today. Many agreed that the scrub-grown rolling dunes of the city’s western half would forever be uninhabitable and informal business practices ran rampant throughout the West Coast. Colbert Coldwell, a young real estate sales associate, observed families trying to piece their lives back together following this disaster.
Coldwell and Banker found the opportunity to make progress in an industry where respectable business practices were rare. They distinguished themselves by offering honest, knowledgeable and competent real estate services ushering in an era of much-needed integrity into the profession. Soon after partnering, Coldwell and Banker opened their first office in San Francisco. Today that office, as well as the more than 3,000 Coldwell Banker offices in 49 countries and territories, remains a proud symbol of where the legacy of Coldwell and Banker began.
Throughout our history, we have remained industry thought leaders with the foresight to identify and create trends, while adjusting our business accordingly.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
Real estate transactions can bring an influx of emotions for everyone involved. Helping people obtain the dream of homeownership is rewarding and requires caring, attentiveness and personalized services that agents provide when helping buyers and sellers make some of the most important financial decisions of their lives.
Based on the responses we have received from consumers over the years, we have been able to choose which tools to best equip our affiliated agents with to continue serving their clients with compassion, patience and understanding. We are dedicated to ensuring that our affiliated agents have the latest and best technologies to simplify and facilitate success. For example, we were one of the first real estate companies to provide consumers with their real estate transaction documents online giving them access real-time 24 hours per day. We were one of the first to turn online web inquiries into direct text messages so our agents could more readily answer consumer questions.
Additionally, our in-house teams work symbiotically with our affiliated agents and leadership developing insights that successfully continue to push our brokerage model into the 21st-century real estate landscape.
If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
Our People: We are a people focused industry. Our affiliated agents develop professional relationships with their clients – learning about their property needs. This often means the agents are privy to some of the most intimate aspects of their clients’ lives, which allows them to really understand what kind of space would suit them best, and additionally requires confidentiality and trust. Furthermore, our staff works closely with the agents to ensure that they have the resources they need to support their client’s goals.
Our Values: Our core four values help our affiliated agents’ live exceptional lives by:
Our Technology & Innovation: As the original Silicon Valley real estate startup, we are proud of our tradition to be innovative. Historically, Coldwell Banker has been a company of firsts. One of the first to share its listings on a website, provide transaction management documents online and tapped into big data and smart home technology to help our affiliated agents sell homes. In 2016, Coldwell Banker in collaboration with CNET, the world’s largest and most trusted online source of consumer technology news and reviews, announced a joint definition of the term smart home. The definition, the first of its kind in the real estate industry, helps sales associates, as well as home buyers and sellers, accurately identify smart homes. The definition provides a clear and unified designation designed to keep up with rapidly evolving technology in the home.
Unveiling our technology suite to consumers through a series of award-winning advertisements was a big step in transparency. At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Coldwell Banker sponsored for its third year the Smart Home Marketplace within the world’s biggest tech show. The Smart Home Marketplace unveiled insights around consumers and all facets of technology – from virtual reality, artificial intelligence and smart home technologies.
Our Network & Global Reach: The Coldwell Banker brand has a global reach with offices in 49 countries and territories. There are approximately 3,000 Coldwell Banker offices worldwide and approximately 90,000 affiliated agents. This network ensures our consumers can rely on a trusted real estate company to guide them through the processes of buying or selling a home wherever their lives might take them. Coldwell Banker ranked no.1 for dollar volume in the 2016 REAL Trends 500.We rank as the most influential real estate brand on social media as well.
Our Name: The Coldwell Banker brand is synonymous with trust, honesty, integrity and service. In our second century of operation, we still hold true to the values and principles on which we were founded. Consumers continue to come to Coldwell Banker because of the value our affiliated agents provide and our results-driven attitude.
How does your company contribute to the global IT platform?
As a residential real estate brokerage with our heritage going back nearly 115 years, maintaining the status quo has never been an option for us. One of our driving factors that continue to shape our contribution to the global IT platform is by how we evolve with new technologies. You can see this mentality through our being one of the first real estate companies to have an online presence and embracing Web 2.0 in the mid-2000s. We were also one of the first to launch an online transaction management system platform which provided real-time real estate transaction documents. On top of that, we implemented a Customer Relations Management (CRM) platform allowing our affiliated agents to capture leads online assisting them in cultivating sales. We continue to see our technologies embrace and further integrate with mobile, social and smart home tech to continue to provide great real estate services.
As a follow-up question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We never stop moving. We are one of the most innovative brands in the real estate industry for more than 100 years. We will continue to be for the next 100.
The Brain Behind The Operation
Mike James: Mike James is the group president for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in California and Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Hawaii. A real estate veteran with decades of experience, James oversees 56 offices and more than 4,000 independent sales associates in Northern California. He guides the strategic vision for Coldwell Banker in these markets.