HONOLULU – Since taking on the additional role of president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the San Francisco Bay Area in March, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties (CBP) President Mike James is better connecting the California and Hawaii regions of Coldwell Banker through marketing, technology, and management talent. Both companies are owned by NRT LLC.
Californians continue to show great interest in Hawaii real estate. According to data from Title Guaranty Escrow Services, Inc., in 2013 of the nearly $6.5 billion in real estate sales volume sold on Oahu, $326 million was from California buyers making them the largest group of buyers from the Mainland U.S. Trailing in second and third place were New Yorkers and Texans at $157 million and $145 million, respectively. Total sales volume for California buyers experienced a 29 percent increase compared to 2012’s $252 million.
“There is a natural synergy between Hawaii and California,” said Mike James. “Californians, in particular Bay Area residents, are looking at Hawaii for vacation as well as retirement homes. In addition to the sunny weather and great surf, Hawaii’s laid-back lifestyle is another attraction for California residents.”
To further engage buyers and sellers in California who may be interested in purchasing properties on Oahu, a two-page spread featuring Previews properties on Oahu was distributed to 55,000 affluent households in Northern California in April. A statewide direct email of all Oahu properties was sent to 3,000 luxury agents in Northern and Southern California.
Kacie Ricker, vice president of marketing for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Western Region and Heidi Bonnel, senior digital marketing manager for the company’s Western Region conducted a five-day road show amongst CBP’s five area offices. During the presentations Ricker and Bonnel showcased the company’s online marketing plans, including ways to better use existing technology such as blu, Coldwell Banker’s one-stop listing marketing suite which is free to agents. In addition, Ricker and Bonnel unveiled digital marketing technology to be rolled out later this year, including a comprehensive new partnership with Google and Cox Media Group publicly announced in May that builds on the company’s tech leadership in the housing industry. The team also highlighted its online marketing plans, to remarket and redirect potential clients to Coldwell Banker affiliates.
“The goal of our road show was to support our Hawaii agents by demonstrating how to integrate digital marketing strategies into their own business platforms,” said Ricker. “This includes incorporating video into the marketing of their listings, marketing the agents and their listings online, and staying connected to the digital consumer.”
James has invited Dan Barnett, senior vice president of marketing at NRT, to speak at CBP’s annual town hall meeting in June, where Barnett will speak on the topic of internet marketing. This company-wide meeting is attended by more than 400 of CBP’s staff and agents each year.
“There are many opportunities to maximize our network and connect our California agents and clients with our agents on the island, and this is just the start of it,” said James. “It is important that all the resources offered by our parent company, NRT, and regional teams be fully leveraged by our agents in Hawaii to help them grow their businesses and succeed in their careers. Providing our Hawaii agents access to the very best tools, resources, as well as important client and referral relationships to succeed is my top priority.”