Coldwell Banker NRT, which represents the real estate giant’s agents around the country, has created the largest in-house marketing agency for real estate that it’s calling The Studio.
Coldwell Banker NRT senior vice president, marketing Mike Fischer, who leads The Studio, explained that Coldwell Banker NRT had previously handled marketing for the 25 metro areas of its footprints locally. Over the years, the group developed a “very disparate group of marketing professionals” with “great local knowledge and great local servicing, but never really took advantage of our scale,” he explained.
The 400 marketing professionals around the country were already working on various services for brokers, including PR, design work for individual agents and local companies promoting Coldwell Banker and national work promoting Coldwell Banker NRT. With all these capabilities already available, Coldwell Bankwell NRT decided to scale the operation in support of what it calls its “core four platforms.”
“This is really our core value proposition to our agents,” Fischer explained, encompassing “production power, wealth builder, coaching to confidence and culture of awesomeness.”
“To have The Studio scale up at the same time, to provide the support and marketing behind [the platform] was key,” he added.
Coldwell Banker NRT views The Studio as a key differentiator and selling point and created a video to introduce The Studio’s capabilities.
While the Coldwell Banker Real Estate continues to work with Siltanen & Partners to advertise its national brand, Fischer explained that the real estate expertise needed to promote its brokers was best built internally. Siltanen & Partners, as you might recall, created the painfully cute “Old Dog, New Home” spot for the brand last year.
“There aren’t real estate marketing agencies out there that really understand our business. In-house was our opportunity to utilize our long-standing history of supporting agents and local brokerage operations in real estate,” he said. “We do use third parties and other agencies to support us, but the main strategy and execution is handled by the 400 professionals in The Studio.”
Coldwell Bankwell NRT has 45,000 independent contractors representing the company in individual markets. The Studio is responsible for providing a marketing message for agents to convince buyers and sellers that Coldwell Banker is the right choice while also providing enough flexibility to also support individuals agents’ personal brands, Fischer explained. It’s a task that encompasses promoting the Coldwell Banker NRT to buyers and sellers as well as real estate agents who act as independent contractors and could leave for another real estate agency at any time, he added.
Fischer called that “level of complexity a huge difference” from other marketing categories.
“Up until this point we were a marketing department,” he said of The Studio, “a very large, unscaled, unleveraged marketing department.”
Now, The Studio provides an opportunity for real estate agents to gain access to a large group of marketing professionals with real estate expertise, and for example, “gain access to designers all around the country,” Fischer explained.
“That’s just not available in the marketplace today,” he added. “So we really want to make The Studio a differentiation in why someone would join or stay.”
The Coldwell Banker brand also recently embarked on a “transparent rebrand.” This involves testing a new logo in markets across the country leading up the full unveiling of its new visual identity in 2020 and sharing the results with the public and its real estate agents while also introducing a new mission statement.