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Coldwell Banker app empowers sellers to market their homes via storytelling

Coldwell Banker is leveraging its mobile application and new digital platform to allow homeowners to connect with buyers and agents via storytelling, social collaboration and feedback.

The real estate brand is attempting to insert a more personal approach to marketing with the option for consumers selling their homes to upload personal stories, photos and videos of their homes that may resonate with potential buyers. Hollywood couple William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman are among the first sellers sharing their home’s story and providing personal tidbits of what the house means to them, all of which are shareable via “circles” of friends and family.

“For years, real estate marketers have been targeting buyers,” said Sean Blankenship, senior vice president of marketing at Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Madison, NJ. “However, any real estate agent will tell you that sellers are the cornerstone of their business.

“In many ways, sellers are an untapped market, and they need a brand that understands their needs. Our approach is to empower sellers to be as involved with the marketing of their home as they choose to be.”

Seller participation
Coldwell Banker acknowledges that there has been a void of seller participation in the real estate selling process, and believes that its digital platform will help capture a home’s personality and character.

The brand recently conducted a study that showed 87 percent of American consumers feel the home buying and selling process could use improvement, and 64 percent would prefer to interact with an agent allowing them to share their home’s personal stories, videos and photos with potential buyers.

Sellers listed with Coldwell Banker can now upload these personal anecdotes to their listing pages on the app and Web site, effective immediately. The personal contributions will appear next to the real estate agent’s descriptions and images.

Coldwell Banker also has plans to incorporate a seller dashboard into the platform that allows real-time feedback, so that agents and sellers can formulate the most effective marketing strategy.

“Having this information easily available to buyers personalizes the process and advances digital real estate listings in a way no brand has done before,” Mr. Blankenship said.

Benefits for buyers
The brand’s study also revealed that 72 percent of Americans believe that real estate listings often inaccurately portray the home’s actual features. Coldwell Banker aims to increase transparency in the purchasing process with the mobile app and digital platform.

Buyers will have the chance to rate home features, descriptions, videos, photos and more. They may also take their own photos of homes to upload, create shareable comments and write notes.

“We are building platforms for the future, and that future concerns Millennials,” Mr. Blankenship said. “As a brand we must be approachable, allow for dialogue and transparency.

“Social sharing has become innate in our culture, so this naturally translates to the real estate industry. That’s why we built social sharing capabilities right into the new app. Buying a home is one of the most personal purchasing decisions someone will make, and our new app allows one to easily and digitally share that experience with the most important people in their life.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York