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Giving Your Clients What they Want

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By Kayla O’Brien

RISMEDIA, July 12, 2008-Spend five minutes speaking with Malcolm MacEwen, president & COO of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Arizona, and you’ll find that he’s a professional who faces challenges head-on. From getting the right listing price, to consumer marketing and communications, here, MacEwen offers best practices for agents navigating today’s market.

macewen_malcolm.jpgMalcolm MacEwen
President & COO
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona

Region served: The state of Arizona
Years in real estate: 35
Number of offices: 30
Number of agents: 1,700
Average sales price: $373,000
Average time on market: About 150 days
Best tip for getting the right listing price: You have to make sure your seller is clearly educated about the current pricing of properties that are selling-not just those you’re listing.
Words of advice for today’s real estate rookies: Agents who come in during a challenging market are forced to learn skills to be successful vs. the agents who come in during a market like in 2004 or 2005. Hang in there; you’ll get there.
Strategy for maintaining a work/life balance: If you don’t find balance, no matter how hard you work, you’ll pay a price somewhere else-whether it’s your health or your family or your interests.

What’s your best strategy to convey the importance of the right listing price in today’s market to consumers?

Absolute honesty about the condition of the market. During the marketing presentation, it is paramount that agents do not shelter the client from the specific condition of the market.

How do you break down your marketing spend between print and online?

Every statistic you look at says that north of 80% of our clients are online during the process of buying and selling. We were early in the significant shift away from print advertising and entered into a comprehensive Internet strategy. Our marketing spend matches where our clients come from, so more than 80% of our marketing budget is spent on our online strategy.

What’s the most creative ad campaign you have run?

In some smaller areas we carry newspaper advertising, but in the greater Phoenix area, with a population of 4 million, we have no standard print advertising. One, however, that caught a lot of attention was breaking down what a comprehensive Internet strategy was and how it impacted the client. It was very successful.

In today’s high-tech society, how do you judge the best way clients prefer to be contacted?

Individually. In certain areas of the state, we have retirement communities that we serve and do a ton of business with. Most of those individuals have little interest in the Internet or e-mail. Then there are other clients who prefer mainly to be contacted through the Internet. We have a sensitivity to all needs and you must communicate in whatever form the client prefers-consistently.

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