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By Kayla O’Brien

RISMEDIA, Jan. 23, 2008-There’s no easy way or shortcut to ease any changes that a company may face. But there are, however, ways that real estate companies can relieve some of that apprehension by aligning themselves with reputable service providers to ensure an easier transition-no matter the circumstance, immediate or long-term.

Equitable Sotheby’s International Realty and its 300 agents can attest to that. After becoming an affiliate with Sotheby’s International Realty in the fall of 2006, Equitable needed to update various marketing pieces for the name change, including its yard, open house and name rider signage. Luckily, by recommendation of Sotheby’s, the company found Lowen Sign Company in its time of need.

“As a new affiliate to Sotheby’s International Realty network, transition is clearly a critical time,” says Michael Balzotti, president of Equitable Sotheby’s International Realty. “Timely delivery and a quality product are essential elements to a smooth transition.”

Serving all 50 states, Lowen Sign Company is a sign supplier for independent real estate companies and major franchise brokerages. The company is known for its specialized coatings, fabrication processes, and assemblies that produce outdoor durable signs.

According to the company, they are one of the only major sign companies to print custom name and message riders overnight for shipment the next business day.

In charge of working with Lowen on this initiative, Rhonda Peters, an executive assistant at Equitable Sotheby’s International Realty, says she could not have been more pleased with the product and customer service she received while working with Michelle Miller, senior marketing manager at Lowen. What makes her story unique is that before the new company was scheduled to launch as a Sotheby’s affiliate, the company needed to redesign all of its signs to Sotheby’s standards and specifications-in a week’s time.

“I thought there was no way,” says Peters. “But they got it done. We changed our logo and still had our signs on time. Michelle was on e-mail and the phone with me continuously.”

Having previously worked with local vendors, Peters says the sign-printing process with Lowen was more streamlined, even considering the location difference-Lowen headquartered in Kansas and Equitable in Arizona.

“It was a more difficult process [with the local vendor]. We were dealing with different advertisers and it was just a difficult process,” says Peters. “But with Lowen, there were no errors with that logo change at the last minute. And Michelle was even in touch with our sign installers, so that was also easy.”

Working with Lowen, Peters also had the advantage of working with a company that interacts closely with the Sotheby’s brand as a whole.

“Lowen has to work with Sotheby’s to get approval. If we used a local vendor the colors may not have been correct, but Lowen knows their specifications. The two of them work together very well-and in a timely fashion. It’s a big bonus. I really didn’t expect the signs to be ready on opening day and they were.”

By partnering with Lowen, Equitable Sotheby’s International Realty avoided a potentially stressful rush to get their signs ordered and delivered in a time crunched deadline. Coming through in this crucial time of need has led to the company choosing Lowen to head up future signage needs.

“Having signs here within a week of us changing everything was simply amazing. Signage is ‘the face’ of a company and Lowen Sign Company delivers,” says Balzotti.

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