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“Today’s buyers and sellers still want an advocate on their side, someone to help guide them through this very complex and expensive transaction,” says Whitney Finn LaCosta

Branch Manager of Coach REALTORS®. Read on to learn how the company is succeeding through innovation.

Coach_RealtorsLP Finn
Operations Chief
Whitney Finn LaCosta
Branch Manager
Robert LaCosta
Managing Partner, Coach Title Insurance

Barbara Pronin: LP, I know that you and your sister, Whitney, literally grew up in the Coach REALTORS® business. Is the whole family still involved today?
LP Finn:
Yes, pretty much. My parents, Larry and Georgianna Finn, remain a guiding force for us today, as chairman and president/general manager, respectively. My sister, Whitney Finn LaCosta, serves as deputy to the general manager and oversees a group of branch offices—and her husband, Robert LaCosta, oversees our mortgage and title operations, Coach Title Insurance Agency, and our co-owned lending institution, Fairfield Mortgage. We are all involved in any major decision-making, and our solidarity is, I think, one of the things that keeps us focused.

BP: How would you characterize the company’s positioning?
Robert LaCosta:
We have 19 offices and over 600 brokers, sales associates and support personnel serving over two million people in Nassau and Suffolk counties alone. And through our global affiliations, we have the reach of more than 800 brokerages and 130,000 sales associates. We are proud to be a market leader and a member of some of the finest real estate networks in the world: Christie’s International Real Estate, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Mayfair Luxury Portfolio International® and Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. We posted over $1 billion in sales last year. A large percentage of those were multimillion-dollar properties.

BP: What would you say is your competitive differentiation?
Whitney Finn LaCosta:
We cheerfully provide all the full-service benefits—and more—of any company in our marketplace. But we are free to develop the programs and policies that work best for us and our customers, without the brand constraints placed on franchise companies or the financial constraints experienced by smaller brokerages.

BP: What are today’s consumers most concerned with when it comes to buying and selling?
Today’s buyers and sellers still want an advocate on their side, someone to help guide them through this very complex and expensive transaction. I am proud to say that the hundreds of sales professionals with Coach REALTORS® are some of the best trained, most trusted and intelligent individuals in the industry.

BP: How is your technology evolving to meet changing needs and expectations?
Mobile is no longer, “the future of search or engagement.” It is the No. 1 way consumers interact with each other and with businesses. At Coach, we have two wonderful tools that meet the mobile needs of our agents and our customers. For agents on-the-go, we offer a unique and personalized iPad listing presentation—a swipe-enabled presentation that looks great and uses custom videos and other imagery to convey the value we bring to homeowners. We have also partnered with Mobile Real Estate ID (MRE) to bring complete text messaging and GPS solutions to each listing. By using the GPS capabilities of a smartphone, prospective buyers can get detailed information on their phone about any Coach listing they are near—and then connect with a Coach agent using “short codes” via SMS text messaging. These short codes also mobilize our print ads. Combining mobile technology with proven print media increases buyer interaction and drives more qualified leads to our agents.

BP: What about your marketing and promotional strategies?
In the largely upscale markets we serve, success is all about reaching the greatest number of qualified buyers and investors. We promise that every property we list will get a customized marketing plan designed to bring it the attention it deserves. Our prestigious luxury home networking partnerships and our global marketing affiliations, as well as an expanded footprint through the Tri-State Alliance, help us to fulfill that promise.

BP: What are your plans for continuing to grow the company?
We will continue to grow vertically, adding to the sales teams in each branch office as our marketshare continues to increase. To do that, we are actively recruiting new and experienced agents who are a good fit with our company culture. We are also open to timely and strategic acquisitions and to new partnerships that help us do an even better job of what we do best.

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