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CB New Homes, a division of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, has been providing sales/leasing and marketing services for homebuilders and apartment developers for over 25 years. The award-winning firm represents more than 250 builders in the tri-state area, with an annual portfolio of 300 new home projects – and a growing portfolio of new apartment projects, as well. Under the leadership of David Schoner, Vice President of the Coldwell Banker New Homes Division, CB New Homes provides builders and developers with vital information and services to develop successful strategies for their projects.

One area where CB New Homes has developed niche expertise is in property turnaround. Schoner and his team are able to assess and evaluate a property that may be severely under-performing, and quickly provide a strategy for repositioning the project. Schoner explained how his team works in this area by providing a recent example where CB New Homes was hired to help salvage a failed age-restricted townhome community in New Jersey. The builder was aware of CB New Homes from seeing the firm honored with many SAM (Sales and Marketing) Awards over the years from the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA).

“This particular builder called us and basically said, ‘I think you’re exactly what we need. Help!’” Schoner says, noting that the builder requested anonymity. “Our first step was to identify the right target market. Based on our research and our understanding of the affluent move-down buyer, we recognized that this project was wrongly identified as an age-restricted community.”

After convincing the builder to remove the age restriction, the CB New Homes team rolled up their sleeves and went to work. “This was a soup-to-nuts turnaround,” Schoner notes. “We recognized that the project had real potential; that it could be repositioned as an upscale, signature community – and that with some work, it could be turned around into something solvent for our client. At our recommendation, the builder agreed to reduce the size of the homes and, correspondingly, the values of the homes. We introduced a new architect and appropriately sized units. We brought in a new interior designer to revise the interiors and exteriors and to work with the client and the sales team to create exceptional standard features and limited pre-selected upgrade packages.”

This approach – coming into a struggling project after it has been launched to attempt a turnaround – is not the typical way CB New Homes works with builders. Ideally, the firm gets involved with a new project from the start, at the earliest stage possible. “We like to get involved much earlier with a new project than other companies do,” Schoner explains. “We do feasibility studies to ascertain market demand for a particular area, by product line and demographics. This helps builders identify who their target market should be, how they should position their project to appeal to the target market, and to identify who their competition is. We make recommendations on design factors, based on what we know the market is looking for. And we’re able to put together a very comprehensive marketing and sales or leasing strategy that’s much more thorough than what they might get from other companies.”

Once a sales and leasing strategy has been put in place, CB New Homes can provide and train a dedicated sales or leasing team to work on site. The firm can also handle the coordination of all necessary marketing and professional services that may be required for the project, from interviewing and working with companies that provide signs, to merchandising companies, sales center companies, ad agencies and more. It’s a comprehensive approach that has proven successful for numerous builders and developers in the region.

But there will always be projects that get off to a rocky start – and Schoner and his team have the expertise and the years of successful experience to be able to ride in as knights on white horses to help a project get back on track. “Sometimes you need emergency surgery and you need a specialist to do it,” Schoner says. “While we prefer to be involved at the beginning stages of a new project, we also love being able to jump in and help rescue a project. For this particular project in New Jersey, the homes have now been completely redesigned. We renamed the community and brought in a creative agency to develop the right branding message, along with a new logo, website and brochures. We’re excited to re-launch the community now to the right audience, with what we believe is the right product and the right positioning. We’re ready to stop the bleeding – and it’s going to be fun to watch this community finally perform and succeed for our client.”

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