By Kathy Newcomb
In a virtual company-wide format, Coldwell Banker Resort Realty held its annual Awards Banquet, celebrating the many accomplishments of 2020. In 2020 an additional 12 agents joined the Rehoboth, Lewes, Milford and Seaford offices. Coldwell Banker Resort Realty continued to have five agents licensed in Maryland and 31 agents in the affiliated company Resort Referral Services LLC. The combined efforts of all branches led to a continued strong presence as an industry leader.
Bruce Plummer, Broker and Chief Operating Officer led the meeting and reflected on the 2020 challenges, changes, accomplishments and victories. 2020 brought a brand-new corporate Coldwell Banker rebrand and logo. Incorporating the familiar colors and CB letters, the new logo features a star, a visual mark setting Coldwell Banker apart. The star represents two distinctive elements that exemplify the brand. First, the five-point star is a recognized mark of excellence, one that symbolizes the quality of service provided since 1906. Second, throughout history, the North Star has been the beacon that explorers have used to guide them to the place they most cherish – home. Sitting confidently above the CB, this North Star signifies the fact that Coldwell Banker has been guiding people home for over a century, longer than any other real estate brand. “The rebrand reflects a modern forward-thinking company that respects its rich heritage while focusing confidently on the future,” stated Bruce Plummer. The new corporate logo is proudly now displayed on all signage, business cards, advertising and marketing.
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty’s annual compilation of Client Satisfaction Survey results continues to speak to the level of professionalism among its agents. 2020 results revealed that 96.14% of survey respondents were “very satisfied” and 98.07% would recommend and/or use the services of Coldwell Banker Resort Realty again.
The resort area experienced a first-ever short-term rental ban due to the COVID pandemic. The Rental Division worked especially hard to shift traveler’s arrival dates and help travelers adjust to new travel restrictions. The Rental Division continued their growth in market share by increasing Internet exposure for the company’s rental clients through partnering with websites such as Trip Advisor, Findrentals.com, Flip Key and VRBO. A team with decades of experience, the rental division welcomed summer guests wearing masks and were socially distanced to protect travelers. Enhanced cleaning procedures were implemented across the properties, even with the keys, parking passes and pool passes being sanitized between guests. Once travelers were able to travel once again, the demand was particularly strong for beach vacations. Fall 2020 brought a transition to an entirely new rental software with increased technology and more robust marketing opportunities for the firm’s rental landlords increasing the landlord’s properties exposure and income potential.
The sales department continued its sales strength county-wide with four locations in Rehoboth, Lewes, Milford and Seaford combining for nearly 100 agents licensed in Delaware as well as several also licensed in Maryland. Coldwell Banker Resort Realty has remained an industry leader for over forty years.
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty remained the only real estate firm with approval from the Delaware Real Estate Commission to teach a new agent course, PROPEL. PROPEL encompasses seventeen courses for newly licensed agents and combines best practices, company tools and programs, and local market expertise to provide new agents with exactly what they need to run a business.
2020 brought a further commitment to the community within COVID restrictions with events such as collecting food for the Food Bank of Delaware, an effort labeled the Hunger Games among the offices. The 2020 Hunger Games campaign collected 2525 items totaling 1918 pounds of food. The Lewes branch proudly participated in the Lewes Chamber of Commerce event “Lewes Lights” by decorating the building with holiday-themed lights with accompanying music for community members to enjoy. Corporately, The Coldwell Banker® brand also teamed up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help support its mission: Finding cures. Saving children. As part of our partnership, Coldwell Banker affiliated agents will join the partnership with St. Jude, a place so many kids call home while they fight cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
“Critical to the success of our firm is the strength of the Coldwell Banker brand.” said Kathy Kiernan Newcomb, President. Coldwell Banker has remained strong as a Real Estate company for 115 years. The Coldwell Banker brand is the oldest and most established residential real estate franchise system in North America. In fact, in many ways it was the original real estate “start up.” Founded by young entrepreneurs Colbert Coldwell in 1906 and later Benjamin Banker, Coldwell Banker changed the way people bought and sold homes across America, ultimately becoming one of the most trusted real estate brands in the world. More than 100 years later, the Coldwell Banker network is still continuously recognized for its innovation and leadership across 3,000 offices in 49 countries and territories.
Top producer awards for the firm were presented to: Skip Faust – Top Closed Listing Volume and Nitan Soni -Top Closed Sales Volume for the Rehoboth Branch; Julie Gritton, Top Closed Listing Volume and Top Closed Sales Volume for the Lewes Branch; Lee Johnson – Top Closed Listing Volume and Jeff Kemp – Top Closed Sales Volume for the Seaford Branch; Joanne Milton – Top Closed Listing Volume and Top Closed Sales Volume for the Milford Branch.
Members of the President’s Silver Circle, recognized for outstanding performance in 2020 were Teresa Queen, Irene Tillman, Carla Riddle, Aimee DeBenedictis, Dennis Barnes, Tyler Smiley, Mary-Beth Pepper, Ben Steward, Richard Tikiob, Terry Burke, Adam Gaull, Trina Joyner, Jeff Gibson, Nancy Price, Beth West, George Ehrmann and Rick Bennett.
Members of the prestigious President’s Gold Circle were Lee Johnson, Kathy Douglass, Melissa Rudy, Jeff Kemp, Bill Mantyla, Ken Wolfe, Joanne Milton, John O’Leary, Myles Martin and Sally Chaney. Recognized in the Chairman’s Platinum Circle were Nitan Soni, Beth Dorman and Kathy Newcomb. Recognized in the President’s Platinum Circle were Julie Gritton and Skip Faust.
Recognized for the 2020 Chairman’s Award, an award presented by their peers for outstanding service and professionalism were Nitan Soni for the Rehoboth Sales Branch, Julie Gritton for the Lewes Sales Branch, Jeff Kemp for the Seaford Sales Branch, Ken Wolfe for the Milford Sales Branch and Bill Mantyla for the Rental Division. Also recognized for Coldwell Banker Manager’s Choice, an award for outstanding commitment to the firm were Beth Dorman for the Rehoboth Sales Branch, Jeff Gibson for the Lewes Sales Branch, Rick Bennett for the Seaford Sales Branch, George Ehrmann for the Milford Sales Branch and Yolanda Bernoski for the Rental Division.
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty honors the memory of Bill Vernon with an annual Coldwell Banker Resort Realty Pillar Award. This award is annually bestowed upon the firm’s agent or staff member who most exhibits the firm’s culture and core values of Integrity, Service, Hard Work, Professional Competence, Cooperation and Innovation. The 2020 recipient of this award was Beth Dorman.
“The strength of Coldwell Banker comes from top-producing Sales and Rental Associates like these, who give outstanding customer service, produce excellent results and have made a commitment to their clients, the firm and the community in which they excel,” said Bruce Plummer, Chief Operating Officer for Coldwell Banker Resort Realty. “It is an honor to have them as part of our organization.”
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty’s vision statement is “To be the admired and trusted team of highly skilled and innovative real estate professionals passionately working in unison to create an extraordinary experience for all we serve.” “We work diligently, one client at a time to accomplish this vision,” stated Kathy Newcomb, President.
The COVID pandemic brought an unprecedented decline in housing inventory. 2020 ended with a 39.6% decline on the national level of homes for sale. It was the lowest housing inventory year on record. With lower supply and increased demand, homeowners saw a rapid appreciation in their home value. Buyers were forced to present offers with escalation clauses and oftentimes made an offer without viewing the home in person. These trends have continued in 2021.
2021 brings continued success and innovation. Coldwell Banker has already been recognized as the 2021 Women’s Choice Award Winner, by Women Certified Inc.. Coldwell Banker has been honored with the #1 Real Estate Ad for nine consecutive years with its recent ad campaign “Guiding You Home”. Coldwell Banker remains the number one visited real estate brand online.
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