Mike James President of Coldwell Banker Talks About Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area

coldwellSVT: Do foreign buyers still see Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area as ideal havens for their money? Will this phenomenon continue to grow?

MJ: Absolutely. The confidence with which foreign buyers are investing in Bay Area real estate continues to grow. They are attracted to this area by our world-class universities, vibrant, fast-growing economy, and the culture of innovation in our technology sector. Additionally, the San Francisco Bay Area is still considered affordable compared to other large destination cities around the globe. Even our most expensive markets like Southern Marin, San Francisco and Palo Alto, are well below the price per square foot/meter of similar cities like London, Paris and Shanghai. Coupled with a mild year-round climate and the fact that our region is a global leader in technology, communication and social media, there is no sign that the high desirability of the Bay Area changing any time soon.

SVT: Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking and Web 2.0 has made on your organization or you personally?”

MJ: In January, we rolled out an aggressive online and social media strategy with the sole focus of driving more consumers to our website, CaliforniaMoves.com, and increasing leads to Coldwell Banker agents. Our belief is if it doesn’t produce leads for Coldwell Banker agents, it’s not part of our plan.

Our strategy is centered around a hub and spoke approach to marketing. The spokes of our plan include Web 2.0 drivers, such as social media sites and our blog,www.CaliforniaHome.me. These drivers allow us to provide consumers with hyper-local information and promote our brand, listings and agents, all while allowing consumers to share information and opinions with their posts.

Month-over-month our online and social media strategy has proven to be a huge success. To date, we have seen a 34% increase in traffic to CaliforniaMoves.com and a 36% increase in leads to Coldwell Banker agents. As we move into 2014, our online and social media strategy will continue to evolve and focus on driving leads to Coldwell Banker agents. As the online world continues to change, Coldwell Banker will be ready to update our strategy to maximize what Web 3.0 has in store.

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