Keller Williams hones selling methods for luxury homes
The ability to recognize a need and fill it is one of the reasons that Keller Williams Realty has been as successful as it has, says Kevin Chadwick, owner and operating principal of the company's offices in Apollo Beach, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Plant City and South Tampa. The international arm of the company had focused on listing and selling fine homes around the world, but recently the "South Tampa office took the program a step further and created a Fine Homes division to meet the demands of our customers," says Brenda Korhn, who leads the division. Pat Kuhn, chief executive officer at the South Tampa office, says the division creates a customized program to show and sell each luxury home independently. "With more than $21 million in listings since 2003, we recognized the growing need to highlight the upscale, luxury homes we were listing and selling,'' she says. "With our Fine Homes division, we are able to expose the homes we have in the Tampa Bay area throughout the world."Korhn says one measure of the division's success is that it recently sold a luxury home in Tampa within 10 days using the Keller Williams Fine Homes marketing program. "We are using the strategies our international division has created - professional photography and exposure in upscale magazines for example - to highlight homes in our area and make them available to buyers who might not otherwise get to see them," Chadwick says. "We have the ability to find the buyers and market the homes internationally." More than 25 agents support the Fine Homes division, developed under the guidance of agents Carol Garner, Krista Maddox and Greg Margagliano. Kuhn says the company started the division in response to customers' requests for customized plans to target market their luxury homes locally and internationally. Chadwick says Keller Williams agents are well-suited to the task because they have received extra training in marketing luxury homes, earning certification as "luxury home specialists." "These specialized agents have access to information and experience that other agents may not," says Jackie Colson Miller, a certified international property specialist. "They also have the ability through that training to attract customers from all over the world, which has tremendously helped the local office in this new venture.'' In addition to more specialized and effective marketing, the agents also gain access to marketing and design expert Eve Pennington, who helps stage vacant homes to help the agents' listings show well with prospective buyers and sell. Chadwick says the new division is "a good example of the company's ability to recognize the needs and desires of its clients and satisfy those needs. "In our marketplace, the mission is to be able to deliver to the Tampa Bay area a fine home group that specializes in marketing and training to set themselves apart from other organizations and to expertly represent homes that are valued at more than a million dollars in price," he says. "This division is doing that. We offer a broad range of services to make the process as simple and effective as possible.'' According to the National Association of Realtors, Keller Williams has been the fastest-growing national real estate company in North America and the only real estate company to grow in size and post higher sales numbers in 2007, Chadwick says. Locally, the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors has recognized Keller Williams as the No. 1 real estate company in the Tampa Bay area, he adds. Call (813) 875-3700 for further information on Keller Williams' Fine Homes division at its South Tampa office.