Software Development Under Control
Customer: Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation
For 100 years, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service real estate. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation (NYSE: H), has more than 3,800 independently owned and operated residential and commercial real estate offices with over 126,000 Sales Associates globally.
The top marketers at Coldwell Banker knew that Social Media technologies were growing fast and one in particular grabbed their attention; Second Life. They wanted to make a big splash on their entry into the most dynamic and quickest growing virtual world, and if they acted rapidly they could be the first national real estate firm to establish a presence in Second Life. Their intuitive feeling was that they had the chance to do something special with their brand, and they were trying to find the best fit.
After spending more than twelve months researching the market, Coldwell Banker and their Online Marketing Agency of Record, Kinesis Marketing, decided on Code4Software for their entry into Second Life.
Code4Software suggested Coldwell Banker put their Second Life Headquarters on the Main Land and not get a private island as many others had proposed. This gives them much more fly-by traffic as the curious stop by to check out this large new structure on the Southern Continent.
Code4Software created rental communties for Second Life residents, specifically geared to those who were newer. Low prices and quality builds encourage the curious to get their feet wet with virtual real estate for very low upfront costs.
Innovative in-world interfaces help the customers decide which properties are available and help the Coldwell Banker Virtual Real Estate Agents keep control of virtual property sales.
Most of Second Life is very chaotic, as anyone can build anything they can imagine
when they own the virtual land they are building on. This makes the Main Land a
jumble of styles and forms, which can be overwhelming for many newer residents.
Code4Software created structured and ordered neighborhoods that more closely resemble the real world helping to provide a softer transition into virtual worlds for more main-stream users.
Not just a pretty interface, the Coldwell Banker project uses the most advanced
Virtual World Commerce (V-Commerce) yet deployed.
Prequalification Notebook Computers, Deposit Kiosks, Interactive Maps, and visit trackers represent just some of the advanced technology used in this project.
Unlike any other Second Life branding project that came before, Coldwell Banker gets hard statistics about number of unique visitors, visit minutes spent, average visit length and much more. These metrics provide the information needed to make intelligent branding decisions.
Code4Software provided a unique and memorable experience for Coldwell Banker's Second
Life customers. Prospective customers can elect to take a helicopter tour of the
properties, in the Coldwell Banker chopper.
Agents are on hand to help buyers and renters learn more about Second Life virtual real estate, take advantage of promotional savings offered by Coldwell Banker, or tell prospects about Coldwell Banker's Real Life Real Estate offerings, including finding homes and agents on www.coldwellbanker.com.
Many different housing styles were created, from Victorian in the Scurfield and
Crowfoot sims, to South Western and Island mix in Ranchero.
Other sims include Gorbash which hosts Greek Island style homes, and Dracolo which has gothic style structures.
By providing a variety of styles to choose from, Coldwell Banker reaches out to the widest segment of Second Life residents possible.
As mentioned earlier, Coldwell Banker maintains virtual Real Estate Agents who staff the Coldwell Banker Head Quarters during normal business hours.
Code4Software manages these agents and provides the back-end web enabled interfaces that let these agents act as would a call center agent; providing the customer with branded information at just the right moment in the transaction, and recording the results of the transaction to a database.
A state-of-the art theater was created to provide a venue for communicating the
Coldwell message to an audience that could be truly Global in physical location,
gathering together virtually to share information and ideas.
Many smaller spaces such as this are scattered throughout the Coldwell Banker HQ, allowing groups from 2 to 20 to meet in a virtual space.
There were many opportunities to cross promote Coldwell Banker's other electronic marketing efforts, including their Personal Retriever® web tool.
Several displays allow in-world residents to access already created web based tools and becomes another entry point for a prospect to become familiar with Coldwell Banker's real world offerings.
Coldwell Banker was very pleased with the results of this project and went on to expand their presence in Second Life with Code4Software.