Windermere Launches “All in, for you” Branding Campaign

Windermere Real Estate has officially launched a new branding campaign on the heels of the company’s brand refresh that was completed in 2018. The “All in, for you” campaign is the next step in bringing the refreshed Windermere brand to life by amplifying the company’s unique “why”.

Told, in part, through stories generated by actual Windermere agents, the “All in, for you” campaign sets out to illustrate Windermere’s unique culture, and what has drawn both agents and clients to it for nearly 50 years.

“We’re lucky to have a brand with such a rich legacy, but we have to continue to innovate and press forward,” said Windermere president, OB Jacobi. “The brand refresh that we did last year was part one of Windermere’s brand story; part two is about bringing our stories to life and showing our clients how we’re ‘all in’, for them.”

Development of the “All in, for you” campaign was led by Windermere Vice President of Marketing, Julie Dey, and Portland, OR-based global design firm, Ziba Design, whose clients include companies, such as FedEx, P&G, Adidas, REI, and Intel. Ziba started the year-long process by conducting interviews and holding focus groups with Windermere agents, franchise owners, and staff. They also interviewed past buyers and sellers to better understand the experience of working with a Windermere agent.

“We needed to speak directly with consumers to understand what people want, where real estate is headed, and the differentiated value that Windermere agents provide,” said Rob Wees, Creative Director at Ziba, adding, “Real estate is an infrequent, emotional, and complicated process. And every experience is so different.”

 

“In an era of technology and convenience, we wanted to show the public the real value of working with a Windermere agent—one that shows how compassion, expertise, advocacy and an over-commitment to service can help people through an incredibly important moment in their lives,” said Wees.

Components of the “All in, for you” campaign include TV, print, digital marketing, out-of-home advertising, and partnerships with key media companies to create unique content opportunities. To kick-off the campaign, TV ads will begin running March 21 in the Seattle market.

“While some real estate companies are telling what is essentially a technology story about ones and zeroes, our story is more about connecting humans with their dreams. And it’s a story we can’t wait to tell,” said Dey.

This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog.

What You Need to Know About the US Luxury Housing Market

Posted in Luxury by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

Photo courtesy of West Bellevue Partners | MLS # 1324889

Luxury homes sales across the U.S. continue to perform strongly, but I’m noticing some headwinds starting to appear that are worthy of a closer look.

It’s often thought that luxury real estate runs totally independent of the overall market, and while this is true in some respects, there are definitely correlations between high-end housing and the rest of the market.

The first similarity is that the luxury market has suffered from some the same inventory constraints that are almost endemic across all price points in the U.S. But, similar to the overall market, we are starting to see a rise in inventory, which should be good news for real estate agents and luxury home buyers alike.

Impact of rising inventory 

This increase in the number of luxury homes for sale has started to have a tapering effect on price growth, which again, is similar to what we’re seeing in the rest of the market. But as real estate professionals, we know full well that all housing is local and some markets are performing far better than others.

For example, luxury markets in Maui, Northern California, Colorado, and Sarasota, Florida, are all experiencing substantial price growth, while there are noticeable slowdowns in many parts of New York and New Jersey. Even Queens and Jersey City, which have continued to benefit from high demand, have seen price growth stall recently, indicating that those markets could be losing some steam.

Why the slowdown? 

The slowing of luxury sales in certain areas around the country piqued my interest, so I decided to explore why this is happening. The first thing I noticed is that cities with high property taxes are fairly prevalent on the list of slowing markets; this includes cities like Boston, Austin, New York City, and Chicago. It is likely that the federal tax changes limiting the deductibility of property taxes are the culprit for such slowdowns in these areas.

Something else that has undoubtedly impacted luxury home sales in markets, such as New York City and Seattle, is the significant decline in foreign buyers from countries like China and Canada. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of purchases by international buyers fell by 21 percent between 2017 and 2018, amounting to a drop of $32 billion – the largest decline on record.  Foreign buyers spent $121 billion on 266,754 properties, making up 8 percent of the buyers of existing (previously lived in) homes.

My research tells me that foreign home buyers are pulling back amid political uncertainty in the U.S. Ongoing concerns about a potential trade war, combined with rhetoric against foreigners, have done their part to dampen some of the enthusiasm to invest in U.S. housing. Also playing a role in this slowdown is the Chinese Central Government which has started placing tighter controls on the ability to spend money outside of mainland China. And finally, rising home prices and a strong U.S. dollar are likely two other key factors behind the tumbling interest in luxury real estate from overseas buyers.

So how do I see the luxury market performing in 2019?

Luxury real estate sales in markets like Boston, Clearwater, Austin, and Alexandria, Virginia will continue to slow down for the reasons stated earlier, but in other parts of the country, home buyers will provide the demand needed to keep the market plugging along at a healthy pace.

The changes affecting mortgage interest deductions and property taxes will also continue to impact the luxury market in certain areas, but this will, to a degree, be offset by other tax changes that favor high-income households and increase their disposable income. Something else that will help keep the luxury real estate market afloat in the coming year is jumbo mortgage interest rates which remain remarkably competitive compared to historic standards.

On a whole, high-end real estate sales have been strong over the past few years. While I am predicting somewhat of a slowdown next year given the headwinds discussed earlier, 2019 will be remembered as a year where balance started to return to the luxury housing market.

Mr. Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K. 

This post originally appeared on the Windermere Blog.

Community Service Day 2018

On Friday, June 8th our Windermere offices closed their doors for our annual Community Service Day. Since 1984, Windermere has dedicated a day to giving back to the community and assisting with neighborhood improvement initiatives.

We’re proud to share these projects completed by our East, Inc. offices:

Jubilee Reach

The Bellevue and Bellevue West offices teamed up to lend a hand at Jubilee REACH. This local organization supports the social and emotional needs of children and their families through mentoring, tutoring, and after-school clubs and sports programs within Bellevue public schools. Our Windermere team helped with a variety of maintenance tasks including painting doors and benches, landscaping, replacing lights, washing windows, repainting the basketball court, pressure washing walkways and play sets, and more. We are proud of our offices’ hard work at this site, and we are grateful to Jubilee REACH for their important contributions to our community and for letting us be a part of their mission!

See more photos of the day here.

Kids Without Borders

Windermere Redmond CSD 2018

Our Redmond office assisted Bellevue-based Kids Without Borders, an organization founded by Son Michael Pham, who used his experience as a refugee from Vietnam as a catalyst to serve children in our local and international communities with the vision of “all kids, one world.” Agents and staff spent the day with Son Michael Pham at the KWB storage units where they sorted and packed clothing for distribution to families in need. This was a great opportunity for us to return some of the generosity this organization has put into our global community!

See more photos of the day here.

Heritage Park

Windermere Yarrow Bay CSD 2018

Yarrow Bay agents and staff rolled up their sleeves, slipped on their gardening gloves, and grabbed shears and rakes to landscape and remove invasive plants at Heritage Park near downtown Kirkland. The park offered an incredible view of the Seattle skyline across Lake Washington as they worked – a reminder of how lucky we are to be able to enjoy the serenity of nature while still being close to the bustling city. We were happy to do our part to beautify and help preserve part of what makes our community so special!

See more photos of the day here.

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Windermere Bellevue South CSD 2018

Our Bellevue South office gave back by partnering with Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, which strives to promote quality pediatric care, family advocacy, health collaboration, mentoring, and education in a culturally relevant context. Our agents and staff helped with landscaping and mulching the clinic grounds, facilitating the book drive, and working on art projects with kids at the clinic. As an added bonus, they had the chance to listen to talks by a pediatrician and Lenny Wilkens, former NBA player and coach and current children’s healthcare advocate. We are thankful to OBCC for welcoming and inspiring us on Community Service Day and every day!

See more photos of the day here.

Cougar Mountain Zoo

Windermere Issaquah CSD 2018

Our Issaquah office headed to the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah to help with their mission to increase the understanding and appreciation of the Earth’s wildlife and the role of humanity in nature through education, conservation, propagation, and exhibition – and enjoy the company of some of its animal inhabitants. A few of their projects included clearing brush, painting benches, and habitat maintenance/wall building. This was one of the Issaquah office’s favorite Community Service Day projects, and we loved seeing them experience the zoo in a whole new way that reminded us of all of the work that goes into maintaining these neighborhood treasures!

See more photos of the day here.

Community Service Day has always been a treasured tradition and an important part of our culture here at Windermere. We greatly appreciate everything our agents invest in our communities to make them even better. Thank you all for continuing to make this a place we are proud to call HOME.