Exactly 157 years ago today, company founder Lucius Olmsted recorded his first transaction – a $5,000 loan to Edward Casey & Brokers to purchase four parcels of land. It’s obvious that the company has grown by leaps and bounds since then, but it’s our innovation and integrity that continue to set us apart.
“After 157 years in the game, we’re not losing any steam,” said Steve Baird, president and chief executive officer of Baird & Warner. “I’m constantly amazed by our hardworking team and the continuous flood of new and groundbreaking ideas we put into place every day.”
While there were literally dozens of new advances in our business, here are a few of the highlights from the past year:
2012 Brand Leadership Campaign
Unveiled earlier this month, the 2012 Brand Leadership Campaign is a refreshingly unconventional effort that addresses a challenging residential sales market head-on, and encourages consumers to open up their imaginations and see the possibilities of how homeownership can be the catalyst to a more fulfilling life. To maximize the impact of the new campaign in time for the all-important spring market, we utilized both traditional and nontraditional media throughout northeastern Illinois.
Growing the Team
This past year has seen two important and extremely beneficial acquisitions that have furthered our presence in the western suburbs. In 2011, F.C. Pilgrim & Co. sold its family-owned, Oak Park-based practice to Baird & Warner, and in 2012 we acquired Prime Property Partners in La Grange. Both companies are highly reputable and bring a wealth of talent and knowledge to our company.
Gathering the best talent in Chicagoland has always been a company priority, and our reputation, innovative tools and continued success has attracted many new team members. We’ve had many fantastic additions across our footprint, including a group of 19 former Re/Max associates who went to our Orland Park office. So far this year, more than 70 sales associates have chosen to join our company.
B&W Texting Solution
Since rolling out our Texting Solution at the beginning of 2011, sales associates have received over 30,000 property inquiries. Sales associates are working with hundreds of clients obtained via this program, and many have reported that the B&W Texting Solution was a key factor named by their clients as to why they listed their home with B&W.
Internet Activity Snapshot
This beneficial time saver compiles consumer Internet activity for active listings that appear on our website as well as other top real estate sites, and presents it in an easy-to-read, one-page seller document.
What began with a complete redesign now includes robust sales associate websites, individual property websites and comprehensive tools that enable the most advanced property and lifestyle searches available. In addition to the positive feedback from our sales associates and clients, BairdWarner.com has received the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s Website Quality Certification (WQC) for the third year in a row.
New and Renovated Offices
Our own real estate has changed this year as three of our existing offices have moved spaces – City North, Winnetka and Oak Park. We have also expanded to LaGrange with the former Prime Property Partners office and opened a Far Northwest Suburban satellite office in Carpentersville. In addition, we continue to make upgrades across the board. Highland Park, Schaumburg and Orland Park have been renovated, and the Gold Coast office is next on the list.
We also continue to further develop our mobile solutions and business tools, and the B&W Studios team, our in-house video center, has just scratched the surface of their creativity. There are many more innovative projects underway that will elevate both the sales associate and client experience, making Baird & Warner the clear choice in real estate.
So, here’s to another 157 years.