A Conversation With Rachel Delzell

A multifaceted job keeps her busy.

As the new senior marketing director at Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, Realtors, Rachel Delzell has been tasked with overseeing the company’s marketing strategy. It’s a wide-ranging job that encompasses the management of Coldwell Banker’s brand and online presence, advertising, and coordinating various events and promotions. It also includes providing agents and clients with the best resources and tools available, keeping up with consumer trends, and working with agents one-on-one to hone their market strategy.

Tell us a little bit more about your educational and professional background.

I graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism, with a focus on public relations. I helped launch Acquire Magazine, a real estate advertising publication distributed in the Des Moines metro area. I managed the magazine, wrote articles, and sold ads. After working there for a couple of years, I joined The Tyler Osby Team as the client coordinator. I helped lead clients through the process of financing a home and assisted with the company’s marketing efforts. In addition, I owned an event coordination company for 10 years.

What are your projects and goals for 2015?

Two big things I’d like to focus on this year are brand awareness and boosting our Web presence so that the public and potential customers know everything we have to offer. We’re a full-service real estate agency with more tools and resources for agents and clients than any other brokerage in Des Moines.

I want us to be present and relevant—whether that’s through advertising, events, or community involvement projects—to show that we’re a big part of not only real estate but Des Moines. We want to be central Iowa’s real estate resource.

To do that, we need to present original content to consumers that is timely and relevant in an exciting way. That’s where expanding our Web presence comes into play. I’m working on establishing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Plus accounts. We’re also updating our website to be more consumer-centric with a look similar to Zillow and Trulia. That’s set to launch February 1.

Our online efforts will show potential clients the range of services we offer. For example, we have a great concierge program available to those who have bought or sold a home with us. It’s a free, lifetime service. Our concierge can help with anything from transferring your utilities to your new home to tracking down a pet sitter.

Other areas I’m working on include:

  • Marketing education for agents. This includes e-marketing training, how to leverage social media, how to set up and utilize cbdsm.com, implementing referral programs, and client testimonial gathering.
  • Video marketing for all facets of our business.

What are the trends today in real estate marketing?

Localizing your market and being a significant part of the community is huge, so we want to make sure that we’re capturing that. People want to know what’s great about living here—we’ll not only show you, but we’ll be part of why it’s great.

We want to continue to expand our online presence, staying in touch with what people want and being responsive to their needs. In this digital age, people want answers immediately. But they also want to be part of those answers and know that they’re being heard and taken care of.

What do you see as the most significant challenge today in marketing for real estate?

It’s keeping up with what’s happening digitally while still being sensitive to the wide range of clients and agents that we have. We strive to be on top of their needs, hopefully anticipating them before they even have a chance bring them up.

It’s always a challenge to stay ahead. But by being open, honest, and having really great communication, we hope to meet each individual’s specific needs.

Are you involved with any charities or nonprofit groups locally?

My husband and I have been involved with the TRIPP (Tackling Renal Insufficiencies Person by Person) Foundation for about a year. The group helps empower and support children with kidney disease and their families.

We began working with the foundation after a family member lost a child to kidney disease. I hope to become more active in furthering their efforts throughout Iowa.

On a company level, we have a program called CB Cares. In 2014 our sales associates, employees, and our company personally pledged a percentage of every home purchased or sold on behalf of our customers to four central Iowa charities.

How do you spend your free time?

I like being with my family and friends, traveling, and doing different forms of art, from home decor to marbling and painting. I also enjoy being outdoors—landscaping or gardening—and being out on the sailboat my husband built.