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2010 Best Real Estate Company: Frank Howard Allen Realtors

Author: Cerrissa MacNichols
May, 2010 Issue
“We’re thrilled to have been honored again with this award,” says Claudia Coury, director of marketing for Frank Howard Allen. “We can demonstrate with statistics that we have the market share, but what’s also extremely important to us is that our clients and the public regard us with such high esteem.” In fact, NorthBay biz readers have chosen Frank Howard Allen as Best Real Estate Company for the last eight years in a row. It’s no wonder the locally owned and operated real estate company, based out of Marin, is celebrating its centennial this year.

Even in this tough economy, Frank Howard Allen maintains the largest percentage of market share in Marin County with a strong presence also in Sonoma County. “There’s something to be said about a local, family-owned business that’s survived the various economic roller coasters throughout the decades,” says Larry Brackett, owner and chairman. “The trends we’re seeing today have played out before—it’s simply the context that’s changed.”

Frank Howard Allen’s data indicates 2010 is not only showing signs of a significantly stronger marketplace, but is also reflecting a trend in the consumer market first indicated by a report the company produced in 2009. The single family home under $750,000 remains the hottest commodity, and first time buyers are lining up for opportunities.

“The spring returns traditionally set the tone for the year ahead, and so far, we’re seeing a hugely significant uptick in closed sales compared with last year,” says Noreen Smith, president/COO, who’s been analyzing the North Bay market and trend predictors throughout her 23-year tenure with the firm. “For the month of March, the number of escrows opened at Frank Howard Allen was nearly double compared to March 2009. This is great news, and the market is continuing to show signs of strength.” The 2010 information contains encouraging news for homeowners, as average and median sale prices show a steady increase compared with 2009.

You don’t operate successfully for 100 years without keeping up with the times. A new series of Frank Howard Allen brand ads states “like our neighbors, we don’t look or act our age.” The company continues to evolve and understand how information gets out. It’s using social media to promote the firm and community interests, helping educate the public on real estate through three separate blogs and company pages on Facebook and Twitter. No small feat given the company-owned offices and independent, broker-owned offices employ more than 600 agents throughout Marin and Sonoma counties.

To mark its momentous centennial year, Brackett established a separate fund to finance the research and creation of a book to document the trials, tribulations and successes of one of the North Bay’s oldest businesses, one that hasn’t only been instrumental in the economic development of the region, but that was also the driving force behind the initial creation and development of Marin County as we know it today. The book, Frank Howard Allen Realtors: The First Hundred Years, offers a glimpse into the company’s beginnings and also highlights the sage advice passed down from generation to generation for the growth of this successful real estate venture.






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