BY NADINE PARLAPIANO,  Special Sections Correspondent

Tampa Bay attracts affluent homebuyers with its award-win­ning beaches, prestigious neigh­borhoods, businesses, and beautiful weather year round. More luxury home buyers turn to Coldwell Banker Previews In­ternational, the luxury market­ing platform of Coldwell Banker, each year.

While Coldwell Banker Res­idential Real Estate is the No. 1 residential brokerage in Flor­ida, according to Real Trends, the Hughes Shelton team was the No. 1 team in Tampa Bay in 2013. Sales associates Mike Hughes and Jeff Shelton are cer­tified Previews Property Spe­cialists, skilled in satisfying the unique needs of buyers and sell­ers of the area’s most desirable properties.

‘Tampa is very attractive to luxury property buyers. It has the most amount of business structure: larger than Miami as a matter of fact,’ says Hughes. ‘Our business district goes all the way from Lois (Avenue) to Rocky Point. The mayor of Tam­pa has done a great job of bring­ing business from up North. The area attracts snowbirds, peo­ple moving their companies to Tampa, and there’s no state in­come tax. It’s a great place to in­vest.’

Hughes and Shelton fully be­lieve in the Previews program, which was involved in five of the top seven most expensive sales in America, according to Forbes.

‘Previews sells more million dollar homes in the Bay area than any other company,’ says Shelton. ‘That data is pulled from the multiple listing service. No one can escape that data.’

Shelton thinks the reason for Coldwell Banker’s success is that society is driven by well-known brands.

‘The Coldwell Banker brand name is so recognizable to the public,’ says Shelton. ‘Previews is the leader in the luxury home market and has been for over 80 years. The strength of Previews has a lot to do with our size. Ob­viously, Coldwell Banker is one of the largest real estate compa­nies in the world, and there is a strong name recognition with Previews, and we have so many agents in our global network.’

Hughes and Shelton have been with affiliated with Cold­well Banker for more than 20 years. They were attracted to the company for its national and in­ternational reach, as well as the Previews program.

Shelton says that because of Coldwell Banker’s global rela­tionships, the company is ac­tively involved in social net­working. He adds that when a seller locally lists their home, the seller is not just listing with that particular agent or that local Coldwell Banker agent.

‘You are actually getting 85,000 agents worldwide with 3,100 offices in over 50 coun­tries,’ says Shelton. ‘That’s the global presence and the legacy of the Previews market.’

Shelton explains that Cold­well Banker properties are pro­moted on more than 725 web­sites.

‘Because Florida is the top U.S. destination for homebuy­­ers,’ says Shelton, ‘I think it’s critical that we have the ability to reach out to the international buyer, and that’s what Previews does.’

Hughes says Coldwell Banker made him successful because of their international reach and the consistent quality of their mar­ketingmaterials. ‘As technology has grown, our company stays ahead of the game and has repeatedly been the first to use new technolo­gies,’ says Hughes. ‘That’s why I love being affiliated with Cold­well Banker. It’s not like I’m do­ing anything magical, I’m ef­fectively using all the tools the company provides.’

Coldwell Banker Previews In­ternational is recognized as a world leader in the marketing of exceptional properties, and widely considered to be among the world’s consummate mar­keting programs for successfully promoting luxury properties to a local, national and international marketplace.

In 1933, young entrepreneur Henderson Talbot took his cue from motion pictures, captur­ing the beauty and style of mil­lion- dollar mansions on film. He began ‘previewing’ the luxury properties to affluent audiences, which increased the exposure and rate of sale by appealing to those for whom time was mon­ey. Talbot’s innovation didn’t stop there, as Previews was the first real estate marketing pro­gram to go beyond the local market and specialize exclu­sively in marketing luxury prop­erties nationally and interna­tionally. He was also the first to implement a national and inter­national Multiple Listing Service through a collection of publica­tions that highlighted distinctive properties.

Since its early days, the Cold­well Banker brand has realized the magnitude of this global op­portunity. In the early 1980s, the real estate leader acquired Previews to create the Coldwell Banker Previews Internation­al program, enabling their sales associates to better meet the needs of an affluent global clien­tele.

For more information about Previews, please visit or contact Hughes Shelton Res­idential Real Estate at www. or call (813) 286-6563.

Source: Tampa Tribune (Sunday, June 22, 2014)