Donna-Norton Vickrey Is Awarded with the Bonnie Drewel Good Neighbor Award!

Donna receives the 2013 Bonnie Drewel Good Neighbor Award!

Donna receives the 2013 Bonnie Drewel Good Neighbor Award!

It’s always nice to see your hard work and efforts recognized in some way, shape, or form. You strive daily for a smile, a pat on the back, or an encouraging word, which then gives you the motivation and perseverance you need to get the job done.

A few weeks ago, our own Donna-Norton Vickrey attended the East Central Board of REALTORS Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 2. While there, she was recognized for all of her hard work and was awarded the Bonnie Drewel Good Neighbor Award, which is essentially the equivalent of a realtor receiving the REALTOR of the Year Award and is a very big honor for the recipient!

Donna was awarded the Bonnie Drewel Good Neighbor Award for her dedication to excellence, personal leadership, service qualities, and her great involvement in the real estate industry and in the community.

153788526If you don’t know who Donna is, she is part of the greatly successful Lisa Coose-Burkemper Team, the #1 residential agency in Lincoln County who, in 2012, averaged a home closed every four days! Donna’s office in Troy, MO is also the #1 real estate office in Lincoln County and closed over 300 transactions for over $37 million in 2012!

A resident of Troy, MO, Donna is ecstatic and honored to receive this award from the ECBR, and we are so very proud of her and happy to see her efforts recognized and rewarded!


Who’s behind the curtain

Stuck for an idea the other night I asked my 8-year old daughter what I should blog about.  (By the way, I find most of life’s questions can be answered by asking my 8-year old). 

“Just blog about what you do, “she responded.

Which was just the reminder I needed.  The reason I started this blog in the first place was to pass along to you what we are doing and why we are doing it. And then I wondered if you knew who ‘we‘ were? I thought I might want to write at least one post about who we are in the marketing department.  The team is made up of myself, Jana Rice and newcomer, Nancy Logan. 


Nancy joined us just a few months ago. She’s learning the ropes right now which for her includes putting together the St. Louis Post Open House ads and Your Next Home ads, updating the Resource Center, adding agents to our systems and assisting in general Help Desk and marketing duties. She is responsible for nasty things like deadlines and numbers in excel sheets. . . and she does an exquisite job of keeping things timely and orderly.

Jana really needs no introduction.  She’s definitely a familiar name and face to you.  If you don’t know her from your office meetings or company training sessions than you probably know her as the person who always answers the phone with a smile on her face. Jana joined us back in 2004, in the same month we introduced our current website system.  She’s evolved with the system from aid, to trainer, to the authority on what the system can do and how to do it.  I even go to Jana with questions. She’s been involved every step of the way on creating eBusiness policies and web-marketing strategies. 

And I’m Sarah. I introduced myself last year, promised you blog updates and disappeared for another year into obscurity.  Anyway, I joined Prudential Select Properties in 2003 just 11 months after they opened their doors. I had worked at a St. Louis RE/MAX office while working towards my Graduate Degree in Digital Media at Lindenwood.  After graduation it seemed an easy step to combine the marketing principles I’d been learning in class to the field of real estate I was already in.  So here I am, 8.5 years later. And goodness we’ve come a long way. Back in 2003 I stepped into a department that didn’t exist and needed to be built from the ground up.   There was no Resource Center, no website system, no marketing materials or tools.  And while I’m thrilled with the progress we’ve made in putting together the tools and technology you use today I still feel like there’s so much I still want to do for you. The rest of the year these projects are near and dear to my heart: 

  • Evaluating and updating the tools and marketing materials we offer you
  • Seeking out the best ways to distribute your listings online and push more leads to you
  • Positioning Prudential Select Properties as the local choice for St. Louis real estate

As always your ideas are welcome; email me anytime at

Talk to you soon,  


P.S. Jana’s been working on a list of events in and around St. Louis this summer.  An eCard is in the system that links to this list and is available to send to your clients.  She’ll be sending out step-by-step instructions today in her Tuesday Tech Tip. I’ll be sending out a complete marketing update next week with new materials! 






Creating an event with you in mind; the PSP Awards Gala

In the Prudential Select Properties marketing department there are five seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Awards season. Every year about mid-January we begin thinking about our annual awards banquet.  As we approach mid-April I sometimes wish we could shut down the department for a week. I actually tried that a few years back by sending a “The Marketing Department is Closed. We’ll return after the Awards” message out to the admin and mangers. . . .  no one found it quite as funny as we did. 🙂


I took a stroll down memory lane this morning and got out all the Awards Programs from years past.  The work that goes into these little books is surprising.  Over the years we’ve picked out special papers, troubleshot printing issues, collated, folded, stapled, hole punched, bradded, gold leafed, and more.  

In 2006 the booklet was designed to look like a picture frame and after ironing gold metallic on vellum and x-acto kniving each cover individually, Kinko’s botched the job and ruined all the meticulous work.  Kinko’s and PSP Marketing have had a few issues over the years. . . another year they cut they books in half instead of folding them.  Nowadays we don’t leave the store before threatening the manager. . . I’m sure we’re intimidating. 

In 2007 we were printing the books in the evening so we wouldn’t interrupt the agent’s printer usage during the day.  Some faulty designer (cough, Joe Cordeal) decided to create a black background for every page. . . . which caused the printers to overheat and the pages to melt together.   I think we were there half the night printing a few pages at a time then waiting for the printer to cool. Thank goodness for Matt Muren, one of our sales associates, who jumped in to help Sara Fedele and I with refreshments of pizza and bud select. 

And here’s 2008, one of my favorites.  We had the event at Mad Art Gallery, once a jail, which corresponded perfectly to our Monopoly theme. Alex Cota, our designer at the time, carried the theme meticulously through the event.    From customized PSP Monopoly board table covers to burlap money sacks filled with gold coins –  it really was outstanding.  Sara Fedele spent serious time hunting eBay for spare Monopoly houses while Jana Rice remembers cutting burlap circles for the favor bags until her hands were raw. 


The picture above is from earlier this month.  I had just finished cutting out the playing cards which were personalized with award winner names.  The cards were spread out on the floor of my office in an attempt to organize them by award winner order.  I’m sure I got strange looks from visitors passing by who probably thought I was playing a rather overzealous game of solitaire. 

Despite the work and occasional mishaps, each awards event is well worth the effort because we get a chance to celebrate YOU at one of my favorite parties of the year. This year’s Gala took place at the Nightclub of Ameristar Casino in St. Charles.  George Bruns and Maryann Vitale acted as MCs for the night and started the event off by giving away cash if you could answer their trivia questions. 

Our winners at a glance:

  • Top Team in GCI: Diane Denny Team, Des Peres 
  • Top Team in Units: Leslie Cheek Team, Jefferson County
  • Top Individual in GCI: Cindy Baker, Town & Country
  • Top Individual in Units: Theresa Curtis, Troy
  • Rookie of the Year: Mark Warren, St. Charles
  • Administrator of the Year: Julie Morrow, St. Charles
  • Top Sunshine Kids Listing Agents: Linda & Kelly Boehmer Team, St. Charles
  • Top Sunshine Kids Pledge Agent: Cindy Baker, Town & Country

After the awards presentation we mixed and mingled in the ‘Lounge’ with hors d’oeurves and cocktails aptly named the ‘Citrix Meltdown’ and ‘Tuesday Morning Meeting.’   This year’s addition of a photo booth provided a lot of entertainment and some great shots.  Take a look at a few select moments here:

For more pictures from the Awards Gala visit our Facebook page here.

To view and download your shots from the Photobooth, visit Click ‘View Your Event” and select ‘Prudential Select Properties.’  Enter passcode 040711 to enter the gallery. 

A big thanks to Jana Rice, Nancy Logan, Susan Cardwell, Susan Dempsey, Stacey Folk and Maureen Adler for helping to make the event a success.  George and Maryann, wonderful job, as always. 





Updates from the Marketing Department (3/16/11)

Last week I promised you an eCard campaign.  Today we’re taking our first steps at rolling that out.  The first four cards in the series include a St. Louis Cardinals baseball schedule,  a River City Rascals baseball schedule, a St. Patrick’s Day eCard and a Photos with the Easter Bunny eCard (for offices with client events)  These are now both now in your website system for you to use. 

How are these different from what we’ve been doing in the past?  For the last few years we’ve been making eCards as they are needed.  Every eCard has looked different than the one before; never providing that all important brand-identity we need in order to make an impact on consumers.

The new cards will be part of a branded series, focusing on our ‘St. Louis’ campaign and offering calls-to-action on the right hand side.  

Please note that the ‘login’ button and “apply for a loan’ button can be customized for your website.  It’s a quick edit and directions are below.  

Download this file

Business Cards

A few of you had requested business cards that reflect our ‘you know you’re from St. Louis when’ campaign. These two business cards are now available through Xpressdocs and you can choose one of two backs that have different ‘you know you’re from’ phrases.

However, if you want to order one of the standard business cards we’ve also created optional backs for you to use. Three of these backs include room for a ‘contact’ QR code. This is one of my favorite uses of QR codes. When scanned it adds your contact information into the user’s phone contact list.  Very practical. 


I’ve also spoken to Xpressdocs on having a QR code options on the Property Business Cards. Coming Soon. 


Listing Presentation: Your Voice Needed

Monday I sent out a poll asking you which CMA / Listing Presentation tool you use. . . Toolkit, eNeighborhoods, MARIS, Resource Center materials, etc.  I simply need to find out what is being used so I have the right materials in the right place.  A HUGE thanks to Art Vibulakaopun for being the ONLY agent to respond to the poll. If we end up with a listing presentation with every page customized to him, you’ll now know why! 🙂

A special thanks to Doug Hippler, Greg Bowen and Glenn Miller for the email follow-up on listing presentation ideas. 

If you want to take the poll on your preferred CMA options and voice your wish-list for the company listing presentation please do so here:


Sarah Grobe, Director of Marketing
Prudential Select Properties, Your local choice for real estate |

That small black and white box

When we recently offered a ‘Select Circle’ class on QR Codes, the level of interest forced us to create two sessions.  I think the newest marketing craze has fully hit St. Louis real estate.

QR codes – that small black and white box –  allows a user with a smart phone equipped with a QR application to view a webpage when the user holds the phone over the QR code.

I know a few of you have been experimenting with code providers, namely Scanlife.  The PSP Help Desk ( been attempting to help you navigate through the difficulties you’ve encountered, but it’s been hard to trouble-shoot on platforms that we don’t control.  

However, this week our website system will launch an application that automatically generates a QR code for every listing. The application allows you to print the listing’s QR code (small, medium, or large versions) for wherever you want to use it.


Additionally the Print or Email Flyers section of the listing manager provides a flyer with the QR code built onto it.




Below provides an example of how the listing appears after scanning the QR code with a smart phone.



I’m hoping this enhancement not only helps you in your marketing efforts but allows us to support you better since it it though our website provider, Reliance Network.  This is one of several enhancements that make their debut this week.  If you’re into that type of thing there is a full technical brief here:

Download this file


But if you want the 5 second version:

  • QR Code Generator (discussed above)
  • Mailing Labels, now generate mailing labels from your website contact list
  • eCard Stationary


  • Listing Management Enhancements.  For example you can now use a niffty report to find out which of your listings do not have a seller’s report set-up. 
  • Frame for Custom Websites. If you don’t have a custom website, hosted outside of us, then this doesn’t apply to you.  If you do, now you can frame the full Reliance search to integrate their mapping capabilities and contact management tools. 


This release should be out today.  If you experience bugs or issues please email the Help Desk (   



Sarah Grobe, Director of Marketing
Prudential Select Properties, Your local choice for real estate |




It’s only been a year. . . .

I’m pretty much expecting a call from Rick Colburn the second I publish this blog. He’s been teasing me that he’s tried pushing ‘refresh’ on my blog page in anticipation of my second entry. . . for a year now.


Last year, about this time, I spoke to you about a new marketing plan based off the familiar “You know you’re from St. Louis when. . . “ phrase.  In 2010, we rebranded our website and placed ads in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Your Next Home Magazine, and Feast Magazine discussing what makes St. Louis unique.  If you missed this one in Feast, it was one of my favorites. 



(For a full view, click here


Our campaign focus has been how well we know and love our city.  To truly capture this we created a ‘You Know You’re From” Facebook Fan Page and gave away Cardinals tickets and Ted Drewes concretes to consumers who shared their favorite ‘you know you’re from StL ‘moments with us.   And today, we have over 2,280 Facebook fans.  Visit us here and if you haven’t already, please share it with your friends.


In 2011, we’d like to continue branding ourselves as the local choice for St. Louis real estate. In the next few months we’re going to be delivering to you an eCard campaign, updated PowerPoint Listing Presentation, a PSP Marketing Plan brochure and new website enhancements, including QR Code marketing integration.  So stay tuned.


Just for fun here’s a brief look at the fans of other real estate companies and St. Louis institutions.


134 RE/MAX Properties West

287 Prudential Alliance

516 Crown Candy Kitchen

637 Coldwell Banker Gundaker

1,152 Boat House Forest Park

1,608 St. Louis Homes & Lifestyle Magazine

2,280 Prudential Select Properties ‘You Know You’re From St. Louis When. . . “

3,240 Blueberry Hill

4,554 St. Louis Magazine

5,074 Soulard Farmers Market

8,464 Riverfront Times

9, 083 St. Louis Post /


Sarah Grobe, Director of Marketing
Prudential Select Properties, Your local choice for real estate |


Prudential Select Properties & Prudential Patterson Realtors Join Forces

St. Louis, MO – December 12, 2010 – Prudential Select Properties and Prudential Patterson Realtors announced today an agreement to create a St. Louis real estate leader. The combined company will be the #1 locally owned real estate company in St. Louis and operate as the largest Prudential affiliate in Missouri and one of the top Prudential affiliates in the nation. The new Prudential Select Properties will offer residential and commercial real estate services to the greater St. Louis area.  

The agreement is expected to expand the market coverage and stimulate continued growth of Prudential Select Properties. The new company will have operations in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County and Lincoln County with over 650 sales associates. The company is headquartered in Des Peres.

George Bruns, president and chief executive officer of Prudential Select Properties, will be president and CEO of the new Prudential Select Properties. Maryann Vitale, Deb Colburn, Angie Ignatowski, and Sharon Huber are owners of Prudential Select Properties.

“We are very excited about the combination of Prudential Patterson Realtors and Prudential Select Properties,” said Bruns. “Because we are locally owned and operated, we focus all of our attention on delivering the most professional real estate service to St. Louis area homeowners. St. Louis is our home and our sole priority. ”