How to Say ‘Home’ Around the World

Americans tend to think of home ownership in distinctly, well, American terms. The cornerstone of private property rights in the United States. Where mom and apple pie can be found. A vital part of the American Dream.

But the concept of “home” plays a central role in other cultures around the world as well. To highlight how people in other countries value their houses, real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker launched its Online International Real Estate Film Festival on Monday, Sept. 9. The event will run through Sept. 27 on as well as its YouTube channel.

“Video is part of the Coldwell Banker brand culture,” said David Siroty, Coldwell Banker’s vice president of North American communications. “Two years ago, we launched a brand-new ad campaign called ‘Value of a Home.’ This is the second iteration of it.”

The company devised this project in part to promote its global reach, added Sean Blankenship, senior vice president of marketing. Coldwell Banker has a presence in about 50 countries.

“In 2011, we changed the conversation from the valuation of homes from a financial aspect to that of a lifestyle aspect,” he explained. “We needed to evolve that to represent the global footprint.”

The film festival aims to demonstrate the “value of a home” as seen through the eyes of filmmakers from around the world, including India, Brazil, Mexico and China. One new film will be posted every weekday at 11 a.m. Eastern time until the event’s conclusion. The entire collection will also be played at the Coldwell Banker booth during the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

The one-minute movies were developed in partnership with content-marketing firm MOFILM, Blankenship said. “It’s kind of like a casting call. As a brand, we write a brief, we give the agency the brief, and they go to market through their network with that brief.”

Dozens of videos were submitted via this process, and the pool was narrowed down by Blankenship, Siroty and other judges to the handful of honorees that will be seen by the public throughout the next couple of weeks. In watching all of these videos, they learned about the both the differences and the commonalities in how people around the world view their homes.

“It means something different to everybody,” Blankenship said. “Regardless of location, it was a place where people gathered.”

“We discovered that concept of ‘home’ is universal,” Siroty added.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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