Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty is the Successor Company to a firm that first opened its doors for business in Post Falls as Idaho Realty Center. That was July of 1973. A starter home was well under $20,000 and the MLS was still fairly new. The Board of REALTORS® was likely around 200 agents. The original staff included the Broker, two agents and a staff of one. Our first location was on Spokane Street in a quickly remodeled and very tiny home that was perfect, mostly because it was the only space available in town. The Idaho Realty Center logo included the state of Idaho in green and black and was the very beginning of Coldwell Banker as we know it today.
As our company and reputation grew, a wonderful opportunity to join together with Coldwell Banker as a franchise affiliate became available. That was November of 1983. The choice to join was easy, but the decision to leave our newly built Idaho Business Center location was more difficult. However, with plans in hand to build a new office in Coeur d'Alene at 1924 Northwest Boulevard location and lots of encouragement from Coldwell Banker, the choice was made.
We opened for business in Coeur d'Alene as our new building was completed in the winter of 1984. Our office comprised of 4,200 square feet on the first floor only which seemed like a huge amount of space. The Post Falls location was 1,800 square feet. The lower level of our new building was leased to a dental company and Transamerica Mortgage. The were wonderful neighbors.
As the market grew our team of outstanding salespeople also began to grow. From the very beginning we continually looked at market share numbers and soon became the leader. The people, the system, a great new location, the Coldwell Banker brand and a sound business ethic steadily moved our firm into a position of market strength. Those were the days of thirty to forty agents with a staff of two and then three. We were becoming a large office by the standards of the day.
By 1995 Coldwell Banker was well established as North Idaho's largest and busiest brokerage. We had grown to consume nearly all of the lower level of the Northwest Boulevard location and were straining at the seams. Not enough staff work area as well as a continual shortage of conference space prompted the first major remodel and addition to our 1924 building. 4,000 square feet was added and the balance of the space was again redone to service our team of nearly 65 agents and staff. The new addition included a new lobby, three new conference rooms, additional sales associate workstations and the lower patio. We had been recognized as a Chairman's Circle Company for the previous 5 years and were poised to strengthen our market position.
Hard work and a great market in the 90's propelled our growth as the undisputed market leader. The spring of 1998 marked the beginning of a series of very important strategic acquisitions. The first was the merger of the small but established Select Properties, Inc. Specializing in Hayden Lake and Country Club properties, the firm had a long history of successful sales at the high end of the residential and recreational market. In the summer of 1998 our firm purchased North Idaho Realty. Twenty agents, experienced leadership, 400 listings and 18 years of excellent service helped to further strengthen our market position. The North office of Coldwell Banker was established in 1994. The blending of the two company cultures was a significant enhancement to the positioning of our firm not only at the Government Way address in Hayden Lake, but market wide as well.
Six months later in January of 1999 a second brokerage competitor joined Coldwell Banker. Beebe, McKernan and McCarty's staff of 8 experienced agents helped us to measurably enhance the commercial efforts of our firm. This purchase also included a successful and seasoned property management and leasing department. For the first time we truly became a full service commercial brokerage. Originally located in the Coeur d'Alene Mines Building and later at the Spokesman Review Building, the Beebe, McKernan & McCarty staff joined our other commercial associates in the new 2000 Northwest Boulevard building. The new facility was identified as our Coldwell Banker Commercial office. In 2002 and 2003 the commercial office was expanded to house approximately 20 full time commercial associates plus staff.
Continued growth and market realignment encouraged the Company to make two structural changes. In 2002 the Hayden Lake office was consolidated with the Coeur d'Alene residential office. All of the staff was relocated to existing facilities. In addition, a new location was secured in Post Falls. In July 2003 a totally remodeled business office was opened at the corner of Bay Street and Seltice Way. The location was designed for 22 agents plus staff. A very successful opening was followed by remodeling of the balance of the total building space to accommodate an additional 15 associates. The completed facility was located at the most prime Post Falls intersections along the busy Seltice Way commercial corridor.
The awards earned by the company continued to grow. In 2002 Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty was recognized as the top Coldwell Banker office in the Western Region based upon closed production units. That award was once again earned in 2003 eclipsing all other regions as well. For the first time the sales team was honored with the distinction of being the top units production office in the United States for Coldwell Banker.
Our 2004 staff of more than 165 active sales agents became a regionally powerful company and was consistently Idaho's largest and most successful brokerage operation. Representing the Inland Empire's premier planned communities, the widest selection of resale properties and boasting North Idaho's only full service commercial company, Coldwell Banker continued upon a path of excellence and market domination. 2004 also marked the fifteenth consecutive year the Coldwell Banker sales team was recognized as a Chairman's Circle Company, the best of the best in the Coldwell Banker system.
2005 was a wild year in North Idaho real estate. The Company's sales numbers soared with gross activity exceeding one billion in closed sales. What a year it was. With that amazing market success we enjoyed growth in agent base as well as the beginning of a new commercial and Previews office at the corner of Hanley Avenue and US 95. This trophy location was for many years widely recognized as the key intersection welcoming visitors to Hecla Mining's world headquarters. A sale with lease back to Hecla allowed Coldwell Banker to participate in the development and sale of a new corporate campus and the opportunity to secure the signature entry corner of the project. An amazing commercial structure was completed featuring just under 12,000 square feet of prime class A office space.
Enjoying an amazing market response to the company's growth, Coldwell Banker continued to be "North Idaho's Real Estate Company." Operating from offices in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, we enjoyed a sound and successful real estate practice. The firm continued to be a leader among the Coldwell Banker network of companies. We consistently earned sales and marketing recognition consistent with unit and volume sales at remarkable levels. We continued to attract the best in the business and it is those fine agents who drove the company's growing success in the marketplace. Once again we celebrated for the 20th consecutive year recognition as a Chairman's Circle Company.
Our 2006 and 2007 business years were well beyond everyone's expectations. Business soared, our agent base expanded and our office locations were filled with 250 agents plus a staff in excess of 22. Business was simply too good to be true and an impending adjustment in the market began to take place. By late 2007 fundamental market changes were well upon us. Recognizing that it was also time to begin the process of re-engineering our company we began to make the tough decisions that keep companies strong. Both the Hanley office and the Post Falls offices were closed. All of the sales associates were moved back to 1924 Northwest Boulevard with the commercial company reoccupying their original second floor space at the 2000 Building. Support from our agent base was phenomenal as we embarked upon a new area of reevaluating our business model and smart redesign of our business plan.
In January of 2009 a fundamental decision to right size the entire company with full time agents was initiated. 2009 was also the year that we renewed our long term association with Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates. We also formalized our commercial operation with a new Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates designation. No longer a Coldwell Banker "addendum" company, we were recognized as a free standing Coldwell Banker Commercial office.
In 2010 we launched a completely new suite of software business services for our sales associates. As always Coldwell Banker continues to lead the North Idaho market in management services, technology and a well considered real estate vision of the future. The confirmation of that recognition of excellences was evidenced as Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty was selected by readers of the Coeur d'Alene Press as North Idaho's most respected real estate company for the two consecutive years. Nationally JD Power & Associates have ranked us #1 in Seller Satisfaction.
The most exciting part of our history is yet to come. There is remarkable opportunity and much left to do. A vigilant effort to continually keep the interests of our clients and customers clearly at the forefront of our business ethic will help us to grow with North Idaho. With a humble start in the little Post Falls house on Spokane Street we continue to be a grounded and successful real estate brokerage. A sincere thanks is offered to all of those friends and associates who have been a part of our successes. A special welcome is extended to those who will become a part of the future chapters of North Idaho's most successful real estate story.