Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group has a new local leader!

Posted April 29, 2013 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Real Estate Tips for Realtors

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Check out the news release:

The largest real estate company in Idaho has a new local leader in the Boise area.

Bob Van Allen is the new Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

Bob Van Allen is the new Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

“The local real estate market is expanding rapidly, and Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group is excited to expand our leadership team accordingly with the addition of Bob Van Allen, one of the area’s most promising up-and-coming leaders,” said Larry Laraway, CEO.

Bob Van Allen, a Boise Realtor and entrepreneur, takes over operations at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group beginning April 24, 2013. Van Allen has a long history as a top salesperson in the Boise real estate industry, working with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group for the better part of his ten-year career in real estate.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with an outstanding mentor,” Van Allen said. “Larry is a shining example of professionalism and integrity in the Boise real estate industry and I’m proud to have the chance to continue that tradition.”

Van Allen will work alongside Tracy Thompson, the company’s designated broker, in moving the company forward with the strengthening local market.

I’m thrilled to have Bob on the leadership team,” Thompson said. “He brings fresh ideas and excitement to our company as we put the recession firmly behind us and move into this new real estate market.”

Laraway, the current local leader, will continue to work with the company as a CEO, while Van Allen will take over the company’s local operation.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Bob,” he said. “I feel like he will bring insight into the operations that will enhance our ability to service our clientele in the local area.”

Van Allen said his primary goal is to maintain the company’s sterling reputation in the business community, while also making a distinct effort to focus on the strength of the Coldwell Banker brand and the local culture of the company.

“For the past thirty years, this company has built its successes on having the most professional, reputable agents in Idaho,” he said. “While some companies hire anyone and everyone, our goal isn’t to have the most agents. It’s to have the best agents.”


The 2013 Spring Home Festival is here – April 6/7 and 13/14, 2013!

Posted April 12, 2013 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Real Estate Tips for Realtors

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Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group is excited to announce that the 2013 Spring Home Festival has arrived!

If you took the tour the weekend of April 6 & 7, 2013, we hope you had a blast! But if you missed it, be sure to make it out this coming weekend, April 13 & 14, 2013, to check out these fabulous new homes.

This year’s festival showcases 26 stunning new homes in 15 locations across the Treasure Valley, built by some of the best builders in Idaho.

Check out the video we put together to give a brief tour of each home:

Go to for addresses and directions to each home – see you there!

Washington Federal donates $10,500 toward lot purchase for Habitat for Humanity

Posted December 19, 2012 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Announcements, Social media news

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From left to right: Don Lillie, Washington Federal Nampa branch manager, Marcia Davis, Canyon County Habitat for Humanity executive director, Dan Luttrell, Washington Federal Nampa branch vice president and Julie Sundquist and Mike Gable, Realtors with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

The Nampa Branch of Washington Federal Savings and Loan has donated $10,500 in the form of a building lot located in Manchester Park, Caldwell, to Canyon County Habitat for Humanity.

Dan Luttrell, vice president of the Washington Federal Nampa Branch turned over the deed to the lot to Marcia Davis, executive director of CCHFH on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at the Washington Federal Nampa Branch. The real estate side of the transaction was facilitated with the help of Mike Gable of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group.

Davis said the building lot will be the future home site for a deserving family, though a family has not yet been selected.

Luttrell said Washington Federal believes banking is more than a series of financial transactions – instead, it is a commitment to building relationships with clients, shareholders and the community as a whole, and that this type of generosity is an expression of that commitment.

For more information, go to


About Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

The Tomlinson Real Estate Group, the parent company of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, is the #1 real estate brokerage in the state of Idaho, by volume and total closed transactions, and the third largest Coldwell Banker franchise nationwide.  In 2011 it closed more than $800 million in sales and is comprised of more than 800 real estate agents across Idaho and Washington.

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group is the largest brokerage in the Treasure Valley, operating four offices across Southern Idaho with more than 240 licensed Realtors. In 2011 it closed nearly $500 million in sales in the Treasure Valley and was #1 in the region for closed transactions by a brokerage.

Former Bronco Wide Receiver Tyler Shoemaker Joins Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

Posted October 23, 2012 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Announcements

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From Blue to Blue: Former Bronco Tyler Shoemaker Joins Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group

Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group proudly announces the addition of Tyler Shoemaker, former wide receiver for the Boise State Broncos, to its team of Realtors in the Boise area.

Shoemaker signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his senior year with the Broncos, but when that opportunity didn’t pan out, he decided to look around for other options.

“As one door closes, another opens,” he said. “When that career ended, it became a time for self-reflection and self-improvement. It’s a big transition to real estate, but at the same time I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities I’m facing in this new setting.”

Tracy Thompson, designated broker for Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, said she is excited about the new addition and believes the lessons in hard work and discipline Shoemaker learned on the field will transition into success in real estate.

“Tyler led the Broncos in touchdown receptions last year and that kind of success doesn’t come by chance,” Thompson said. “He’s a dedicated, hard-working individual who knows exactly what it takes to excel both on and off the field.”

Shoemaker said his approach is to set his sights on the goal of winning the Rookie of the Year award at the annual Ada County Association of Realtors Circle of Excellence award show and simply work backward from there.

“Goal-setting has been a huge part of my life, both athletically and academically,” Shoemaker said. “I’ve always been preparing for something. When football ended, I set my professional goals in real estate and intend to devote as much time, energy and effort to real estate as I did to football.”

Shoemaker will be joining his stepmother, Julia Shoemaker, one of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group’s top-producing Realtors. Julia works out of the Eagle office and focuses mainly on high-end home sales, known as Coldwell Banker Previews properties.

The Shoemaker team will work together on building a business across all spectrums of the real estate market, from first-time homebuyers to Idahoans looking to sell exclusive luxury properties and estates. For more information, please go to

The Spring Home Festival – Idaho’s premiere new home event!

Posted March 13, 2012 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Announcements, Home Seller Tips and Information, Miscellaneous Real Estate thoughts, Social media news

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Are you a buyer, builder, real estate agent or simply a fanatic when it comes to granite, marble, stainless steel, 2×6 construction, modern design and new beginnings? None of the above? Well, keep reading and maybe we’ll convert you!

Agents at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group are currently lining up 40 of Boise’s finest new homes to put on display for the 2012 Spring Home Festival, Idaho’s premiere new home show! Whether you’re looking for a new home to love, looking for one of Boise’s fantastic builders or simply taking advantage of the opportunity to get out of the house for a fine spring weekend, you want to write down these dates:

Spring Home Festival, taking place the weekends of April 14-15 and 21-22, 2012


Keep an eye out for this 2'x4' yard sign!

And stay tuned to our Facebook page and our new website at for all of the latest developments, plus photos and videos of all of the new homes!

Announcing the winner of the 21st Annual House Payment Giveaway!

Posted December 13, 2011 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Announcements, Miscellaneous Real Estate thoughts, Real Estate Tips for Realtors

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Congratulations to Dustin and Jenna Wright of Boise, Idaho for winning this year’s House Payment Giveaway! The Wrights just started their own business this year – Green Guard Pest Control – plus they’re expecting their first child in January and bought their house in March of 2011. Might as well get all of life’s major events out in the same year, eh?

From left to right: Dori Wick, Realtor, Jenna Wright, Dustin Wright and Tracy Thompson, designated broker with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group.


Boise, Idaho – The financial burden of buying a home, starting a small business and starting a family – all in one year – can take a heavy toll on even the most fiscally-savvy couples.

Fortunately for Dustin and Jenna Wright, that burden will be a little lighter this Christmas, thanks to a gift from Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group.

The Wrights were recently selected, at random, as the recipients of the 21st annual House Payment Giveaway, a program designed to thank past clients, as well as boost the spirits of families in the community heading into the holiday season.

“I couldn’t believe it. I never really win things,” Jenna Wright said. “I just filled it out because she gave it to me. It couldn’t be any better timing – we are expecting our first child at the beginning of next month.”

The Wrights said they considered a few options when choosing how to spend the money, but settled on something that would be the most beneficial to their new baby.

“We know exactly what we’re going to do with it,” she said. “We’re going to use it to open a life insurance policy, now that a baby is on the way.”

Dori Wick, the Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group sales associate who sold the Wrights their home, said she was ecstatic to find out her clients won the prize.

“It couldn’t happen to nicer people at a better time,” she said. “With the baby coming, plus Christmas … plus they just bought their house in March. Though I wish every one of my clients could have won, it’s nice to know they’ll have some extra padding going through Christmas and with their first child on the way.”

Tracy Thompson, designated broker at Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, said the program serves two purposes for the community.

“It’s a terrific way for our agents to thank their past clients at such an important time of year, plus it’s a pleasure to be able to help enhance someone’s Christmas cheer,” she said.

The annual House Payment Giveaway began in 1990 with owner Larry Laraway and Aspen Realty, which has since merged with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson of Spokane and Holland Realty of Boise. The winner receives a check from Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group for up to $1,000 toward the principle and interest of their mortgage bill. It is coupled with the Vacation Cash Giveaway program, which takes place each May, as two ways the company gives back to its clients.

Dustin and Jenna Wright, the winners of this year’s Annual House Payment Giveaway.

How mobile technology and mandatory minimalism will save Facebook

Posted November 1, 2011 by CBTG Homes
Categories: Miscellaneous Real Estate thoughts, Social media news, Tech thoughts

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By Brian Rich

As you well know, the last six years of the Internet could well be defined by one word: Facebook.

Facebook has gotten fairly popular.

Founded in early 2004, the site saw strong, steady growth for years, first spreading with virality through university towns across America, followed by a pandemic-like explosion amongst the general populace only a few years later. Facebook now boasts more than 800 million active users and even logged more than 500 million individual logins in a single day within the past few months.

But we all know the story of Facebook and don’t need to beat that into the ground any further.

What you might not know, though, is how feature creep – a known, loathed and somehow irresistible force in the tech world – could be poised to strike the Achilles heel of Facebook and bring the social media titan to a collapse that would certainly be of epic proportions.

As any entrepreneur/inventor/CEO knows, scaling a business is a very difficult and critical process; a road full of potholes and landmines (Netflix, anyone?). In fact, one might say the worst thing about growing a business is … growing a business. Nonetheless, Facebook has done a fabulous job in maintaining their relatively minimalist approach, while others have gone horribly astray (see: Myspace). But now Facebook is approaching (or has recently passed) another hurdle that is difficult to deal with because no company in the history of the Internet has ever gotten big enough to have to deal with it.

The $10 billion question: How do you keep 50 million super users (the early adopters from 2004-05), 300 million dedicated veteran users, 300 million casual users and 150 million new users happy and content with just one website?

Allow the scope of this task to stew in your brain for a minute. Most people find it difficult to order pizza for a group of five kids and keep everyone happy, and that’s with the knowledge that most kids aren’t going to abandon their parents and move into the neighbor’s house if the wrong pizza is ordered for dinner. Now scale that up to 800 million users and consider that if even 100 million of those users become furious for (x) reason and leave – or worse, they become bored and just stop coming to Facebook every day – it would be painted by major news outlets as the beginning of the fall of the digital Roman Empire. Then you get other social forces like the bandwagon and dogpile effects and in a matter of six months Facebook could be in a world of pain and on the brink of ruin financially.

Now, forget all that. Because it’s not going to happen, and it’s not because of anything cooked up inside the genius brains in Facebook’s marketing or development departments. No, Facebook is going to be saved by a phenomenon that is going to permanently alter the digital landscape within only the next few years. Call it the tipping point phenomenon. Or, call it the 50+1 phenomenon. Or, just call it mobile.

If a graph says it, it must be true…right?

While at a social media and technology conference a few weeks ago,  Chris Smith (of Inman News/Inman Next fame) gave a convincing presentation on the trend toward mobile and what the world could look like if the majority of Internet users used a mobile device (smartphone or tablet device) for their Internet needs more often than they used any other type of device. Without dipping into the perennial joke that is to say (x) year is the “year of mobile,” most projections safely predict mobile Internet usage overtaking desktop usage at some point in 2014. Of course, the adoption of the best technologies tends to follow an exponential growth curve (see: Facebook), so that date might wind up being sometime in 2012-13, meaning the digital world as we know it could be about to change in monstrous ways and most tech-oblivious companies could be caught with their virtual pants down.

All it takes is for that scale to tip just the slightest bit in the mobile direction and almost overnight, we’ll see a 180 flip in the priorities of web developers and designers around the world. Because when you move from an upgradable, powerful desktop computer with a mouse, keyboard and screen size of 17-50+ inches to an iPad or smartphone with a screen ranging from 3-10″, extremely limited browser capabilities and no peripherals, you might as well be talking about a complete overhaul of the Internet as we know it. Everything you do online with a mobile phone is different from how you might use a desktop. Emails appear as a sender with a few words of the subject and email body underneath with no flashy reading panes or lengthy previews. Websites appear as 4-inch rectangles with the ability to provide only a handful of logos, links and options on the mobile homepage. Consider that a basic pop-up window is a mere nuisance on a desktop PC, whereas a pop-up ad on a mobile device could be both infuriating and disastrous for both the user and the owners of the website they’re trying to navigate. Essentially, all of the conventional wisdom has to be flipped on its head to prepare for the oncoming mobile storm.

So you might say a company would be wise to prepare in advance for the (I can’t believe I’m using this phrase) “mobile revolution,” right? And in that regard, the future of mobile must like in the much-touted Android and iPhone app libraries, right? Since, after all, iPhones offer more than 500,000 apps, one can only assume apps are the future, right?

Wrong. In fact, it’s difficult to believe apps have lived as long as they have thus far. When you really consider it, isn’t it a bit absurd that you have to download an app just to use your phone for what usually ends up being a pretty simple function? Apps like Angry Birds and other addictive mobile games have to be downloaded on a phone, while even a typical outdated browser on a desktop PC can run virtually all of these apps with simple browser plugins. Indeed, it would be ridiculous to ask a website visitor to login and download something every time they want to do anything online with their PC, yet it has become default in the mobile world to look to apps as the solution to all of your mobile woes.

Well, I’m glad to say the app revolution might as well give up now, because it’s not going to last very long. Sure, we’ll have apps for as long as we have mobile devices. But as phones become smarter and mobile browsers are developed further, our dependency on apps for mobile survival will take a backseat to a new era of highly capable devices that can handle much of our mobile needs more like a browser does today; simply download the latest Flash and Java upgrades and you’re probably good to go.

And I think Facebook knows this.

Why? Well, while people have been both harping and fawning over the latest Facebook changes (Timeline, Ticker, etc.) and iPhone/iPad fanatics have ridiculed the fashionably late Facebook iPad app, Facebook has been quietly but diligently building their mobile site with nary a word leaking out through tech forums like  Mashable and Techcrunch. In fact, when Facebook unveiled their total news feed and user profile overhaul in October, they also unveiled a sparkly new mobile site that mirrored much of the changes, but from a minimalist approach to best optimize the mobile experience.

Some have argued that Facebook is getting too complicated for new users, as the constant introduction of new, nuanced tweaks designed to keep existing users engaged are now turning the social media site into such a nebulous, intertwined social spiderweb that is almost unnavigable for new users. But this isn’t a balancing act with any easy solution for Facebook, as there aren’t any other companies in history who have operated with such an immense user base that can provide a road map for easy navigation. In fact, to comprehend the difficulty of keeping 800 million users happy, just look at the difficulty Congress has keeping Americans happy. Reminder – the United States is barely a third of the size of Facebook.

So, on one hand we’ve got Facebook battling feature creep and fighting daily to keep veteran users engaged and new users signing up, and on the other hand we’ve got a massive worldwide trend toward what I call “mandatory minimalism” as the Internet moves to adopt mobile-friendly design and interface principles. The outcome is starting to reveal itself by now, I hope.

If not, I’ll just say it. Facebook – at least in terms of feature creep and a confusing interface – is going to be saved by mobile. Because what we’ll have eventually is two almost totally separate Facebooks. Yes that’s right, if you thought one Facebook was already overwhelming, get ready for it’s faster, sleeker and easier-to-use younger brother … Facebook Mobile.

For everyone using smartphones and iPads, Facebook Mobile will give them the fast, easy minimalist interface for which they’re looking. For those who like the Ticker, browsing extensively through their friends’ Timelines and flipping through hundreds of photos in one sitting, good ol’ Facebook will always be there on their desktop or laptop computer. It’s the best of both worlds – simple when you need it, elaborate when you want it.

Using Facebook will only get faster, easier and more fluent than it already is, once the various mobile technologies finish shaking out (RIM will continue to die and we’ll have Coke and Pepsi – I mean iOS and AndroidOS – for the next 10+ years) and once Facebook finishes its covert mission to create the most insanely awesome mobile website they can, right under the collective noses of the developers, writers and designers who for the past year have been myopically fixated on the little  picture and the short term. All Zuckerberg & Co. need to do is stay the course and when the much-anticipated mobile revolution finally comes, casually remind users that the mobile site is simple, fast and fun to use and let the people do the rest, as they’ve always done.