The Studio recently launched Design Concierge in select Coldwell Banker NRT markets, so now’s a great time to introduce Frank Marte, creative services manager, who leads the national design team supporting Design Concierge. I sat down with Frank, got to know more about him and his new role developing creative briefs, directing projects and helping to translate an agent’s vision to designers.
What’s your design background?
I have a degree in Visual Communication and have worked about half my career on the client-side. I also owned my own studio for 10 years designing for companies that included pharmaceutical, financial services and ad agencies. And, I was an instructor at the Chicago Portfolio School for eight years, teaching design, copywriting and portfolio development to budding art directors and copywriters.
So what excites you most about leading the Design Concierge creative team?
I’m excited about leading and building something unique in the industry. With the range of talent in The Creative Studio, we can go toe-to-toe with any top real estate marketing agency. We’ve identified distinct competitors, and I think we can rise above what they’re doing to deliver more personalized and customized branded collateral for agents.
How do you see Design Concierge adding value to agents?
Certainly the semi-custom, brand-building tools on the website are a game changer. Agents can choose from highly-polished marketing materials they can customize at a tremendous value. Those seeking fully custom work tend to be very brand-conscious and looking for a boutique agency experience. They want to work with designers who will interpret their unique qualities to create materials that elevate their profile and set them apart from competitors. We can deliver all of that.
What do you do when you’re not thinking about design?
I’ve enjoyed rehabbing several homes and love discovering Chicago’s “under the radar” ethnic restaurants. I live in Old Town, home of the famous Art Festival, Second City and Lincoln Park Zoo. Recently, I’ve struck up a friendship with a neighborhood cardinal (bird, not priest) who follows me down the street, waits on my balcony and sings for cashews. I’m completely trained!