Six members of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty attended the August 19th Northern California Sotheby’s International Realty Networking Event, including Owners Dean and Stacy Jones, along with brokers Carrie DeBuys, Candace Taylor, Barry Bergner and Jay Kipp. The delegation represented the Pacific Northwest region and was among an estimated 225 attendees at the all-day symposium held at the historic Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, CA.
The events kicked off with a warm welcome from Andrew Greenwell, CEO and Principal of Venture Sotheby’s International Realty, who is also the star of BRAVO’s hit realty TV show Million Dollar Listing San Francisco. Greenwell acknowledged the many affiliates who had traveled from as far away as Seattle and Hawaii, noting the importance of referrals and feeder markets. He also introduced Fran Santangelo, VP Global Operations for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, LLC, who flew in from New Jersey, along with Wendy Purvey, Chief Marketing Officer.
Santangelo provided an impressive update on the growth of the Brand around the world, which now includes more than 17,000 sales associates in 800+ offices across 61 countries and territories. Citing a recent report by REALTrends, he said Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates represented 75 of the 250 top producers in the US for individual average sales price – more than twice the number of the second largest brand on the list. He also said 31 affiliated teams made the list, showcasing the Brand’s dominance in the US for luxury home sales. He pointed out that the Bay Area affiliates have already sold more than $4.5 billion year to date 2015 with an incredible average sales price of $1.385 million.
Calling the growth “transformative,” Santangelo compared Sotheby’s International Realty to both Bay-area mega-brands Tesla and UBER, which continue to be disruptive forces in the automotive and travel industries.
“Look at the hundreds of technology companies located throughout the Silicon Valley and now think about the standouts,” said Santangelo. “This is what Sotheby’s International Realty is doing in real estate – we are defining the luxury segment in our industry.”
Santangelo likewise noted that though Sotheby’s was established in 1744 and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the company remains extremely progressive and credits its success to evolving over time. By example, he pointed to several recent announcements by Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith, such as a partnership with eBay to list select auction lots, merging the auction and the real estate company interests in a new publication called ART + HOME Magazine, and Sotheby’s recent acquisition of a 25% stake in RM Auctions to target car collectors.
Purvey provided an insightful update on the numerous exclusive marketing platforms that Sotheby’s International Realty enjoys worldwide. She illustrated the Brand’s market dominance in global visibility online, driving more than 1 million unique viewers each month to SIR.com, eclipsing the competition by a broad margin. Purvey also said July 2015 was the Brand’s best month ever, closing more than 10,000 transactions worldwide. In 2014, the US operations was responsible for 87,000 transactions grossing more than $70 billion in home sales with an average sales price of $800,000.
“We are in the most globally relevant media worldwide,” said Purvey. “Our competitors can’t say that.”
Purvey highlighted the many exclusive platforms enjoyed by affiliates, which includes highly visible property showcases on Architectural Digest, Dwell, Financial Times, Mansion Global, The New York Times, Tatler, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. She said global media remains the target, pointing out, for instance, that more people in the Bay Area visit NYT.com than they do SFChronicle.com.
Confirming that “content is the new black,” Purvey explained the Brand’s ongoing media strategy to generate original content with blog posts, editorial in publications and on micro sites as well as videos.
“We are the number one most visited YouTube channel out of all real estate companies with more subscribers every day,” added Purvey. “The new SIR.com now features dynamic video on our home page.”
A series of panel discussions followed the corporate updates. RSIR broker Jay Kipp participated in a presentation discussing best practices for brokers growing their business and outlined how to build a team.
In a second panel, top producing brokers shared how they leverage the Brand and exploit the matchless network. By example, Courtney Brown of Island Sotheby’s International Realty explained how she partnered with RSIR to showcase her properties on the RSIR blog called Maui Calling, knowing that the Pacific Northwest is a key feeder market for Hawaiian lifestyles.
Following the networking event, RSIR owners Dean and Stacy Jones joined Greenway and corporate executives for an outdoor dinner and concert at the nostalgic Wente Vineyards, which featured an incredible (and hilarious) performance by Steve Martin.
The Northern California SIR Networking Event was the second such program attended by RSIR executives, as the Jones’ previously attended a Midwest SIR Networking Event in April 2015.
“Our Brand has grown to a point where our affiliates are organizing regional events in between the larger Global Networking Events held,” said Dean Jones. “It’s always inspiring to connect with our Brand executives and to meet many more of our affiliates in key feeder markets.”