Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC reported that in 2014 its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved $70 billion in U.S. home sale transaction volume (transaction sides multiplied by average sale price). This is the highest sales volume performance in the history of the brand’s franchise system, and marks a 17% increase from the prior year. Driven largely by an 11 percent gain in transaction sides, the growth experienced by Sotheby’s International Realty far outpaced the overall U.S. housing market as compared to the one percent increase in sales volume and a three percent decrease in home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors®.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also reported growth in its global network, which now encompasses 60 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled approximately 760 offices, a gain of 8.5 percent, and more than 16,570 sales associates, up 14 percent.
“The Sotheby’s International Realty network grew substantially in 2014,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “The luxury sector continues to outperform the overall market, which reflects the value consumers see in high-end real estate to grow their wealth, as well as the increasing level of international buyers in key luxury markets.”
Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand expanded its network in 2014 to provide its real estate services in: Belgium, Beijing, Belize, the Canary Islands, Luxembourg, India, Hainan, St. Martin, Poland and St. Moritz. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also added 13 new residential real estate firms and 45 net new offices to its network across the United States, including the following markets: Houston, Texas; Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Sunset, S.C.; Richmond, Va.; Marblehead, Mass.; Wilmington and Topsail Island, N.C.; Kailua, Hawaii; Woodinville, Wash.; Malibu, Calif.; Lancaster, Pa.; Brookline and Jamaica Plain, Mass.; and Pleasanton, Calif.
In 2015 and for the eighth year in a row, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand won Franchise Business Review’s Best in Category for Real Estate Franchisee Satisfaction award. In addition to its real estate ranking, the brand in 2015 moved to first in the overall top 50 from fourth in 2014, and first among the Top 50 “Systems with 250 or more units,” up from third in 2014.
Last year also marked the launch of the Sotheby’s International Realty Global Referral system, which was designed to streamline the transfer of referrals electronically within the brand’s worldwide network. The Global Referral system, which the brand developed with Immobel, allows Sotheby’s International Realty network members to assign referrals, manage them through closing and run detailed reports. The system also features language translation and currency conversion.
From a marketing perspective, the brand’s 2014 campaign delivered more than 800 million impressions. At the core of the Sotheby’s International Realty 2014 strategy was its relationships with pre-eminent media powerhouses in both the print and online arenas including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph Media Group, Google, Architectural Digest, Bloomberg.com, the Hong Kong Tatler and the Financial Times, developed to showcase unique properties from the brand’s worldwide network.
In 2014 the brand also launched “Extraordinary AnglesSM,” a lifestyle video series showcasing unique properties and lifestyles from around the world. Each three to five minute “webisode” takes viewers on inspiring tours through some of the finest properties represented by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand in the world’s most distinct locations. The series is available on the brand’s website by clicking here.
Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and their clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.
About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744.