Thousands of affiliates from the Sotheby’s International Realty network ascended upon Las Vegas September 25th to 27th for the brand’s Global Networking Event, which brings brokers, owners, managers and sales associates together for exclusive networking and learning opportunities with keynote speeches, breakout panels and cocktail receptions. The event, which was held at the Wynn Las Vegas, was attended by a staggering 2,400 members of the Sotheby’s International Realty network, with more than 155 of the brand’s companies represented from 34 countries and territories worldwide.
Dean and Stacy Jones, owners and principal of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, were all smiles at the brand’s Asia Pacific Affiliates reception.
The dynamic three-day event was attended by approximately 50 members of the Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) team, as they immersed themselves in the brand with two general sessions and a selection of 25 breakout sessions. More than 85 Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate members volunteered to play an integral part in the sessions, which ranged in topic from sales and negotiation tactics to marketing and more, serving as breakout hosts, guest speakers and expert panelists to share advice, best practices and personal experiences with their peers.
Members from around the Sotheby’s International Realty network came together for three days at the Wynn Las Vegas to share knowledge in sales, negotiation, marketing and more.
Three members of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty were invited to speak at the GNE. Dean Jones, Owner & Principal of the firm, lent his expertise to the Asia Global Alliance panel and the New Development panel, serving as “captain” of the latter’s sphere. RSIR brokers Sam Cunningham and Phil Greely covered Metro Markets and Millennial Trends in Emerging Opportunities, respectively.
Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, was the headlining keynote speaker and addressed members of the Sotheby’s International Realty network discussing the journey of creating a global lifestyle brand, which includes a focus on authenticity, constant evolution, and a keen understanding of the consumer.
Martha Stewart talked about how she built a global lifestyle brand that speaks to consumers.
In addition, Jeff Hargett, senior corporate director of culture transformation at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, gave an engaging and dynamic speech about the power of excellence in customer service and creating unique client experiences. The crowd was also addressed by:
- John Peyton, chief executive officer of Realogy Franchise Group
- Maarten ten Holder, executive vice president and global managing director of Sotheby’s Luxury & Lifestyle Division
- Brett Hagler, chief executive officer and co-founder of New Story, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s charitable partner
- The Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC senior leadership team including:
- Philip White, president and chief executive officer
- Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, chief operating officer
- Kevin Thompson, chief marketing officer
- Francis X. Santangelo, senior vice president of global operations
“The strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand resonates around the world and our global footprint is unrivaled; the Global Networking Event is a testament to that,” said White. “This year’s conference was attended by members of our network from 34 countries and it was inspiring to see transcontinental business connections and friendships unfold as our affiliates continue to grow their business and strengthen the power of our brand.”
Sotheby’s International Realty unveiled the new LIVE brand ad campaign during the GNE, a platform that reached 7 million people on delivery through placements on leading media outlets including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest. To amplify the brand’s reach, they rolled out an exclusive advertising and syndication platform on the Nikkei, making Sotheby’s International Realty the first real estate brand to showcase properties outside Japan on the Nikkei, one of the most influential business publications in the world.
Following the event, a collective of RSIR brokers and the executive team reflected on their key takeaways, from the launch of the new LIVE campaign and the shift in wealth to millennials, to the service model of the Ritz Carlton and the way virtual reality and the digital world are shifting the real estate industry.
“I’ve attended a few real estate conferences and networking events recently, but nothing compares to the Global Networking Event. It is the power of activating this network that truly blows my mind,” said Jennifer Johnsen Cameron, executive vice president of brand development with RSIR. “While so many real estate conversations have begun about the role technology may play in our marketplace, it remains the customer’s experience that is, and always will be, where we must focus our gold standard. It takes effort to create a culture dedicated to providing the extraordinary. We are committed and I take tremendous pride in the experience our company and brand delivers. I’m so grateful I was able to share these three days with my team and our brokers as we move forward inspired to deliver an even higher level of service than what our clients already have come to expect when partnering with Sotheby’s International Realty.”
Some of the ladies of team RSIR enjoyed cocktails and conversations at the GNE. (Clockwise from bottom left): Cindy Paur, Malia Haas, Catherine Ferrera, Andrea Savage, Eleanor Heyrich, Jennifer Johnsen Cameron, Mary Nelson, Shelley Cribby and Carrie DeBuys.
“It’s always great to make new connections in feeder markets and re-engage with longtime associates from around the global network,” added RSIR broker Cindy Paur. “The New Story partnership was inspiring and I was blown away by the broker generosity toward the campaign. I also enjoyed listening to Martha Stewart, who said she ‘never called in too sick and never called in too rich,’ a mantra that helped her through creating television shows and writing dozens of books that came together in Martha Stewart Omnimedia.”
RSIR broker Mary Nelson said she gained a lot of insight from the Boston Consulting Group discussion on Understanding Millennials, from the need for convenience and social storytelling, to their position as global citizens and commitment to being good to the planet and themselves. “The best inquisitive question I heard was from the Ritz Carlton video, which asked ‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’ which I felt also resonated with Thomas Wright’s emphasis on asking, ‘Do you show up every day as ‘Day 1’?” added Nelson.
(From left): RSIR brokers Mary Nelson, Kathy Madsen, and Cindy Paur were all smiles before the GNE cocktail reception.
“My favorite class highlighted the importance of stepping into your power, which made some excellent points about being a giver in this industry,” said Kathy Madsen, broker with RSIR. “I was also blown away by Brett Hagler, who demonstrated that just one good, honest and giving idea can turn into a way to change not only one life, but a village.”
“The GNE is always an extraordinary, memorable, fun and worthwhile event,” remarked RSIR broker Robert Pong. “I am proud to be a part of such a distinctive global brand that offers endless knowledge and resources. It’s always great to meet other members of the Sotheby’s International Realty network face-to-face and establish meaningful connections among agents that are regarded for their integrity and top-tier service.”
Robert Pong (left) was thrilled to connect with affiliates from around the Sotheby’s International Realty network while at the 2017 GNE.
“The Sotheby’s brand is very powerful and if an agent plugs into this power, the brand can do a lot of the heavy lifting to establish credibility and expertise in the market, especially in the luxury space,” added Randall O’Dowd, RSIR broker. “My impression as a new member of the Sotheby’s family is that there’s a lot of power in the networking because of the number of high-level brokers that attend the event, and these connections will benefit my business and my valued clients.”
After looking back at her notes from the event, RSIR broker Anie Buckmelter said “my market expertise married with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is like wrapping your home in a beautiful blue box with a pearl white ribbon, just waiting for the world to unwrap the magic that is inside.” She also described the lasting statements made by Jeff Hargett of Ritz Carlton, who said to “turn every interaction into a defining moment” and that the key to success is to “take the simplest everyday things and make them extraordinary.”
(From left): RSIR team members Ashley Volpe, Tammie Chi, Robin Sheridan, Anie Buckmelter and Rhea Kulikova enjoyed networking at the GNE cocktail reception.
“I was a little reluctant to attend my first GNE because I wasn’t sure I was ready to absorb all of the information I knew would come my way, but after attending, I can definitely say that all new Sotheby’s brokers, whether new to the field or the brand, should attend within their first year,” reflected RSIR broker Rhea Kulikova. “I made some connections from around the world that I know will be lifelong, and the content was informative and truly inspired me to act in ways I didn’t know I needed to.”
Marilyn Turner, manager of the RSIR office on Bainbridge Island talked about how much she loves being part of the RSIR team and the way that Jeff Hargett from the Ritz Carlton inspired her. “The simple concept that we are all ‘ladies and gentleman meeting ladies and gentleman’ spoke volumes to me on many levels. The phrase translates to every aspect of one’s life and work,” added Turner.
A few of the ladies of RSIR at the GNE event. (From left): Helen Pederslie, Natalie Debray, Stacy Jones and Tammie Chi.
“I came home from the GNE inspired and armed with many pearls of wisdom,” RSIR broker Natalie Debray reflected. “The biggest thing I learned was the importance of offering exceptional client care. This comes in many forms but a recurring theme was authenticity and emotional engagement to the properties you sell and the clients you represent. It’s about the ‘wow’ moments.”
“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I was given to attend the GNE this year!” mused Casandra Sisson, broker care with the RSIR Issaquah office. “I always hear from executives about how strong the brand is, but it’s hard to really understand it until you’re in a room with over 2,400 other people all utilizing the same Sotheby’s blue business card. If there is one single sentence that inspired me the most, it would be: luxury should be inviting, not intimidating.”
Casandra Sisson offered a glimpse into her GNE experience with a collection of materials brought to and acquired at the GNE.
“I was really influenced by the discussion about emotional intelligence,” added Kirkland office manager Shelley Cribby. “It’s important to focus on the possibilities, expand your comfort zone and set clear goals that you believe are worthy of achieving.”
In addition to learning and networking opportunities, this year, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s charitable partner, New Story, attended the event. New Story, which builds communities of homes for those in need for $6,000 USD per home, challenged attendees to pledge 100 homes for a new community in Mexico. At the end of the event, attendees surpassed the goal by pledging over 150 New Story Homes.
Brett Hagler, co-founder & chief operating officer of New Story, talks about the company’s commitment to building safe and sustainable housing.
Brett Hagler of New Story was happy to discuss his charity with RSIR broker Cindy Paur.
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland, Issaquah and Madison Park, offers exclusive Sotheby’s International Realty marketing, advertising and referral services that are designed to attract well-qualified buyers to the firm’s property listings. Property listings from Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty are also marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website, as well as on the firm’s local website, rsir.com.
The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has approximately 21,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 900 offices in 68 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated.