Sotheby’s International Realty Achieved $70 Billion in US Home Sales in 2014; Posts 17-Percent Increase from Prior Year

Upon year-end 2014, Sotheby’s International Realty reported expansive growth throughout the world, which now encompasses 60 countries and territories worldwide. The networked totaled 760 branch offices globally, a gain of 8.5-percent and more than 16,570 sales associates, up 14-percent. In the US, affiliated brokers and sales professionals sold more than $70 billion in home sales transactions – the highest sales performance in the brand’s franchise system and a 17-percent increase from the prior year.

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“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.”

Locally, Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty experienced similar results joining the top ten largest real estate brands in the region while leading growth at 63-percent year over year with $580 million in sales.

“While our growth and sales stats are impressive, I’m most excited about our broker production,” says Stacy Jones, Vice President of RSIR. “Ultimately brokers are joining our firm to grow their business and to position themselves for new opportunities. It’s rewarding to see that occurring.”

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Jones says the per agent growth rate in total sales volume on average was more than twice that of the next closest competitor.  She credits this to investing in each broker’s unique brand and resourcing the marketing, team formation or referral opportunities that come with being a member of this boutique approach to big business.

“As we’ve always said, we don’t need a large volume of brokers to service a large volume of business,” adds Jones. “We partner with our brokers to grow their opportunities.”

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, the Hong Kong Tatler and the Financial Times, developed to showcase unique properties from the brand’s worldwide network. All that investment is paying off as SIR.com visitation has exploded online. Likewise, RSIR.com traffic has doubled every year with thousands of consumers routinely digesting the properties, market reports and informative blog posts.

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“We’ve become more than a real estate brokerage,” says Andrea Savage, Marketing Manager for RSIR. “We’re also an events coordinator, a publisher and even a producer. To us sales are the successful conclusion of doing other things well. I think that shows in our marketing and ultimately in the sales results.”

To be sure, RSIR recently celebrated the success of their brokers with a full page ad in The Puget Sound Business Journal recognizing their differentiation and accomplishments.

“Status – yes. Quo – never,” adds Jones. “We want to be different and we are.”

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PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR showcased more than 100 brokers and members of the broker care and marketing team in a full page ad within The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Speaking of keeping good company, 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.

King 5 Taps RSIR Brokers about Mariners Home Search

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It’s the start of spring training for Mariner Baseball players and it’s also the spring sales season for local real estate brokers. RSIR brokers were tapped by reporter Jake Whittenberg of King 5 News about what the boys of summer are looking for in a new address. Watch both features here: New Mariners making Seattle their new homeNew Mariners make Seattle Home.

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“Generally speaking, they seek privacy, security and proximity to the field – sometimes that means a purchase and other times that means a lease,” shares Dean Jones, Owner of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty. “What’s most important is that our brokers identify their unique situations and provide specific solutions.”

Jones adds that the Sotheby’s International Realty network is unique for athlete relocation services because oftentimes the players can be represented by the trusted brand on both sides of their relocation and brokers are hand selected to match the players. RSIR brokers have been involved in many transactions with professional athletes and rallied to the cause when it looked like the Seattle Supersonics were making a comeback to the region.

Whittenberg toured several properties that were earmarked as being ideal residences for Mariners, including a new construction waterfront home called Serenity on North Mercer Island and a luxury condominium in the prestigious Four Seasons Private Residences.

Broker Connie Blumenthal met Whittenberg at the former residence of Mariner’s Field Manager Eric Wedge, where she helped the family acquire and sell the residence.

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PICTURED ABOVE: RSIR Broker Connie Blumenthal explains her role in working with Mariner baseball players and coaches in placing these unique clients in both lease and purchase properties.

“While the Wedges only stayed for a brief amount of time, from a real estate perspective I think we hit it out of the park,” muses Blumenthal. “These clients need to focus on their game and we’ll take care of them off the field.”

Blumenthal not only helped the Wedges buy their home for $1,825,000 and sell it 26 months later for $2,400,000 but did so with multiple offers after only five days on market. She also helped ensure the Wedges felt welcomed in the neighborhood by throwing them a welcome reception, which was well-attended by neighbors and others from Mercer Island. She says Mercer Island is popular with professional athletes because the community is serene, private and just minutes from the stadiums (including the Seahawks training facility in north Renton) but feels worlds away.

“With all the cameras, lights and noise of being a professional athlete, it makes perfect sense to retreat to Mercer Island,” says Blumenthal.

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Given that Mariners have an affinity to the water, RSIR selected a new construction opportunity on North Mercer Island as being an ideal home for a baseball player. The shy three quarter acre compound will offer a gated and secure retreat along the tranquil, no-bank waterfront – perfect for lakeside recreation off the baseball field.

RSIR listing broker James Stroupe says the new 8,235-square foot home also includes a boat house with plenty of moorage for boats, jet skis and other water toys. Optionally, the two lot land portfolio could also include a full-sized sports court on the rear lot or that could be developed into a guest house, large garage for a car collection or developed as a separate single family home.

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PICTURED ABOVE: Interior designer Garret Cord Werner presents plans to King 5 TV News showcasing his vision for a north Mercer Island property on Lake Washington.

Garret Cord Werner, an award-winning interior designer, specializes in Northwest contemporary architecture and called the Mercer Island location a “resort-like” environment.

“We worked hard to incorporate the mature landscaping and integrate the home into the land,” said Werner during his interview with King 5 TV News.

Werner says the plans are fully developed and engineered but the interiors await a buyer’s input for personalization. Serenity on Mercer Island is being offered for $4,498,888 and pending permits could break ground by summer.

On the other end of the spectrum, King 5 TV News also toured a luxury high-rise condominium at the Four Seasons Private Residences with RSIR broker Scott Wasner.

“A Mariner could certainly enjoy being home just minutes from Safeco Field, discretely slipping into the private entrance of this most notable of downtown lifestyles,” says Wasner. “Best yet world-class services and amenities are at your fingertips, not to mention quintessential views of Elliott Bay and dramatic sunsets over the Olympic Mountains.”

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PICTURED ABOVE: Residence #1201 high above the exclusive Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Seattle offers owners and guests immediate access to five-star amenities and services.

Recently recognized as The Wall Street Journal’s National “House of The Week“, this stunning, two bedroom plus den view home offers gorgeous stone and wood finishes across 2,082 square feet and is offered at $3,150,000. Wasner says it’s a spectacular opportunity to own at Seattle’s most luxurious address. The hallmark of Four Seasons service supports this home with 24-hr concierge, valet, security, room service, fitness center, housekeeping, outdoor pool and spa.