Sotheby’s International Realty, Realogy’s luxury brand with a presence in 54 countries, has launched a global referral network that automatically translates its referrals into the applicable languages, currencies and measurement units for each of the firm’s 700 offices around the world.
The platform, which is powered by real estate tech firm Immobel, also gives Sotheby’s International Realty’s corporate office an at-a-glance view of all the referrals in its network at any one time, Jay Lanigan, the brand’s director of referrals, told Inman News.
In addition, the new referral platform allows the brand to retire paper from its referral process, Lanigan said.
“We literally used to handle faxes and paper referral forms,” Lanigan said. “It was a paper process.”
The brand, which has more than 15,000 agents in its network, was looking for a way to track referrals over time, ensure timely responses and create a unified referral protocol throughout the network, said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Before rolling out the Immobel-powered platform three months ago, Sotheby’s International Realty didn’t have a way to do that.
Because it can now track referrals through their life cycle and collect data on their use, the new platform also gives the firm a way to see what role referrals play in its overall business, White said.
Sotheby’s International Realty does not collect referral fees at the corporate level, so the new corporate insight on referrals doesn’t have anything to do with collecting fees, White said. Instead, the firm wanted to help its approximate 200 affiliates streamline their referral process and to minimize disagreements by providing clarity on referral deals done between countries with different referral protocols, he said.
The brand has already closed 10 transactions through the platform, White said.
The Immobel-powered platform provides translation between 18 languages including International English, Latin American and European Spanish, Brazilian and European Portuguese, Canadian and European French, Italian, German, Dutch, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and three versions of Chinese: Traditional (Mandarin), Simplified (Cantonese) and Taiwanese Chinese.
The Immobel platform currently translate between nearly 60 currencies but can feasibly accommodate any global currency, said Immobel CEO Janet Choynowski.
The platform also supports three units of measurement: metric, imperial and ping, a measurement used in Asia, Choynowski said.
Immobel has a contract with Realogy Corp. that makes it easy for any of the firm’s brands to engage its services, said Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy’s franchise wing, Realogy Franchise Group.
In September, another of Realogy’s brands, Century 21 Real Estate, rolled out a global, multilingual website powered by Immobel.
In March, global franchisor Re/Max, which has more than 90,000 agents in over 90 countries, rolled out its own global referral network powered by the real estate social media network RESAAS.
The RESAAS-powered network now supports five languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, RESAAS spokeswoman Danielle Sissons told Inman News.
Like Sotheby’s International Realty’s new Immobel-powered referral network, Re/Max can monitor referrals sent and received by their agents using the RESAAS platform, Sissons said.