The driving force behind the Concierge Auction method is the sense of urgency and fear of losing out when bidders only have an aggressive four to six weeks to make a decision. Now, the world’s largest network of high-end real estate firms, LeadingRE, is joining forces with the eight-year-old auction service, a move that speaks to the normalization of the bidding model and the fading stigma attached to the word “auction.”

  • The world's largest network of high-end real estate firms, LeadingRE, is joining forces with Concierge Auctions, a move that speaks to the normalization of the bidding model.
  • No matter how stunning the property, when a luxury home sits on the market for too long, often agents and brokers are left with few options.
  • While modifying the traditional luxury real estate sales model, Concierge Auctions founder, president and CEO Laura Brady and Chairman Chad Roffers always have an agent represent both sides of the transaction.

In forming an exclusive partnership with Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Concierge Auctions is ushering in the promise of its services — “We are real estate.”

Indeed, while modifying the traditional luxury real estate sales model, Concierge Auctions founder, president and CEO Laura Brady and Chairman Chad Roffers remain true to their roots.

Brady, a top producing luxury agent before the age of 30 and Roffer, a former luxury broker-owner and entrepreneur, met in 2004 and decided to fix what they saw as a broken process:

No matter how stunning the property, when a luxury home sits on the market for too long, often agents and brokers are left with few options. They can reduce the price, reshoot the photos, create a new video or repost the listing to the MLS with hopes that it will magically rise to the top of everyone’s inbox. After pouring heart and soul into marketing, agents can be left without a sale.

So, the duo started a luxury home auction operation with a twist — an alternative marketing strategy of sorts. Although properties end up in the hands of the highest bidder, and the invisible hand essentially determines the value, brokers still serve to represent both sides of the transaction.

While the auction format can rescue a property that’s been on the market for more than a year, in some cases, a particularly unique home can be a good candidate for bidding right off the bat.

“The sellers who are coming to us — they’re not distressed sellers,” Brady said. “They’re sellers who are choosing to auction because they have a very unique, one-of-a-kind property that can be difficult to value.

“So, we’re working with the real estate agent and the seller with a property that’s been listed for awhile and wants a marketing boost and a new technique, or we’re actually starting to see more sellers use our process as a go-to marketing strategy … launching the auction from the very beginning.” This allows the listing to gain momentum from day one, Brady added.

The driving force behind the auction method is a sense of urgency combined with fear of losing out when bidders only have an aggressive four to six weeks to make a decision.

The roots of the partnership and Luxury Portfolio benefits

Now, the world’s largest network of high-end real estate firms, LeadingRE, is joining forces with the eight-year-old auction service, a move that speaks to the normalization of the bidding model and the fading stigma attached to the word “auction.”

“We’ve been impressed by the consistent growth and success of Concierge Auctions,” said Stephanie Pfeffer Anton, EVP, Luxury Portfolio, in a press release. “Many of our members have used Concierge Auctions to assist in the sales of luxury properties. Having partners we can trust and who demonstrate expertise in the field means everything to us and the network of brokerages that put their faith in us.”

As the exclusive auction provider to LeadingRE, Concierge Auctions will be an at-the-ready resource for Luxury Portfolio International members.

“We definitely have inside information that we have to educate their members about our process,” Brady said. “They’re going to have the opportunity for more communication with us. We’re a tool for them; in essence, we’re helping them to sell through a lot of their highest-end properties.”

Brady describes the partnership with Luxury Portfolio as a collaborative effort developed over time through networking, events and conversation.

“I knew that [Pfeffer Anton and Paul Boomsma, Leading RE president] appreciated and understood what we were doing in the luxury real estate space and were looking to offer new and innovative tools for their members,” she said. In turn, Brady admired the scope of the Luxury Portfolio network.

As part of LeadingRE’s Conference Week in February, Concierge Auctions sponsored the Luxury Portfolio SUMMIT in Miami, which featured presentations on the latest innovative business strategies, technologies and solutions.

Concierge Auctions has been growing year-over-year since its creation in 2008 and is now active in 32 different states and 10 different countries. Brady pointed out that the more educated agents are on how auctions work, the more in-the-loop they’ll be when clients are seeking this option.

“I think it’s really important for agents to know that auctions are becoming more popular,” Brady said. “We certainly experience a lot of agents who feel we are competition, whereas really we’re just an extra solution for them.”

Email Caroline Feeney.

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