How you know you've found a winning team

A top producer shares what she looked for — and found — in her brokerage

I spent my first three years in real estate at a small, boutique agency. But when Sotheby’s International Realty came to the Louisville market, I immediately knew that was where I wanted to be.

I spent my first three years in real estate at a small, boutique agency. But when Sotheby’s International Realty came to the Louisville market, I immediately knew that was where I wanted to be. Joining Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty was an easy transition — thanks in large part to the welcoming and non-competitive environment that owner John Lenihan fosters.

No more team of rivals

At Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, we aren’t simply buying and selling property. We’re encouraged to function as a team, and it helps that every agent works full-time and takes their roles seriously. The result: more cohesion, more camaraderie, and no competition.

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

There are a few key components that make Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty so successful. One is transparency. Every agent is encouraged to come to every sales meeting. There, we share our successes and failures. This was such a change from my previous agency, where agents acted like competitors. John Lenihan encourages us to view every agent’s success as our success — and their struggles as our struggles, too.

This amazing collaboration completely transforms the way we do business. Because we work together, our clients share our successes, too.

Crowdsourcing expertise

Another benefit to being part of a firm is the opportunity for knowledge-building. The real estate industry never stops changing: it’s the nature of our business, and if we’re not continually learning, we’re going to find ourselves left behind.

At Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, any time the market changes, we have an expert debrief us. These experts are essential to the agency: we’ve fostered relationships with a number of professionals in our market, such as closing attorneys, lenders, contractors, and inspectors. Our agency’s relationships are our clients’ relationships, so customers know they’re always working with the best.

Education through networking

I’d recommend agents take advantage of the networking events presented through their brokerages and parent brands. We actively make use of the online opportunities and international conferences Sotheby’s International Realty provides.

Because we’re constantly learning — and learning from such sophisticated teachers — each agent quickly establishes themselves as the go-to person in their sphere of influence. And by sharing our knowledge and resources, the entire agency stays up to date.

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

The effective leadership at the top of our firm has had a trickle-down effect for agents. John has instilled the value of mentorship in us all. Not only are we all better because of our mentors, but we’re encouraged to support mentees, too. No one is forced to overwork because of their success: instead, we bring in assistants and train our mentees to the same level of professionalism and success we each enjoy. Typically what happens is that a year or two in, after they’ve learned the ropes and feel confident in their expertise, our assistants spin off within the company. We’re very supportive of that growth.

Raising the bar for everyone

One final benefit of being part of a leading brand is that I’ve never had to apologize for anyone on the Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty team. We’re consummate professionals: all of us work together to elevate the agency’s name. Every person is welcomed to the team, no matter whether they’re an agent-in-training, a back office employee, or our top seller. We raise everyone up — we don’t participate in competitive posturing.

Outside of our office, I’m always amazed by how seamlessly Sotheby’s International Realty connects you with professionals across the globe. Our office is a small team — but the greater Sotheby’s International Realty community is part of our team, too. Referrals are so easy, and I never worry about accidentally connecting a client with an unprofessional agent. I can call a fellow Sotheby’s International Realty agent I met at a conference, immediately connect with them, and know my referred client will be in excellent hands.

John set my team up for success not just through his partnership with Sotheby’s International Realty, although their support has been vital. The welcoming, supportive, and professional environment he fosters encourages our continual success — as an agency and as individual agents.

Terri Bass

With over 20 years of marketing experience along with tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm for Louisville real estate, Terri Bass has been the top sales associate for Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty for the last five years. Terri handles each and every real estate sale or purchase with integrity; keen negotiating skills, and the recognition that meeting her clients’ needs is her ultimate goal.


About Sotheby’s International Realty

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. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 960 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $108 billion USD. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its 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.