Chief Executive Philip White made the decision to replace Kevin Thompson with Brad Nelson, a longtime veteran leader of the brand.
Brad Nelson, a 10-year veteran of Sotheby’s International Realty, is the Realogy-affiliated brand’s new chief marketing officer, replacing Kevin Thompson, who had been with the company since 2017.
Nelson, who previously served as the chief marketing officer at two of the company’s largest affiliated franchisees and more recently as a marketing leader for the company’s own-side brokerages, will be tasked with supporting the brand’s agents and companies through the development of marketing, product and technology offerings.
The move comes in the wake of Sotheby’s International Realty combining both its franchise and own-brokerage leadership. CEO Philip White said the move made him evaluate the company’s marketing needs moving forward and that led him to make the change.
“As I travel around the country and meet with our affiliated companies, their managers, and their agents, it just became clear to me that we could probably provide even more support to our agents on a national and global basis,” White told Inman. “I really wanted to make sure that all the great things that we’ve been doing in terms of the marketing, technology and our global footprint of 1,000 offices, was really resonating as it could with our agents.”
White chose Nelson because of his decade of experience with the company, running marketing for large affiliates in Florida and Washington D.C., as well as running marketing for the company-owned business. He already has deep relationships with the company’s owners, managers and top agents, according to White.
White also praised the job Thompson did, in his nearly three years with the company.
“He launched two very successful global advertising campaigns, he created a new publishing model for Reside Magazine, which is our branded publication, which has been very successful,” White said. “I hired [Thompson] over two years ago to do these things and he accomplished his mission there.”
“It was just an opportunity to unite the two sides of our business and really have someone that can get very focused on what the agent’s needs are to be the most successful and to help our overall affiliated company really focus on accelerating growth,” White added. “That’s what this move is all about, a strategic decision to continue the significant growth that Sotheby’s International Realty has enjoyed.”
Nelson now steps into the role of managing marketing for both the own-side and affiliated business, two areas where he has deep experience. Both aspects of the business have a significant overlap in many of the problems he’ll try to solve for agents, Nelson told Inman.
“Those problems that you’re trying to solve for every day, in terms of how do you market the right properties to the right buyer, how do you help agents save a little time each day so they can continue to invest in their own personal growth– our affiliates and our own brokerage, their needs are identical,” Nelson said.
Sotheby’s International Realty is also a very specific brand, marketing luxury properties and working with a unique class of client. That gives Nelson a very specific value proposition he can market, alongside the brand.
“They are the most interesting architecturally, they are often some of the highest-profile in any given market around the world,” Nelson added. “We get to tell incredible stories about homes.”
One of the biggest challenges Sotheby’s International Realty currently faces is bridging the generational gap between buyers and sellers. He said the impetus is on his company to communicate to the older generation why their strategy to market to today’s buyers is the correct strategy.
“Sellers are often of a particular generation that have communication preferences and have historical experiences buying and selling real estate in a certain way. We’re seeing a new generation of buyers entering the market place and they search for real estate different ways. They consume media in different ways today.”