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The world’s great real estate brokerages are a beacon to luxury agents across the globe — they support their teams and they produce results. But how can agents find their way to a seat at the table?
Landing at a top firm goes beyond putting in the hard work and continuing to close deals. It’s critical to set meaningful goals, keep track of market trends, and actively demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for the brokerage of your choice.
Mick Night, Sales Associate at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Winter Park office, has been listed among the top individual sales associates in Central Florida in the America’s Best rankings, and was also one of The Thousand. Christine Grenney, Associate Broker and REALTORⓇ with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, has long been recognized as a top-producing agent in her market of Park City, Utah. Here, they give their insights on how agents can connect with some of the industry’s most competitive teams.
1. Set clear objectives for joining the team
The best way to begin the journey to your ideal working environment is to identify the brokerage you would ideally like to work with and ask yourself why you belong there. What does it offer you, and how will it advance your career? In Night’s case, he knew that his clients demanded the highest level of lifestyle expertise and service, and so his intention was to align himself with a company capable of exceeding those expectations.
“I considered Sotheby’s International Realty to be the most influential luxury real estate brand worldwide,” he explains of his own career goals. “Building on the centuries-long reputation of the preeminent Sotheby’s auction house, the real estate brand offers an extensive, highly sought-after network across a very high-end market.”
Meanwhile, for Grenney, deep roots and a long tradition in the luxury space was also an important factor — but so was innovation. “Two things originally drew me to Summit Sotheby’s International Realty,” she says. “The history of the brand was valuable to me on a personal level because I had once interned at the auction house in New York. At the same time, the brokerage was revolutionizing real estate sales and marketing.”
2. Make your move when the market is right
Night and Grenney both agree that to get in with the brokerage you want, you need to seize the day — and you do that by monitoring market demand and making connections as soon as business is accelerating. “Once the real estate market began to take off in 2012, I knew I was at a stage where I needed a serious shift,” recalls Grenney.
This motivated her to set her sights on the company she believed would be best — not only for herself but for the buyers and sellers she was intent on representing. “In order to achieve the goals I had set for myself, I sought a brand that would best serve the needs of Park City’s discerning clientele,” she says. “As a result, I got the best resources available in the industry, and what my clients received was unsurpassed service, regardless of their price point.”
For Night, it was likewise critical to act on the chance as soon as it arose. “I have always run my business like an international luxury brand, so when Sotheby’s International Realty came to the Winter Park and Orlando markets, there was no doubt in my mind this was the type of highly respected real estate company I wanted to be affiliated with.”
3. Embody the brokerage’s brand values
When the timing is right, the effort you’ve put into building your real estate portfolio — and becoming a pillar of the community you serve — will enable you to stand out among other applicants and prove that you’re the right agent for the team.
“Thomas Wright, our Principal Broker and President, was intent on creating a brokerage with the top-performing agents in the area,” says Grenney. “He invited me to interview, and it was evident that Summit Sotheby’s International Realty was a mutual fit. My historical volume, involvement in our community, and representation of the brand were key elements in his decision to hire me.”
By taking steps ahead of time to ensure you’re aligned with your ideal brand and brokerage on both a professional and cultural level, you’ll have an easier time adapting to its business model and operations. “Following the lead of such a skilled marketing team meant that onboarding was a seamless experience,” says Night. “I simply took what I had always been doing to become the leader in my luxury market, and enhanced it with cutting-edge tools for high-end customer service.”
4. To achieve excellence, empower others
In luxury real estate, there seems to be a golden rule for advancing your career: give and you shall receive. Grenney has seen that success in the industry is built on a reputation for generosity and servant leadership, and that agents will always get back what they put in.
“Lead by example, and be willing to share your best practices,” she advises. “Earn the respect of your peers and partners. Deliver on what you say you will do, and execute with integrity and ethics. Be nimble and adapt to ever-changing sales methods to better your business. Set realistic expectations with your clientele. And, last but not least, express your gratitude and work to maintain balance in your life.”
Becoming part of a top brokerage team allows agents to advance their professional development, and it’s a project well worth pursuing. “The trajectory of my career is due to dedication, communication, reinvention, and exceptional service — and the resources that my brokerage provided fueled the acceleration of that forward motion,” says Grenney. “When you pair hard work with the most innovative tools in the industry, anything is possible.”
About Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.