Six months after leaving her role as one of Compass’ regional presidents, Kamini Rangappan Lane has joined Sotheby’s International Realty as its president of brokerage.
In her new role, Lane will be responsible for crafting Sotheby’s sales, long-term growth and recruitment, retention, and profit strategies.
“Sotheby’s International Realty is an unparalleled brand in the industry,” Lane said in a statement on Monday. “Having transitioned from luxury marketing and branding to real estate operations, the move to overseeing the company-owned brokerage was a natural fit.
“I am excited to lead this globally known luxury brand, work with the best agents in the industry and help bring the company-owned business to the next level,” she added.
Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Lane spent nearly three years in various leadership roles at Compass, first as a general manager for the brokerage’s Greater Los Angeles operations and then as the president of Compass SoCal and eventually, the whole West region.
During her time there, Lane managed more than 10,000 Compass agents and staff members, assisted in leading the brokerage through its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2021, and led Compass to the peak of several regional real estate rankings lists, including the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Prior to Compass, Lane served in several management and marketing roles at some of the nation’s top brands, including luxury fashion marketplace Tradesy, global digital marketing agency Rapp, online retailer eBay and Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young.
“Kamini has the industry background and passion necessary to build agents’ businesses. Her focus on serving agents to make them more successful will bring an innovative and dynamic approach to drive business, sales performance, and productivity for our company-owned brokerage,” Sotheby’s International Realty CEO and President Philip White said of Lane’s experience on Monday. “I am confident that she will help boost Sotheby’s International Realty’s market presence and inspire agents with her passion for the business.”
In an interview with Inman, Lane said she’s excited to be back in the saddle with Sotheby’s and focus her attention to helping agents and their clients — which she said is her favorite part of being in the real estate industry.
“I love people and I’m passionate about people,” she told Inman. “The people aspect of real estate is probably my most favorite thing. It absolutely is an industry that is centered on relationships, and the relationships between people are really what strengthens the industry.”
Lane also said she enjoys the “operationally complex” nature of real estate that includes not only furthering a franchisor’s brand, but also the brands of the affiliated agents who are the faces, hands and feet of the companies they hang their licenses under.
“I think marketing and brand are really interesting in the real estate industry, because you know, from sort of a 30,000-foot view when you’re thinking about the agent, there is a balance between the brokerage background and the agent brand,” she said. “I think that that was really fascinating for me to learn because when you’re talking about a website like Tradesy, it’s much more clear cut. You’re marketing the goods on the site and you build a campaign around that.
“But it’s much more complex when you’re talking about real estate because there is at the very top line, you know, what is the agent brand? How is that resonant with the target customer of that agent? And then what role does the brokerage brand play? And then there’s another layer which is marketing the actual listing,” she added. “The real estate space is much more layered than in any industry that I’ve been in before. Much more nuanced, too.”
Lane said these complexities are exaggerated at Sotheby’s International Realty, which is connected to luxury auction house Sotheby’s and parent company, Anywhere, which is in the early stages of its own rebranding journey. However, she’s ready to dive in headfirst and figure out how Sotheby’s International Realty can better leverage its connections to both companies.
“Continuing to maintain and strengthen that connection to [the auction house] is going to be incredibly important,” she said. “I think it’s been done very, very well thus far.
“But I’m looking forward to kind of diving in there, continuing to strengthen that brand connection and continue to make it relevant because the luxury buyer is demographically all over the spectrum. It’s much more varied than I think people realize,” she added. “Anywhere, as the parent company, is at a really interesting inflection point and it’ll be really fantastic to see how the Anywhere brand kind of gets built and where luxury fits into that.”