Join the exceptional and become a Sotheby's International Realty agent.
There’s nothing average about luxury properties, or the clientele who purchase them — so why should luxury agents settle for average careers? With the proper practices, agents can take their real estate business from ordinary to extraordinary.
Join Lauren Muehlethaler, Vice President of Affiliate Services at Sotheby’s International Realty, on June 22nd as she continues this conversation with Chucks Okafor (Real Estate Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada), Kaori Nagao-Chiti (Real Estate Associate with Las Vegas Sotheby’s International Realty), and Corey Burr (Senior Vice President at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty) at the next Sotheby’s International Realty Insider webinar.
Lauren Muehlethaler: What were the barriers holding back your business?
Corey Burr: I was a relatively high-producing agent for 25 years, but after the fallout from the 2008-2009 market correction, I couldn’t envision any circumstances where I would be able to compete effectively against an incredible brand and marketing juggernaut like Sotheby’s International Realty. So I decided to join it instead — and took my production from $30 to $90 million.
Chucks Okafor: I consider myself to be extremely fortunate because most of my career and business in real estate has been at Sotheby’s International Realty. However, like many new advisors, I was unaware of how best to harness and leverage the power of the brand.
LM: What did it take for you to pivot and improve the way you work?
CO: After struggling to gain traction my first year at Sotheby’s International Realty, I contacted some of the most respected advisors in the network to seek their insights on navigating the world of luxury real estate. Each was generous with their time and perspective, which gave me a direction forward.
Kaori Nagao-Chiti: From day one, I was surrounded by top producers, so I didn’t really experience “ordinary” — I was mentored by Randy Char, probably the greatest luxury broker in Las Vegas, and our current Corporate Broker at Las Vegas Sotheby’s International Realty. Being able to shadow the team and learn firsthand from experts made me excel.
LM: What learning strategies or tools have made the biggest difference in your success?
CB: Once I joined Sotheby’s International Realty, my first order of business was learning the specifics of the brand and its history, and fully embracing all the tools it provides. ActivePipe is an example: I’ve been able to create a consistent communication avenue with my sphere of influence and past clients. I’ve benefited from professional development opportunities the brand offers, such as Ninja Selling courses. And the ability to hire assistants has freed me to build the business faster and focus on the things I enjoy.
CO: Attending various Mastermind, networking, and learning opportunities, as well as the Ninja Selling program, has been effective. The brand’s tools are excellent — the Cloze CRM has allowed me to be in sync with the needs of my clients and partners, and Listrac helps me identify and connect with potential buyers and sellers. I have also become more active in highlighting the Sotheby’s International Realty brand on all my social media channels, which is resonating with my spheres of influence.
KNC: I knew that I had to go all-in on video marketing. Last year, over 60% of my business came from YouTube. Through the platform, you become the authority and expert in a certain topic — for me, new construction. Subscribers will reach out to you when they’re ready to buy, sell, or invest. I find it’s helpful to be consistent and upload one long video every week on Sundays.
LM: Do you have any last pieces of advice for agents looking to evolve from ordinary to extraordinary?
KNC: Build your referral network. The referral network I have through Sotheby’s International Realty is like no other, and after attending the brand’s Global Networking Event for the first time in April, my business exploded.
CB: To elevate my business, I created a point-based system where every activity an agent accomplishes is given a value. The more points an agent can accumulate, the closer they are to earning bigger commission checks. Approaching the business like this makes it more of a game and helps ensure that newer agents become fully immersed.
CO: Since 2019, I have seen my overall volume and commission increase year over year. Affiliating with a global brand provides an array of tools and support, and every agent should take advantage of them to bring their production from ordinary to extraordinary.
Register to watch the webinar
Sotheby’s International Realty Insider takes place on Thursday, June 22, at 1:00 pm ET. This is a panel you won’t want to miss! Make sure to register in advance; this is an open webinar available to all agents, no matter what company you are with.