Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty
4.40
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/ based on 10 reviews

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4.40/5

based on 10 reviews

  • 6 Great
  • 2 Good
  • 2 Ok
  • 0 Bad
  • 0 Terrible
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Sotheby's is a very well known brokerage. People recognize the brokerage, and you get more and more business because of it. It is very beneficial for agents to start off their real estate career with as much experience as they can get to learn the ropes. Definitely recommend.

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Sotheby's is OK, but I really need better leads and better splits. I want to be paid for the actual work I put in, and don't feel like that is happening.

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Martha Turner

We pretty much have everything in house. We have a great support staff, a great marketing team, and everything in the company works really well. We have the kind of support you need when you need help, and there are always other agents. I am an agent and an assistant so for me everything is good. I think that commission splits are fair in terms of the amount of support that we are getting (in other words, they provide a lot of value!).

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My volume in Texas was about $5 million, but I struggled after moving to Florida. I was with Sotheby's Realty for 2 years and their lead generation was bad. I'm currently not working right now, but once I get re-started, I will make sure it's with a broker with a good network.

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Attention to detail is needed due to the caliber of the clientelle you work with. If you don't have a network of high net worth individuals, it could not be the best opportunity for you. Like most real estate brokerages, you set the pace of your own work.

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Global

The best part is we are affiliated with a global company, and it has a good reputation. Right now, I don't have any complaints. I think the commission splits and fees are fair. They provide support, trainings, and everything that an agent needs to grow their business.

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My license is hanging with Sotheby's but I'm not actively working due to an ill family member. Sotheby's has tremendous experience and knowledge within the real estate industry. It's a great place to be if you're good at luxury sales and have experience with high-end clientele.

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I have had an incredible time. Sotheby's is THE biggest name in Luxury Real Estate. If you want to deal in luxury properties, this is a good place to build your skillset. You get out of it what you put into it. The people are amazing and very friendly. The morale is good and great vibes overall.

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I joined because of the good reputation, but One Sotheby's promised me the world and nothing has come to fruition. MAJOR empty promises and I am not happy at all! They were great to work for but almost too laid back and communication was not great.

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Ocean Reef Sotheby’s

Ocean Reef was bought out by Sotheby's about two years ago. The current broker wants to weed out agents. With the changes to Sotheby's, I received no leads, no real help at all and I had to create everything from scratch. I netted about 54% since I had to pay Sotheby's 6% on top of my split.

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About

About Sotheby’s International Realty

If you’re looking to become associated with a global luxury real estate brand, you’d be wise to consider hanging your license with Sotheby’s International Realty. It’s a premium brand for clients seeking exceptional lives & homes. 

Sotheby’s is well-suited for agents who want to gain a foothold into the luxury real estate industry. You’ll be part of a culture with high standards and a focus on excellence. In some markets, the brand has taken the lead in agent-productivity. Overall, it’s a great company that wins in most aspects but is generally not a good fit for brand new agents who need a lot of hand-holding.

Sotheby’s History & Quick Facts

  • Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s has its roots in the world of fine art. They are the famous owners of the Auction House. The company brings art collectors and buyers together and facilitates the buying and selling of art-pieces, watches, wines, etc.
  • The realty division of Sotheby’s was established in 1976 to provide brokerage services for the sale of luxury properties.
  • Sotheby’s Realty became part of Realogy Holdings in 2004. Other famous brands that are associated with Realogy include Century 21, Better Homes, Coldwell Banker, and more. 
  • Each Sotheby’s office is independently owned and operated. 
  • The company claims to have achieved annual sales of $112B in 2018 and has 23,000+ agents.

The Sotheby’s International Realty Brand 

Each agency has its own unique brand proposition; for instance, REMAX claims that they sell more real estate than anyone else. The Sotheby’s brand is deeply associated with luxury. They promise clients adventure & elegance from equestrian estates to picturesque mountain homes. In most real estate markets, Sotheby’s agents are the ones listing the most expensive homes.

Company Culture

What is it like to work as an agent at Sotheby’s? Many of Sotheby’s agents mention that it is a great company to work for because they offer a lot of support to agents. Offices are peaceful, modern, and clean. 

Agents and other support staff consider themselves as part of a big family. As you work there, you’ll be surrounded by the top agents in the industry. New agents are required to meet very high standards to stay associated with the Sotheby’s brand. Many of the franchise owners are considered to be friendly, approachable, and helpful. 

Which tools do agents at Sotheby’s International Realty use?

Sotheby’s equips its agents with tools that will help them succeed in local & global markets.  Of course, this varies by location.  Some of them include: 

CURRENT Suite: A collection of tech tools, some developed in-house, and others by third parties. 

  • ActivePipe – ActivePipe is a third-party email marketing tool employed across Sotheby’s brokerages. Agents can create beautiful email campaigns to market to contacts in their databases. They can also customize the customer journey.  It also allows precise lead targeting and notifies you about the best time to send a particular email.
  • Cloze – Another tool that agents get is the Cloze App. It’s a customer relationship management software. It brings your contacts in one place, takes notes, tracks communications, and more. 
  • Curate – Figuring out how a room will look like once furnished might be difficult for most consumers. But the Curate staging app by Sotheby’s makes it possible for clients to furnish a room through augmented virtual reality. Customers can realize the potential of empty space by trying out different furniture and décor items, all done virtually. The app can be installed on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Design Vault – If you’re not a design expert, the designs that you create for your promotional items might not be the best. That’s where Design Vault comes in, allowing you to produce custom print ads, banners for websites, social media marketing materials, postcards, and more. 

Magazines (Art & Home, Reside)

Art & Home is Sotheby’s luxury magazine. It’s made possible thanks to the collaboration between the realty part of the company and the art division. Readers get to read all about exquisite properties and art pieces. If your listing is featured in Art & Home, potential clients can reach out directly to you because they also include the agent’s name, email, and phone number. 

The Reside Magazine is published semi-annually. It offers customers a deep peek into the luxury real estate market. Extraordinary properties are showcased, which gives agents more exposure.

Other tools

You’ll also find other marketing tools at your Sotheby’s brokerage of choice. For instance, some offices offer event management, where you get support when hosting open houses. 

It’s also possible to get PR support and exposure in local and national publications, for instance, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc. Real estate associates also get the chance to use fine art images in personal marketing campaigns. 

Sotheby’s International Realty Training 

Unlike most other established franchises, Sotheby’s does not have a well-known training program. At some offices, new agents can get mentorship opportunities.  Because of this, it’s generally best to gain experience at a brokerage that has a strong training program and prove yourself before moving on to a luxury brokerage like Sotheby’s.

FAQs

Sotheby’s tends to follow a more traditional commission split. Because each office operated independently, it varies by location.  Many agents report a 70/30 split. 

There are caps on the commission amount paid to independent offices; for instance, some offices will let you keep the rest of your earnings after paying $18,000 in commissions.

There are monthly costs of hanging your license with a Sotheby’s affiliate. Agents pay for E&O insurance, advertisement, communications, lead generation, Realogy platform fees, etc.

Association with a strong brand: Agents under the Sotheby’s banner will enjoy the benefits of being associated with a renowned luxury brand.

Access to an international market: Some customers want their homes exposed to international buyers. Similarly, you might get the chance to work with clients from abroad through the referral system.

Good work environment: Many real estate agents seem to enjoy working at Sotheby’s. Some offices even have free lunches, catered meetings, break room snacks, etc.

Attend industry events: You’ll have the chance to attend events such as the yearly Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking Event.

Although feedback about Sotheby’s is generally positive, there are a few common themes shared in negative reviews:

  • Sotheby’s doesn’t develop tools for agents in-house but generally rely on tools from other companies. Some agencies will have one platform with all the tools. With Sotheby’s, agents hop from one platform to another, which might be confusing. 
  • They don’t have a solid training platform for brokers and agents.
  • Some agents complain that the brand’s commission split model is not competitive.