February 17, 2011 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J., -- Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that it grew both the office and agent count within its global network by 11 percent in 2010, ending the year with 11,700 sales associates located in more than 550 offices in 44 countries and territories worldwide.
"In addition to our office growth, the Sotheby's International Realty brand also proudly grew our network by more than 1,100 sales associates in 2010, demonstrating the appeal of our luxury real estate brand and what we offer those brokers and sales professionals who are part of our international system," said Michael R. Good, chief executive officer, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC.
"Last year we achieved our primary domestic growth plans by gaining a presence in several key California markets as well as Dallas, Texas, and Naples, Florida," added Good. "We also achieved critical international objectives with the signing of new master franchise agreements for the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong and Sweden. We recognize that consumers are seeing the value that luxury real estate represents as part of a long-term strategy for growing wealth. In fact, the average sales price increased by more than 15 percent in 2010 for our U.S. brokers, including both our independently owned and operated network members as well as Realogy's company-owned offices. Our goal for 2011 is to continue to expand our network in key luxury markets worldwide and to build on the valuable tools and resources that we provide to our brokers, their sales associates and consumers."
The Sotheby's International Realty® brand added 15 new residential real estate brokerage firms to its network across 13 states in 2010: Indiana, New Hampshire, Washington, Tennessee, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, California, Florida, Texas, Michigan and Kentucky. In addition, 18 existing Sotheby's International Realty affiliates opened new offices to better serve their current markets or expand into new markets.
Internationally, the brand expanded its franchise operations into the British Virgin Islands, Latvia, Japan, Hong Kong, Peru, Sweden, Turkey and Berlin. The Sotheby's International Realty brand also signed an exclusive 25-year agreement with Countrywide plc, which will build and grow the brand network throughout the United Kingdom.
For the third year in a row, the Sotheby's International Realty brand won Franchise Business Review's Best in Category for Real Estate Franchisee Satisfaction award, which measures franchisee satisfaction with their franchisors. The brand also was ranked third overall among all franchise categories with more than 200 locations. This was the third year the brand was rated in the top 10 of all award categories.
The Sotheby's International Realty brand also enjoyed highly effective collaborations with many global news outlets, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, to feature its network's extraordinary listings.
"Our success in 2010 centered on how we refined the art of online branding by partnering with some of the world's strongest media outlets," said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer for the brand. "Our ongoing goal is to continue to drive awareness of our brand as a luxury real estate leader, and to drive incremental leads to the fine offices in our network, and we are pleased with our success."
Finally, the Sotheby's International Realty brand launched SIR Mobile in 2010, a free branded mobile application that works on standard cell phones and smart phones across all mobile carriers, allowing consumers to view luxury homes for sale in a given market.
Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby's International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. In February 2004, Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, 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 full franchise system by Realogy's subsidiary, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
Director, Public Relations and Communications
Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC
1 Campus Drive
Parsippany, NJ 07054