CONCIERGE AUCTIONS, SOTHEBY’S AND REALOGY BUILD A HIGH-PERFORMANCE VEHICLE FOR LUXURY HOME AUCTIONS
FRANK AAZAMI AND DAVID M.BROWN
2924 Cliff Point, Spicewood, Texas. Courtesy Concierge Auctions
Partnerships are in many forms, and, when they are well calculated, designed and built with purpose, a long-standing friendship can result.
In November 2021, Concierge Auctions was jointly acquired by Sotheby’s and Realogy Holdings Corp., collectively holding 80 percent ownership. Concierge Auctions will continue to operate independently as a 20-percent partner and work with listing agents worldwide.
New York City-based Concierge Auctions is the world’s largest luxury real estate auction marketplace, with a global team of 100. For the last six years, Inc 5000 has listed it as one of the fastest-growing companies; it has broken world records and auctioned properties in 30 countries and 44 U.S. states. The firm owns one of the most comprehensive and intelligent databases of high-net-worth real estate buyers and sellers in the industry as well as a state-of-the-art digital marketing, property preview and bidding platform.
300 Upper Bell Road, Jerome, Arizona. Courtesy Concierge Auctions
As a result, all parties to a home auction coordinated by Concierge Auctions benefit at higher levels than before: the home buyers and sellers as well as the real estate companies and agents, explains Frank Aazami, principal of the Private Client Group at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale. Future homeowners with limited means are beneficiaries, too, as the company funds 300 homes each year through its Key For Key® giving program with Giveback Homes™: For every property sold, the partnership funds a new home for a deserving family.
“Our firm matches sellers of one-of-a-kind homes with some of the most capable property connoisseurs on the planet,” says Concierge Auctions President Chad Roffers, who combines brokerage and technology expertise.
In 2008, he partnered with luxury-marketing expert, top broker and now company CEO, Laura Brady. “Sellers gain unmatched reach, speed, and certainty, buyers receive curated opportunities and agents earn their commission in 30 days,” she notes.
“We and our clients will benefit from increased distribution, lead generation and industry-leading data scale, along with enhanced marketing visibility, from the brands and affiliated agents,” she adds. “Sotheby’s will provide Concierge Auctions with deep luxuryauction expertise, including innovation in online and live auctions and access to an unmatched global network of fine art and luxury goods collectors.”
3 Riverside Drive. New York, New York. Courtesy Concierge Auctions
‘When you Value your Partners, Great Things Happen’
For one, the new alignment allows the companies to integrate services for their clients. “Before, we were unable to piggyback homeowners’ collections –– art works, cars, guns, jewelry and others –– with the sale of their homes,” Aazami says. “We could never say, ‘Why don’t we sell your home through us as well? Now we can do that with an additional white glove service through Sotheby’s Auction House.”
The first 90 days are crucial for a luxury property on the market, Roffers explains. “Properties simply aren’t liquid, even in healthy market conditions. For example, in Beverly Hills, the average number of days on the market in 2019 was 324. If it does not sell within that time frame, it is likely that it will remain on the market for the next 3–5 years, eventually selling for a fraction of the price. At Concierge, we pride ourselves on delivering results in as little as 30–60 days for luxury properties.”
Aazami adds: “Typically, auction companies come in when homes fail to sell; people seldom bring their properties to auction as a first chance. From the start, success at Concierge Auctions came about because the company created a powerful platform to get the momentum started again on properties that had stalled, often for a long time. Chad, Laura and their team gave these properties the traction they needed to sell at the highest price possible.”
Concierge Auctions repositions the property to enhance its appeal, he explains. “The company’s marketing team thoroughly research the history of the property and the community to find the most attractive benefits for the new owner,” he says.
“This may sound pretty easy to do, but it’s extremely difficult to achieve if you’re not a master at it,” Aazami adds. “Just as when a struck match fails to light a fire, the stick may never spark or get the second chance to ignite. The people at Concierge Auctions have proved their ability over and over again to take that dry stick and spark that fire. Their art creates the success stories we have experienced for more than a decade. They are the extra octane to run a high-performance real estate machine.”
When Aazami met Roffers and Brady, he immediately recognized that they knew they had to be proficient in digital marketing and that they highly respected the stake hold of brokers and agents. “They make the process agent centric, and when you value your partners, great things happen,” he explains. “This has been their philosophy from the beginning: We need everyone’s participation. We are not trying to cut anyone out of the deal.”
“Auctions serve as an additional tool for agents in addition to traditional real estate for luxury properties, and we partner with a listing broker on every sale,” Brady says.
From the start, other real estate partners nationwide also appreciated this respect: Paul Benson with Engel & Volkers in Utah, California, Nevada and Arizona; Matt Beall, who owns Hawaii Life Real Estate; Kyle Crews, vice president of Allie Beth Allman & Associates; John McMonigle, owner of Agent INC out of Newport Beach; Seth O’Byrne from San Diego; Billy Nash, founder of The Keyes Company, South Florida; Kristen Routh Silberman, Las Vegas, Nevada; and Lourdes Alatriste, Engel & Volkers, Miami Florida. In addition, Brad Hermes representing High-End Homes in Houston, and John-Mark M. Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Prime Properties in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are also still working with Concierge Auctions.
8055 North Mummy Mountain Road, Paradise Valley. Arizona Courtesy Concierge Auctions
Sellers & Buyers Thrive
In addition, agents can now bring a property first to Concierge Auctions without an asking price because it carries no MLS background. Traditionally, auction homes carry a basic price because of that often extensive history. “With this alliance, the buyer is going to dictate what that price is, although a seller may still set a Reserve,” Aazami explains.
Sellers thrive with this new program, Roffers says. “Auctions create urgency around a sale as well as get the word out to a new pool of potential buyers. This is especially true for high-end and unique homes. Our auction model allows buyers to determine what the property is worth in real time, and this creates a fear of missing buyers, which can fuel interest and, ideally, induce higher bidding.”
He adds: “In the rarefied air where the number of buyers is limited, Concierge helps to get a market response from an elite pool of global buyers and can accelerate the process with high-caliber bidders and a team of experienced marketers behind each auction to make the most of every sale within a designated timeline.”
Time, for sure, is often critical for sellers, who don’t want to wait years to complete the transaction, which has often already consumed many months, even years. “After just 33 days, the Concierge Auctions platform, combined with my local market expertise, put on a successful auction for our client in Martha’s Vineyard,” recalls the listing agent, Julie Flanders. Our client was satisfied with the final outcome, and we also found a committed and happy winning bidder.”
And, for a Wyoming ranch property, listing agent Chopper Grassell says: “I can say that they continue to impress me each time. Together, our combined efforts found the perfect buyer for this one-of-a-kind ranch property.” In turn, buyers receive transparency in paying a fair market-driven price, Brady explains. “Our auction model represents what buyers are willing to pay according to the market and gives them direct access to the world’s finest properties,” she adds. “With our auction platform, sellers gain unmatched reach, speed, and certainty in as little as 30 days versus what often takes years, and buyers pay only one bid above the next highest bidder.”
The Concierge Auctions compass is global. When Michael Shotey decided to sell a property at Secret Beach on Kauai, he and Hawaii’s top listing agent chose the Concierge Auctions platform. He says: “Their process has evolved so much, and their reach combined with the certainty of a sale is unbeatable.”
9255 Doheny Road, Hollywood, California. Courtesy Concierge Auctions
For more information, write firstname.lastname@example.org, call 212.202.2940 or see ConciergeAuctions. com. Frank Aazami, RLSIR Brand Ambassador, is at 480.266.0240, frank@PCGagents.com, PCGagents.com or text “SIRFAAZAMI” to 87778. SIR Frank Aazami has a new mobile download link for your Android, iPhone or iPad; preview Global Listings anytime, anywhere, in 18 languages: app.sir.com/sirfrankaazami. Also see PrivateClientGroupAGENTS.com.