Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that its affiliate company in has completed the largest transaction in the brand's history. Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty has closed on the sale of the W.T. Waggoner Ranch in , which was listed for .
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Sotheby’s International Realty Network Reports Significant Gains for 2015
MADISON, N.J. (Feb. 25, 2016) – Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today reported that in 2015 its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved approximately $80 billion in U.S. home sales volume (transaction sides multiplied by average sale price). Driven largely by a brand record of over 100,000 total transaction sides, this is the highest annual sales volume performance in the history of the brand and marks a 13% increase from the prior year.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also reported growth in its global network, which now encompasses 63 countries and territories worldwide. At year-end, the network totaled 835 offices, a gain of nearly 10%, and more than 18,800 sales associates, up 14%.
“2015 was a record year for domestic franchise sales for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “This year alone, we have also added 12 international, independently owned and operated affiliate brokerage locations to our global network, which will drive accessibility to the increasing level of international buyers in key luxury markets.”
Outside the United States, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand continued to expand into key markets in 2015. The entire Gulf Region is poised for significant growth as the brand’s affiliate brokerage in the region, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, acquired the rights to deliver real estate services in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The brand saw continued growth entering the countries of Chile, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Nicaragua, while expanding its presence in Italy, Queensland, Australia and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand also added five independently owned and operated residential real estate firms and 73 new offices to its network across the United States. This past year witnessed continued growth by existing affiliate companies through mergers, acquisitions and recruiting. Notable transactions included the coming together of three companies in Vermont and New Hampshire that resulted in one of the largest operators in those states under the Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty banner, and the acquisition of South Bay Brokers in Manhattan Beach by Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. Several key open markets were also filled, namely: Baltimore, Md.; Block Island, R.I.; Charlottesville, Va. and Portland, Ore.
Last year The Wall Street Journal/REAL Trends “Top Thousand” ranked agents based on average sales price, recognizing the success of agents that specialize in the luxury real estate segment. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand had 75 of the top 250 (30%) individuals by average sales price. This achievement is reflective of the success of our efforts to further establish the brand as the voice of luxury.
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC 175 Park Avenue Madison, NJ 07940
In 2016 and for the ninth year in a row, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand won Franchise Business Review’s Best in Category for Real Estate Franchisee Satisfaction award. In addition to its real estate ranking, the brand also came in fourth in the overall top 50, and second among the Top 50 “Systems with 250 or more units,” which is a ranking of all franchise systems across all categories with more than 250 locations.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand hosted several international networking events throughout the year exemplifying its truly global reach. An event in Rome brought together 27 affiliated companies from 19 countries within the European, Middle Eastern and African region while another event in Rancho Palos Verdes, California had representation from over 113 affiliated companies worldwide. “Our international footprint is the cornerstone of our global esteem and our events around the world serve as a platform for our network to work together while developing relationships to increase referrals and share best practices on the exclusive line of Sotheby’s International Realty products to better serve their clients’ needs and meet their business goals,” said White.
From a marketing perspective, the brand’s 2015 campaign delivered more than 1.2 billion impressions. At the core of the Sotheby’s International Realty 2015 strategy was its relationships with pre-eminent media powerhouses in both print and online arenas to showcase unique properties from the brand’s worldwide network including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Bloomberg, Financial Times and as the exclusive real estate partner for Dwell.com.
To mark the 40th year of Sotheby’s International Realty in the luxury residential real estate brokerage business, Philip White and Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, were joined by honorary guests of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand to ring the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on December 29, 2015. Additionally, the brand was featured with prime placement on the New York Stock Exchange video banner in Times Square. Running the entire month of December, the video was shown 15 times per day, reaching over 1.6 million daily visitors to Times Square and highlighted the brand’s lifestyle focus and drove viewers to sothebysrealty.com for more information.
Finally, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s website, sothebysrealty.com, was re-launched in 2015 to provide a fully immersive, responsive, video-based experience with unique content. With a focus on creating the best possible user experience, the new sothebysrealty.com continues the brand’s tradition of revolutionizing luxury real estate in the digital space. Last year the site saw the most traffic in its history with 14 million visits, a 30% increase year over year. The new Sotheby’s International Realty, website was recognized by the Web Marketing Association with the “2015 Outstanding Website WebAward” and by W3 with the “2015 W3 Gold Award.”
Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.
About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
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. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. In February 2004, Realogy 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. 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.sircaymanislands.com.
Friday, December 19, 2014
In an announcement that will effect the latest hotel being built by DART on Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach, United Kingdom hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group has has agreed to acquire United States-based boutique hotel specialist Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million in cash and a short-term debt facility.
Talking to Hotel News Now, Richard Solomons, IHG’s CEO, said the deal would close in early 2015 and is “bang in line with our strategy of using surplus capital at this point in the market and when the right acquisition comes along.”
“It is a perfect fit, in which the market is strong and we are strong,” Solomons said, who dismissed recent shareholder activism requesting that IHG be sold as “a little bit of noise.”
The $430-million price tag “was not cheap,” he said, “but quality never is.”
“Kimpton’s portfolio has been developed in some of U.S.’s highest (revenue-per-available-room markets), where RevPAR is $180-plus, with 80% occupancy, which will make Kimpton IHG’s highest RevPAR brand, higher than InterContinental*,” Solomons said earlier during a webcast announcing the deal.
“It also helps us to fill white space in the upper-upscale segment at the top end of our portfolio,” he added.
“The deal, I believe, makes a lot of sense to owners. Our goal is to create win-win situations, and this is one,” Solomons told HNN.
Running San Francisco-based Kimpton will be current COO Mike DeFrino, while CEO Michael Depatie, according to Solomons, will be one of four existing Kimpton executives to run the Kimpton Real Estate Investment Fund.
The fund owns 30% of the existing portfolio and five of its pipeline properties. Further proceeds will be used to make future investments in Kimpton-branded hotels, according to IHG’s director of global corporate communications Zoë Bird.
“Mike DeFrino has been at Kimpton for 20 years and effectively runs it, while Depatie has increasingly been involved in the fund, so it makes sense going forward to organize it in that way,” Solomons said, adding that Oliver Bonke, IHG America’s chief commercial officer, who came to IHG in September 2013, would work closely with DeFrino to protect the Kimpton brand and to help bring IHG power to bear.
As to how the new, enlarged hotel company infrastructure will change—whether, for example, Indigo and wellness-focused Even will sit beneath Kimpton and whether any platforms will be transferred from IHG’s American base in Atlanta to San Francisco—Solomons said it is too early to say.
“It’s something we will work on. We will think about it all as a bigger business, as it now is bigger, and as there is a lot of commonality,” he said.
Not small anymore
Kimpton, established in 1981, has 62 hotels, all under management contracts and comprising approximately 11,300 rooms in 28 cities; a pipeline of 16 properties with approximately 3,000 rooms and constituting 27% of the overall portfolio; 1.6 million loyalty members; and 71 hotel restaurants and bars.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 4,700 hotels and 697,000 rooms in nearly 100 countries, with almost 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline. The chain’s IHG Rewards Club comprises more than 82 million members worldwide.
IHG’s Indigo brand and Kimpton now possess a combined portfolio of 197 properties open or in the pipeline.
During the webcast, Solomons said Kimpton was one of the few hotel companies IHG had considered for acquisition.
“Kimpton saw that it needed a scale player to take it to its next phase of growth, and its new scale will provide immediate benefits for owners and earnings-enhancement in the first year,” Solomons said.
Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, IHG’s CFO, also speaking on the webcast but from London, added that Kimpton executives did run a process through its owners when IHG was first in discussion with it, but they realized they needed help if they wanted to go global.
All of Kimpton’s hotels and restaurants are in the U.S., and its food-and-beverage component is of particular interest, with Kimpton considered a leader in the hotel-restaurant business.
Solomons said Kimpton’s F&B would be leveraged across the IHG portfolio.
Kimpton would see more international growth under IHG ownership, but there would be more in the U.S., too, Solomons said. In Kimpton’s current pipeline is one property in the Cayman Islands that Solomons said is not due to open until late 2016 or early 2017.
Solomons said he wants Kimpton to expand carefully, knowing the brand genuinely provided something special for the marketplace. IHG values what Kimpton has and had done, he told HNN, and executives will work to protect Kimpton’s brand integrity.
A behemoth such as IHG taking over a relative minnow such as Kimpton was more about understanding the value of that brand, not about its size, he said. Owners would understand that IHG knew why they had bought into Kimpton and what they liked about it, Solomons added.
“We genuinely respect (Kimpton) and share similar culture and values. That might sound a bit soft, but it’s true and about driving returns for owners. It’s an interesting conundrum, but we know a lot of the owners already. Their business will evolve because of IHG’s part but also because the world is changing,” Solomons added.
That growth could occur in Europe and Asia, Solomons hinted.
“(Kimpton) would work very well there. We know that the demand is there,” he said.
IHG stated that the merger would almost double Kimpton’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to $39 million for year 2017, achieve returns above IHG’s cost of capital by the third year after closing and that for U.S. tax purposes, the transaction, constituting an asset sale for both vendor and purchaser, will result in a reduced tax bill of $160 million.
Solomons also said the boutique company’s existing pipeline had not been built into its EBITDA predictions.
In response to a question from analyst Tim Ramskill from Credit Suisse during the webcast, Solomons said his EBITDA projections derived from future pipeline, strong growth and back-of-house synergies.
“There also is the ability to lower online-travel-agency sales, but that was not the principal part of the deal,” he said.
“The Kimpton funds have generally developed properties and then sold them off, but they have lost only a couple of properties from the platform in its entire history,” Solomons added.
Solomons also said Kimpton’s management contract model would likely stay, and while IHG would look at franchising, it was something that would not be looked at urgently. IHG’s last calculation that capital expenditure would be approximately $350 million a year also would not change due to this news.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced it has signed an agreement with RealPro Infra Private Ltd. to develop the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in North India with the opening of North India Sotheby’s International Realty.
Amit Goyal is co-owner and chief executive officer of the firm, which will serve the luxury residential real estate market throughout Northern India. The first office begins operations in September 2014 in New Delhi followed by Gurgaon, Noida, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
“Northern India is one of the most exciting, beautiful and fastest growing markets in the world, with a developing luxury real estate market,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Expansion into India was one of our core objectives for this year, and I am proud to welcome Amit and his team to our global network.”
“We are delighted to become part of the Sotheby’s International Realty worldwide network,” said Goyal. “The luxury residential real estate market in India is beginning a period of expansive growth and the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will meet the needs of high net-worth individuals internationally looking for luxury homes in India and overseas using the brand’s global platform. We also envision future appointments of exclusive representation of luxury residential properties. India’s luxury residential market is poised to grow rapidly, supported by strong economic growth, and we are in an ideal position to lead this growth by leveraging the Sotheby’s International Realty global platform.”
The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide. North India Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.