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Sotheby's Brokerage Alliances: Do They Work?

Sotheby's Brokerage Alliances: Do They Work?

Go for the fine art, stay for the real estate. High-end auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s have alliances set up with real estate brokers, hooking up auction clients with affiliated brokers.

But some question whether these partnerships actually equate to more sales
Standard fees for these types of referral networks come in at 20% to 35%, The Real Deal reports.

Former Sotheby’s International Realty president Stuart Siegel says although the Sotheby’s name is powerful, “its influence over the real estate business is minimal.”

“Sotheby’s provides meaningful brand visibility,” Stuart says, “but it doesn’t translate into meaningful or definable percentage of sales.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates CEO Philip White disagrees, saying the international referral network from Sotheby’s is crucial to operate in a global market of luxury real estate.

The network clearly helps some—Sotheby’s Nikki Field used that network to sell a 210-acre Lake Tahoe estate for $48M in 2013, and says 48% of her business last year came from referrals via the auction house or brokerage network. [TRD]