Frank Aazami (with David M. Brown)
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 announced that it was jointly acquired by Sotheby’s and Realogy Holdings Corp., collectively holding 80 percent ownership, and that it will continue to operate independently and work with listing and buyer agents of all brokerages worldwide.
Concierge Auctions is the world’s largest luxury real estate auction marketplace with a global team. 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 46 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.
Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for fine art and luxury goods, founded in 1744. Realogy is the world’s largest real estate brokerage holding company franchisor with more than 19,000 offices and approximately 318,000 sales associates operating through franchise brands in approximately 115 countries. Its member companies include Sotheby’s International Realty®, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate®, Corcoran®, Coldwell Banker®, and CENTURY 21®.
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 and Agent Advisory Board Member of Concierge Auctions. Future homeowners with limited means are beneficiaries, too, as for every property sold with Concierge Auctions, the company funds a home for a family in need through its Key For Key® giving program with Giveback Homes™.
“Our firm matches sellers of one-of-a-kind homes with some of the most capable property connoisseurs,” says Concierge Auctions President Chad Roffers, whose background 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 Realogy’s brands and affiliated agents,” she adds. “Sotheby’s will provide Concierge Auctions with deep luxury-auction expertise, including innovation in online and live auctions and access to an unmatched global network of fine art and luxury-goods collectors.”
‘When you Value your Partners, Great Things Happen’
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 2020 was 415. If it does not sell within that time frame, it is likely that it will remain on the market for the next three–five years, eventually selling for a fraction of the price. At Concierge Auctions, we pride ourselves on delivering results in as little as 30–60 days for luxury properties.”
Aazami adds: “As another tool for listing agents, Concierge Auctions exposes buyers globally, ultimately expanding the buyer pool, which in turn delivers market price. 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 researches 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 about 13 years ago, 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 in Dallas, Texas; John McMonigle, owner of The McMonigle Team in Newport Beach, California; Seth O’Byrne of COMPASS in San Diego, California; Billy Nash of Nash Luxury Illustrated Properties in Southern Florida; Kristen Routh Silberman of The Corcoran Group in Las Vegas, Nevada; Lourdes Alatriste of Douglas Elliman in Miami, Florida; Brad Hermes with Keller Williams in Houston, Texas; and John-Mark M. Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Prime Properties in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and other advocates of Concierge Auctions.
Sellers & Buyers Thrive
“Sellers, buyers, and agents thrive with our auction process,” 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 the fear of missing out for buyers looking for show-stopping properties, which can fuel their interest and, ideally, induce higher bidding.”
He adds: “In the rarefied air where the number of buyers is limited, Concierge Auctions 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 Julie Flanders, Flanders Real Estate, who was the listing agent on 22 Quitsa Lane, Chilmark, Mass. 02535. “Our client was satisfied with the final outcome, and we also found a committed and happy winning bidder.”
And, for a Casper, Wyoming ranch property, listing agent Chopper Grassell of Live Jackson Hole at Compass Real Estate, says: “I can say that they continue to impress me each time. Together, our combined efforts found the perfect buyer for 2250 Newport, a one-of-a-kind ranch property.”
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.”
For more information, email email@example.com, call 212.202.2940 or visit 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.