With 2015 practically over, it’s time to look back with pride at all of the accomplishments, growth and positive changes that were made in not only our company, but the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand as a whole over the past year. We are a dominant force in the world of real estate, and have made significant leaps and bounds in the industry that will surely prepare us to take on 2016 with more strength than ever before. In fact, yesterday marked the day that Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate 40 years of this extraordinary brand. Our very own President and CEO Paul Breunich was a special guest at the event. He was graciously invited to attend based on that fact that our affiliate is among the original members and adopters of the brand, throughout the years helping it to gain momentum and ultimately become one of the most preeminent luxury real estate companies in the world.
If you’ve been to the Big Apple lately, you may have noticed the giant SIR.com display flash by on the New York Stock Exchange video banner in Times Square. The special video promotion ran through the month of December, and was displayed 15 times per day. With this new and enticing advertising experience, the over 1.6 million people that visit Times Square each day had the opportunity to immerse themselves in SIR.com, and of course, take a #SothebysSelfie. This was, without a doubt, the perfect finish to an exceptional year. Here’s a look back at some highlights from the past 12 months—a year that was most definitely one for the books!
To begin, the positive recognition received for our new website was tremendous. Immediately after its launch at our annual company event in the spring, the fresh williampitt.com was awarded the #1 Best Website Design in the country by REAL Trends, a highly acclaimed, industry-leading news source. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, the completely redesigned and far more user-friendly site also placed #3 in Best Mobile Experience and #5 in Best Overall Real Estate Website nationally.
Besides this growth, our business has also physically grown with the grand opening of a brokerage in Irvington, NY. This new Westchester County presence can be found at 46 Main Street, a location that now boasts an innovative facility and strong foothold in the key Rivertowns markets. Further company expansion additionally involved the acquisition of Nicholas H. Fingelly Real Estate in Southport and Westport, CT. Our firm expanded in each of the towns by maintaining its already established brokerage locations at 250 Pequot Avenue in Southport and 199 Post Road East in Westport, while also keeping Fingelly’s offices at 251 Main Street in Southport and 1265 Post Road East in Westport open. In conjunction with this significant attainment, throughout the year we have also planned recent office renovations for our Ridgefield, Darien and Westport brokerages. The updated spaces include state-of-the-art, modern capabilities, furthering our already top-notch service.
From a philanthropic standpoint, team members and sales associates once again proved their genuine care and tireless support with countless commendable efforts made throughout the year. In the wake of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal that occurred back in April, our company contributed to disaster relief efforts by setting up a program whereby agents, staff and any other willing individuals could provide for victims by once again partnering with AmeriCares, a humanitarian organization that aids survivors of natural disasters and victims of extreme poverty around the world. We remarkably achieved our dollar amount goal just six days after announcing the initiative, and were able to contribute more than $30,000 to AmeriCares. Expectations were furthermore exceeded in July at the 11th annual fund-raising bike ride held by the Connecticut Challenge Center for Survivorship, an organization that provides assistance and resources for cancer survivors. The cycling event includes several routes for riders to choose from ranging from 10 to 100 miles. Our dedicated staff and agents surpassed their goal with flying colors, riding together as “Team Sotheby’s” to ultimately raise more than $28,000 for the cause.
It was an exciting and successful year for the brand as well, with the announcement of various new, extraordinary marketing initiatives. Not too long ago, Sotheby’s International Realty® partnered with Apple as the one and only real estate advertiser for Apple News, a brand-new application available on all devices with the iOS 9 operating system or later. In terms of global expansion, the brand has increased its presence in numerous new locations. Some of the more recent additions include Finland, the Middle East, the French Polynesian Islands, Rome, the Principality of Andorra and Mauritius, to name a few.
Here’s to another incredible year ahead—Happy New Year, everyone!