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The Year That Was 2018

By Tyler R. Morrissey

What a year it has been for William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. This past year our company reached new heights as we launched groundbreaking initiatives, and were bestowed with multiple awards for our hard work. As we look back at 2018, we’ve recapped some of the highlights of another fantastic year delivering our customers the exceptional.

The year got started quickly in January as we launched our new marketing campaign, revolving around the mantra “Move up.” The print and digital ads launched with the campaign were designed to evoke the aspirational aspects of real estate, targeting buyers, sellers and agents seeking to work with the most exceptional company and brand in the industry. Move up captures the essence of who we are as a company and the experience we offer.

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This past winter our brand announced some exciting news of its own after Sotheby’s International Realty® saw its highest annual sales volume performance yet, achieving approximately $108 billion in global sales volume for the previous year.

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Sotheby’s International Realty® also launched the first-ever Augmented Reality (AR) app for real estate. The new app, Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty, effectively empowers our agents to present a home in a personalized and tailored way to individual consumers. Curate allows you to virtually stage a listing from the palm of your hand, minimizing the need for physical staging while offering multiple styles to choose from, enabling clients to visualize the interior to their own taste. The app was built with ARCore, Google’s AR Software platform, and is powered by roOomy, the leading virtual staging technology platform specializing in 3D/AR/Virtual Reality content creation and application development.

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In March we announced the creation of a new facility devoted exclusively to elite real estate training, combining state-of-the-art technology with client-based hospitality education. Known as The Imagine Lab, the unique 3,000 square-foot training site is the first of its kind among all real estate firms in the market areas the company serves. The lab recently opened in the Harbor Point area of Stamford, Conn. The Imagine Lab’s primary purpose is to help real estate agents become exceptional professionals in the industry by learning the critical fundamentals of the business in a revolutionary new way. Designed by Beth Krupa, a three-time nationally awarded interior designer, the lab is crafted as an “office of the future,” presenting a home-like atmosphere with dynamic communal environments for creativity, focus and connection.

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The following month we received a 2018 Internet Advertising Competition Award from the Web Marketing Association. The award for “Best Real Estate Online Advertisement” and “Best of Show Online Advertisement” recognized the company’s headlining billboard advertisement that ran atop The New York Times Real Estate section in March, April, June and October of 2017. The innovative billboard ad showcased the firm’s most spectacular listings to New York Times subscribers in the N.Y. metro area as well as across the country and the world.

In May we announced the opening of our new regional office in Hartford County, Connecticut. The office greatly expands our presence in the state while bringing the global Sotheby’s International Realty brand and its luxury real estate services into the Hartford market area. The brokerage’s address at 45 East Main Street in Avon, Conn., was strategically selected to provide a central foothold and easy accessibility within Hartford County’s Farmington Valley region. The new facility recently celebrated its grand opening with a reception in November.

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From left to right: Carolyn Fugere, Alex Ohlandt, Kristine Newell, Maureen Swarts and Paul Breunich, President and CEO of William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty.

This past fall REAL Trends Inc., one of the most trusted sources of news, analysis and information in residential real estate, named our website the best residential real estate brokerage website in the country in its just-released annual 2018 Real Estate Website Rankings. The firm achieved more honors than any other company in the rankings, and was the only firm—both in its market areas and nationally—that ranked in every single category recognizing residential brokerages. The company’s website ranked No. 1 Best Overall Website, No. 1 Best Community, recognizing the details and search capability provided for local communities served, No. 2 Best Property Detail, No. 4 Best Video, No. 7 Best Design and No. 7 Best Mobile.

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In October we announced our brand’s fall edition of RESIDE® magazine. Conceived in the belief that home and living in full are inextricably entwined, RESIDE is devoted to the finest in inspirational homes and lifestyles worldwide. A destination for connoisseurship in the arts, culture, design, travel, fashion, food and philanthropy, RESIDE casts its net wide to discover the very best of gracious living. We presented it to our readers through stories told in words and pictures by the world’s most talented and creative individuals.

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The year ended on a high note when our firm won multiple graphic design awards from Graphic Design USA in the 55th annual American Graphic Design Awards. Our company took home three awards for our industry-leading graphic design work across multiple print and digital publications. Our “Advantage” booklet won the award for the brochure collateral category, while the firm’s Market Watch report was tabbed as the best annual report. The company’s “Essential” newsletter was named the best newsletter / e-newsletter in that category. We also ranked in the top 10 percent of submissions in each category, in what was the most selective year of the annual contest.

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As the year came to a close, we announced that our firm has partnered with New Story, a 501c3 non-profit charity, and World Housing for “Agents of Change,” a program created to enable the company’s agents to make a social impact in the developing world. The new initiative will allow our agents to either make a one-time contribution or recurring monthly donation to help build homes for families abroad who are living in poor conditions and slums. Each new home through “Agents of Change” costs approximately $6,500 and is given to a family in need to impact their lives for generations to come. William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty is the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand’s first East Coast affiliate, and second overall, to participate in the program. To date, we have already raised enough money to fund the building of ten new homes.

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For more information on Agents of Change or to donate, click here. For more information on the “Home for the Holidays” initiative, click here.

As we close the chapter on 2018, the firm looks forward to what’s ahead in 2019. In the coming months of the new year, William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty will undertake many new projects on multiple platforms to maintain its position as a leader in the real estate industry.

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