Janet Walter, Carol Stewart, Tom Cinquegrano, Marianne LeBar, and Maureen Horn attended the two-day event held at Christie’s flagship auction house at Rockefeller Plaza. Each agent connected with affiliates and broadened their respective knowledge on luxury items such as art, jewelry, watches and handbags, and local multi-million-dollar properties. Designed to give agents an appreciation and experience in affluent assets to better serve their customers, the annual conference also includes lectures and panel discussions on worldwide market trends, 2019 predictions for the luxury real estate industry, global marketing, and elevating customer experiences through the auction house.
Collectively, the agents enthusiastically agree on the value and priceless resources of the event. Individually, they appreciate how specific information will benefit their businesses.
JW: “The idea that dealing in the high-end market with art, handbags, watches, and jewelry puts you in front of the high-end real estate buyer makes perfect sense. The Christie’s print campaign has a curatorial marketing strategy, ‘When others see a house, we see a work of art….discover your masterpiece.’ The fact that MSC has a relationship with and the support of an organization with such a strong reputation and marketing strategy, makes me even more confident about representing them. I believe our customers understand that this association makes them part of this exclusive group.”
TC: “The most important reason for attending is because Christie’s is a phenomenal vehicle to leverage our international customers. We can share the content we learned with our customers. Being at their facility in that location with those surroundings was magnificent.”
MH: “Christie’s is the preeminent source of luxury not only because of historic sales, like the Rockefeller Estate and Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi but also because it has maintained its influence while evolving with the industry.”
For Carol and Maureen, the conference reminded them of business standards and practices that remain tried and true.
MH: “It reinforced what I used to do,” she explained, recalling the marketing panel discussion regarding staying present and important to customers at all times. “I want to get back to doing that. It was nothing new, but it put a sparkle in it again.”
CS: “This information was a timely reminder to always: keep a pulse on your seller’s motivations; push the reset button on listings that have gone flat with updated description and be valuable to other agents. They are very important to our overall businesses.”
Connecting and personally expanding her reach with agents was one of the greatest aspects to her trip, she added.
CS: “The Christie’s agents we met along the way (were) first-class, smart, fun, and involved. I met a Lighthouse Point agent, Kevin Kreutzfeld, from Premier Estate Properties and I’m working on a referral for him now.”
Marianne said she attended the conference for the economic information and to learn more about what expected trends will affect and impact her luxury customers in 2019. The insight exceeded her expectations.
ML: “I found the discussion on the distribution of wealth, and what will be passed onto the heirs of Baby Boomers, very insightful. It reminded me how early on in my career Michael Saunders emphasized “Generation Speak” and how to talk to a customer on their level. It’s the truest thing I have ever learned and something I incorporate into all my interactions.”
From art to real estate, Christie’s shared their bounty of services and resources with attendees on the invaluable ways agents can utilize the CIRE brand as an extension of their own complimented by MSC to assist their customers beyond just a real estate transaction.
TC: “What do we sell at Michael Saunders & Company? We sell luxury, we sell a lifestyle and Christie’s ties into that. It was just amazing from that standpoint – how it’s all related to what we do. If I go into a listing agreement, I don’t bring all the charts and graphs; it’s meeting the person and developing the relationship. I thought it was good from that standpoint.”
JW: “I learned that CIRE is in 48 countries and has 940 offices worldwide,” Janet explained, recalling the lecture presented by Christie’s CEO, Dan Conn. “He said, ‘everything we do set you up to differentiate from others’. This is so true; Christie’s is 251 years old and has always serviced the high-end (customers). Last of all, Dan’s perspective of luxury as a noun and not an adjective was very profound, commenting, “The luxury of doing something is a state of elegance.” It certainly rings true for real estate. Everything we do as agents – whether it’s marketing our personal brand, our level of customer service, or our community service – should speak luxury.”
Each of the agents earned the Luxury Specialist Designation concluding the conference. Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate, said: “One of the hallmarks of the Christie’s brand is exemplary client care. This conference provides network agents the opportunity to better understand and leverage Christie’s full spectrum of expertise in art, luxury goods, and real estate. The agents who attend are proven experts in their local markets, motivated to pursue continuing education in the luxury market and well-deserving of being designated a Luxury Specialist.”
Michael Saunders & Company applauds the dedication of Tom Cinquegrano, Janet Walter, Maureen Horn, Marianne LeBar and Carol Stewart for attending the Luxury Specialist Conference and earning this new accolade.