NEW YORK and MADISON, N.J., Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Sotheby’s, the world’s premier destination for fine art and luxury goods, and Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), the largest full-service residential real estate services company in the United States, today announced the acquisition of Concierge Auctions, the leading global luxury real estate auction marketplace. Under the terms of the agreement, Sotheby’s and Realogy will take a joint 80% ownership stake in Concierge Auctions, while company co-founders Chad Roffers and Laura Brady will remain President and Chief Executive Officer, respectively. Concierge Auctions will operate independently, continuing to partner with real estate agents affiliated with many of the industry’s leading brokerages to host luxury online auctions for clients. A newly formed Board of Managers will be made up of Sotheby’s and Realogy executives and chaired by Philip White, CEO and President of Sotheby’s International Realty, a Realogy brand. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Luxury online auctions is a growing sector of the real estate industry, particularly at the high-end, where a more limited buyer pool exists and properties can be harder to value and sell. Concierge Auctions, founded in 2008, creates predictability and liquidity for sellers in an accelerated timeframe and is designed to work with real estate agents as trusted advisors, not disintermediate them. In fact, co-founders Roffers and Brady have both successfully served as licensed real estate agents, and the company has never auctioned a property without working in partnership with a local real estate broker. With an extensive network of independent luxury agents and high-net-worth clients, Concierge Auctions’ technology platform serves as an additional tool for agents to market and sell unique, one-of-a-kind luxury properties around the world.
In 2020, Concierge Auctions reported processing more than $3.4 billion in competitive bids with an average home sell price of $3.5 million. And, just this year, the company broke its fourth world record for highest price of a single-family home ever sold at auction with the sale of Villa Firenze, one of the most expensive residential properties in the world, listed for sale at $165 million. Prior world records have included the sale of Villa Passalacqua in Lake Como, Italy (listed for €100 million); Playa Vista Isle in Hillsboro Beach, Florida (listed for $159 million); and Walnut Place in Dallas, Texas (listed for $48.9 million).
With Realogy’s more than 300,000 globally affiliated real estate agents across six brands, including Sotheby’s International Realty®, Corcoran®, and Coldwell Banker®, Concierge Auctions will benefit from increased distribution, lead generation, and industry-leading data scale, along with enhanced marketing visibility from the brands and affiliated agents. 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.
"Realogy is the market leader in luxury real estate, an area in which we continue to strategically invest to drive future growth," said Ryan Schneider, Realogy Chief Executive Officer and President. "As demand for luxury real estate auctions increases, we believe Realogy and Sotheby’s can jointly bring powerful data and network scale to Concierge Auctions, a valuable tool for real estate agents helping clients expertly navigate the global high-end property market. Laura and Chad have expanded how agents and clients can sell and buy a home, and I look forward to what we can now achieve, together."
"Since 2004, Realogy has had a very successful relationship with Sotheby’s as the operator and steward of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand," said Philip White, Sotheby’s International Realty CEO and President and newly appointed Chairman of Concierge Auctions. "Just as the power of Sotheby’s and Realogy has fueled the tremendous growth of Sotheby’s International Realty, we are excited for what this new partnership can bring to Concierge Auctions as Laura and Chad grow their lead in the luxury real estate auctions sector while keeping the agent at the center."
"I look forward to deepening our long-standing and successful partnership with Realogy as we work with Concierge Auctions to develop the luxury real estate auction market further," said Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s CEO. "As leaders in digital innovation and fine art and luxury auctions, this partnership is another exciting way to bring Sotheby’s expertise for the benefit of our current and future clients."
"This investment is another sign of our growth ambition to expand our portfolio of offerings and leverage our auctions expertise in a growing sector of the real estate industry," said Jean-Luc Berrebi, Sotheby’s Chief Financial Officer.
"We founded Concierge Auctions with a vision to enhance the way luxury properties are bought and sold," said Laura Brady, Concierge Auctions Co-Founder and CEO. "Thirteen years and billions in sales later, we are the largest auction marketplace for high-end homes, have one of the most comprehensive databases in the industry, and are active in 30 countries and 44 U.S. states. We couldn’t imagine better partners than Sotheby’s and Realogy for our next phase of growth."
"This joint partnership presents a unique opportunity to benefit from two of the most established and renowned companies in the industries that we serve — real estate and auction — and to be part of an even greater vision," continued Chad Roffers, Concierge Auctions Co-Founder and President. "We look forward to helping more clients than ever before sell their one-of-a-kind real estate assets to the world’s most capable buyers, with speed and certainty."
Stifel served as financial advisor to Concierge Auctions, and Locke Lord LLP served as legal advisor to Concierge Auctions.
About Realogy Holdings Corp.
Realogy (NYSE: RLGY) is moving the real estate industry to what’s next. As the leading and most integrated provider of U.S. residential real estate services encompassing franchise, brokerage, relocation, and title and settlement businesses as well as a mortgage joint venture, Realogy supported approximately 1.4 million home transactions in 2020. The company’s diverse brand portfolio includes some of the most recognized names in real estate: Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, Corcoran®, ERA®, and Sotheby’s International Realty®. Using innovative technology, data and marketing products, high-quality lead generation programs, and best-in-class learning and support services, Realogy fuels the productivity of its approximately 191,700 independent sales agents in the U.S. and more than 135,000 independent sales agents in 117 other countries and territories, helping them build stronger businesses and best serve today’s consumers. Recognized for ten consecutive years as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, Realogy has also been designated a Great Place to Work four years in a row, named one of LinkedIn’s 2021 Top Companies in the U.S., and honored on the Forbes list of World’s Best Employers 2021.
Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.
About Concierge Auctions
Concierge Auctions is the world’s largest luxury real estate auction marketplace, with a state-of-the-art digital marketing, property preview, and bidding platform. The firm matches sellers of one-of-a-kind homes with some of the most capable property connoisseurs on the planet. Sellers gain unmatched reach, speed, and certainty. Buyers receive curated opportunities. Agents earn their commission in 30 days. Since its inception in 2008, Concierge Auctions has generated billions of dollars in sales, broken world records for the highest-priced homes ever sold at auction, and conducted auctions in 44 U.S. states and 30 countries. The firm owns one of the most comprehensive and intelligent databases of high-net-worth real estate buyers and sellers in the industry, and it has committed to build more than 300 homes through its Key For Key® giving program in partnership with Giveback Homes™, which guarantees that for every property the company sells, a new home is funded for a family in need. For more information, visit ConciergeAuctions.com.
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements." Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Realogy Holdings Corp. to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Any statements that refer to expectations or other characterizations of future events, circumstances or results are forward-looking statements. Various factors that could cause actual future results and other future events to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the failure to achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction and those factors set forth under the headings "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in Realogy’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021 and its other filings made from time to time. Realogy undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
SOURCE Realogy Holdings Corp.