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Leaders in luxury: In conversation with Daniel Heider

Leaders in luxury: In conversation with Daniel Heider

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For Daniel Heider, Executive Vice President and Global Real Estate Advisor at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, the term “game changer” is something of an understatement.

His unique vision for marketing properties quickly differentiated him in the industry—not only among his clients and peers but among prospective buyers and younger demographics. Under his leadership, the HEIDER team boasts a global audience of more than 3.9 million across their various channels, making them the most-followed real estate practice group on social media. And that’s on top of the numerous other records and accolades they’ve accrued as one of the nation’s top-producing teams.

Heider has a unique understanding of how to connect with younger buyers because, as the youngest executive vice president in his firm’s history and a recent honoree of Washington Business Journal’s “40 under 40”, he can speak as one of them.

What inspired you to launch a career in real estate?

Daniel Heider -TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “Embarking on a career in luxury real estate was a natural progression for me, driven by an innate desire to play a pivotal advisory role in the lives of some of the most influential individuals on earth. I recognized the profound impact I could have by curating experiences, transcending transactions and shaping lifestyles within the real estate market.

“With an emphasis on trust, personalized service and the ability to express myself through creative marketing, my passion was fueled within this exclusive niche.”

What are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when engaging younger buyers?

Daniel Heider and Jaclyn Mason, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “Younger buyers, as luxury consumers, prioritize two things in particular: unique experiences and a sense of community. Our approach aligns with these preferences. We foster a feeling of belonging through connections and events they won’t get anywhere else—once you work with us, it’s as if you gain access to an exclusive club.

“Beyond traditional real estate services, we go the extra mile in numerous ways — from securing reservations at sought-after restaurants, to aiding in job placements to offering experiences that transcend the norm. Our mantra —”your home is just the start” — encapsulates our commitment to providing a lifestyle that extends beyond property transactions, catering to the distinctive attributes, habits and desires of this discerning demographic.”

How can agents make the most of social media platforms to appeal to younger buyers?

Daniel Heider, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “We concentrate on creating and deploying consistent captivating short-form video content to engage younger buyers proactively on social media platforms. Staying attuned to emerging trends and technology is key. By delivering content that resonates with today’s modern buyer, we keep their attention focused on the exceptional service our group provides and our specific listings.

“It’s our intention to be everywhere our consumer is — and we know that so much of their attention is on social media, so we are all-in on that very important front.”

How does being part of a global brand like Sotheby’s International Realty support your success in delivering world-class service?

Daniel Heider – TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “Sotheby’s International Realty connects industry experts in diverse markets, which provides support beyond our own market. The invaluable community of agents provides an unparalleled level of support, fostering collaboration and shared insights that contribute to our professional development, ultimately elevating the quality of service we provide in the ever-evolving luxury real estate market.

“When you join forces with a brand like Sotheby’s International Realty, take full advantage. Travel with intent, connecting with local affiliates to stay present in feeder markets.”

Do you have any final insights for anyone thinking of building a career in luxury real estate with Sotheby’s International Realty?

Daniel: “In my experience, the key principles for building success with Sotheby’s International Realty include authenticity, trust-building and an unwavering commitment to exquisite service. These foundations not only distinguish you in the realm of luxury real estate but also ensure that every career move aligns seamlessly with your life’s journey.

“Be sure to take advantage of the tools available through Sotheby’s International Realty’s platform. They’ll allow you to expand beyond your local area and help you unlock countless opportunities—both domestically and overseas.”

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Leaders in luxury: Valen Lindner

Leaders in luxury: Valen Lindner

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In the history of Park City real estate — a market known as a premier recreation and mountain resort destination — half of the highest-priced luxury home sales have been closed by a single team. This elite group handled the transactions for two of the top three most expensive luxury homes in their market, and also commanded the three top-priced sales of 2023 within the luxury community of Promontory Club Park City.

Such is the track record of the Frost | Lindner Team. They’ve been excelling in this business for a combined 25 years and continue to rank among the top brokers not only in Utah, but across the US. We asked Valen Lindner, co-founder and principal of the Frost | Lindner Team affiliated with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, to share the secrets of her and her team’s success. 

What drew you to a career in luxury real estate?

Valen Linder and Jamison Frost – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Valen: “Early in my career, I had the privilege of working on multimedia campaigns for several renowned luxury hospitality brands. My journey into luxury real estate is deeply rooted in this passion for creating exceptional experiences and my profound appreciation for life’s finer aspects.

“My background in luxury digital sales has allowed me to merge my love for technology with my passion for delivering extraordinary experiences to my clients. I’ve always been captivated by the dynamic nature of the luxury real estate market, and I firmly believe that staying on the cutting edge of digital innovation is essential in today’s global landscape.”

Can you describe your experience working with Sotheby’s International Realty’s tools and platforms?

Valen Linder and Jamison Frost – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Valen: “One of the main reasons I chose Sotheby’s International Realty was for its exclusive access to syndicating my properties on the world’s top luxury websites. This proprietary digital feature is essential to successfully compete in Park City’s exclusive resort market.

“I closely utilize back-end digital analytics to target marketing for the right audience, ensuring my sellers achieve the highest possible sale prices. Sotheby’s International Realty’s digital tools help drive global luxury sales, empowering me to market my properties effectively, connect with high-net-worth individuals, and embrace digital innovation. These tools are invaluable — they help me excel in Utah’s luxury real estate market, while upholding our brand’s commitment to excellence.”

Can you provide an overview of how you integrate an ethos of excellence in customer service into your daily real estate practices?

Valen Linder and Jamison Frost – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Valen: “The Frost | Lindner Team’s ethos of excellence in customer service is at the core of our daily real estate practices. Our commitment to individualized and comprehensive service begins with crafting highly personalized plans for each listing. This detailed approach guarantees maximum exposure for our properties in prestigious global media publications.

“Furthermore, our close collaboration with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty’s in-house advertising agency — renowned for its award-winning digital and print media efforts — ensures that each of our properties receive professional marketing, reinforcing our dedication to providing exceptional, bespoke service to our clients.”

What role has technology played in your success as a luxury real estate agent?

Valen Linder and Jamison Frost – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Valen: “Through employing advanced tools like AI, digital advertising, social media, YouTube, geofencing, geographic targeting and demographic targeting, we deliver unparalleled services to our clientele.

“AI plays a pivotal role in informed decision-making, while YouTube serves as a dynamic platform for showcasing properties through captivating videos. Geofencing and geographic targeting precisely connect us with the right audience in optimal locations, and demographic targeting ensures a tailored approach to potential buyers. Our practice of running comprehensive reports, guided by our dedicated digital growth analyst, facilitates the identification of the most effective platforms and demographics for our campaigns.”

What advice would you give to someone thinking of building a career in luxury real estate through Sotheby’s International Realty?

Valen Linder and Jamison Frost – Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

Valen: “I would encourage someone to prioritize excellence in customer service, embrace ongoing training and leverage the powerful tools and resources provided by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.

“Our success has been built on delivering individualized and comprehensive service to clients, staying current with market changes through our in-house counsel, and staying at the forefront of marketing and technology trends with guidance from our award-winning, in-house advertising agency.

“Ultimately, achieving recognition and milestones in the industry — such as being among the top teams in the state and closing high-value luxury sales — will boost your confidence and establish your credibility within the luxury real estate market.”

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Leaders in luxury: Mayi and Daniel de la Vega

Leaders in luxury: Mayi and Daniel de la Vega

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Run by mother-son team Mayi and Daniel de la Vega — Mayi is the Founder and CEO, and Daniel serves as President — ONE Sotheby’s International Realty has emerged as the definitive luxury leader representing Florida’s East Coast.

When they’re not traveling the world as ambassadors for their brand and brokers, participating in philanthropic initiatives, or scoping new works for their extensive art collections, the de la Vegas are propelling luxury real estate in new directions. Here, they share their perspectives and experiences.

1. What led you to a career in luxury real estate, and how did you break into this business?

Albert Justo and Mirce Curkoski – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Mayi: “My family fled Cuba when I was a child. Watching my parents work so hard to build a better future for my family really shaped my work ethic. After graduating from business school, I worked for my father in the aerospace aluminum industry. This experience taught me how to build relationships, manage a team and conduct strategic planning.

“I have always been a people person with a passion for architecture and interior design, so when I had kids, I was looking for a career with more flexibility, I started working as a sales agent in Coral Gables. I quickly learned how demanding a real estate career could be — it took tremendous discipline to learn the market and cultivate a strong sphere of influence. The turning point came when I acquired the Sotheby’s International Realty franchise on Florida’s East Coast.”

2. How did you become the founder of your own real estate brokerage firm?

Banna Fakhoury – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Mayi: “I was confident in the future of South Florida as a global hub, and I knew there was a need for an international luxury real estate brand in the market. When I first launched the company, failure was not an option. I was so determined that I was able to put my blinders on and focus all my energy into building ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Driven by an agent-centric mentality, early on, we decided to invest heavily in cultivating a culture where our team could thrive and grow. We differentiate ourselves by doing everything we can to support our agents’ growth while maintaining a boutique atmosphere where Daniel and I are always accessible.”

3. What are the top changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Banna Fakhoury – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “The dramatic price appreciation of Florida’s luxury homes in the past few years — fueled by incredible demand from out-of-state buyers, the rise in construction costs and shifting economic factors — set a new baseline for pricing in our market. We always knew real estate on Florida’s East Coast was undervalued compared to some of the country’s most prestigious markets, but never expected prices to jump so quickly.

“Innovation through technology has constantly been an evolving factor in our business, but agent adoption of the tools available today has been slow, with no successful end-to-end platform available for the industry. I think the most impactful innovation is still to come with the introduction of AI into the business.”

4. Describe one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how you were able to conquer it

Albert Justo and Mirce Curkoski – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Mayi: “I founded ONE Sotheby’s International Realty during an economic crisis. Ultimately, our passion, resilience and adaptability helped us position our company to become the leading luxury brokerage it is today.

“Success in real estate demands a readiness to roll with the punches and navigate through market fluctuations, fierce competition and the ever-evolving technological landscape. Stay prepared for highs and lows, remain open to change and never stop learning.

“In this business, you also have to find a way to differentiate yourself. Embrace your unique strengths, remain focused and always strive to be the best version of yourself. Regardless of what happens in the industry, have initiative, navigate changes with resilience and stay humble.”

5. What opportunities are you looking to capitalize on as you plan for the future?

Mirce Curkoski and Albert Justo – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Daniel: “In an effort to become more vertically integrated, our company is beginning to move into ancillary businesses — including title, mortgage, insurance and property management. We see this move as essential in order for us to maintain operating margins and think it will be an important part of our company moving forward. We also remain committed to growing our Development Division, selling condos, multifamily and Class A office space and in the near future plan to develop our own properties.

“A big differentiator for ONE Sotheby’s International Realty is that we are a privately held, family-owned and operated company. This allows us to be genuine in the way we approach the business, and gives us the ability to be nimble and make strategic decisions quickly.”

6. What advice would you give to someone thinking of building a career in luxury real estate through Sotheby’s International Realty?

Joan Bruggink – ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Mayi: “Agents should fully embrace and utilize the powerful resources Sotheby’s International Realty offers. Understanding its rich legacy, core principles and unmatched networking opportunities will set you apart. 

“Treat your real estate business with an entrepreneurial spirit, recognizing that the path to success lies in having a clear vision, unwavering passion and the patience to understand that cultivating a thriving business and community takes time. At Sotheby’s International Realty, it’s not just about transactions — it’s about building lasting connections.”

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3 tips for networking at non-real estate luxury events

3 tips for networking at non-real estate luxury events

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When luxury real estate agents need to foster their referral networks and forge new professional relationships, industry events are fundamental. But what about when you want to connect with prospective clients?

According to Anders Elbe, Real Estate Agent with Sweden Sotheby’s International Realty in Stockholm, there are a variety of luxury events that enable bridge-building with affluent individuals who could become buyers or sellers in the future.

“These events offer a personal connection and face-to-face interaction that digital networking can’t fully replicate,” he notes. “It allows for genuine relationship building, provides opportunities to showcase expertise, and creates memorable impressions that can lead to high-value, long-term client relationships.”

For Spencer Wall, Real Estate Associate at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, a potential client is always just a degree of separation away. He sums it up succinctly: “As humans, we tend to like people like us; people who love luxury are friends with people who love luxury.”

So how can you make the most of non-real estate events to network with potential clients and even potential partners or professional contacts? Elbe and Wall share three essential tactics.

1. Leave as little up to chance as possible

Anders Elbe and Christopher Steen – Sweden Sotheby’s International Realty

As Elbe explains, you can’t just walk into an event and expect to encounter the right people. Rather, you need to put the proper pieces in place intentionally. “Identify and attend events that attract high-net-worth individuals,” he recommends. “Start by researching the event and attendees, and if possible, you can even look into connecting or collaborating with event organizers.”

Potential gatherings include upscale charity galas, art exhibitions and gallery receptions, fashion shows and afterparties, and other exclusive social get-togethers. “In person, you can make a lasting impression. A compliment or encouragement to someone is sometimes never forgotten,” says Wall.

“Try to maintain a consistent presence at these events to connect with potential clients and partners,” adds Elbe. By becoming a fixture in the luxury social scene, other attendees see you as a familiar face — and, eventually, a familiar friend.

2. Know when to speak and how to listen

Kameron Brown and Richard Trey Dewey – Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Wall and Elbe agree that developing genuine relationships is key — and to do so successfully, you need to comfortably initiate an interaction and then let the prospect lead.

Focus on introductions, ask questions, and then listen — and a real relationship will be a natural byproduct,” advises Wall. “Notice something about them to break the ice. ‘So where’s home for you?’ is one of the easiest questions for people to answer.”

Once a conversation starts, shine the spotlight on the other person. “Ask open-ended questions about their interests and passions,” says Elbe. “Find common ground beyond real estate, actively listen and take a genuine interest in their responses.”

As Elbe explains, once you know a prospect’s interests, you can potentially serve as a resource in those areas — and that’s where the final piece of advice comes in.

3. Be more than just a fleeting impression

Kameron Brown and Richard Trey Dewey – Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Just as it’s crucial to be consistent in attending events, it’s likewise essential to be consistent when staying in touch with new contacts. “Follow up right away — even the same day or evening,” says Wall.

But remember to never come across as a salesperson. “Start with a personalized message expressing appreciation,” suggests Elbe. “Reference the event, add value that’s relevant to the interests, topics, or concerns they expressed, and perhaps suggest a casual meeting in the near future to continue the conversation.”

From there, nurture the lead. “You can follow up again when appropriate, usually basing your timing on how they respond to your initial, immediate message,” says Wall.

“Connect on social media and be professional,” continues Elbe. “Keep in touch with updates, and create or curate content targeted to their needs and wishes — always respecting boundaries and preferences. Patiently build trust over time by being responsive and respectful.”

Many real estate brokerages also maintain CRMs or other processes for tracking a pipeline of qualified leads, prospects and clients; such systems can be helpful in measuring and optimizing results.

Act with tact to set yourself up for success

Christopher Steen and Anders Elbe – Sweden Sotheby’s International Realty

“Consistent and patient efforts are key, and showcasing your expertise without a hard sales pitch can position you as a trusted professional in the luxury real estate industry,” says Elbe.

While referrals from colleagues and clients, both past and present, may be a luxury agent’s main source of new business, cultivating new relationships through a variety of events is exciting, fulfilling and rewarding for everyone.

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