Mood Board | Peak Season

As enthusiasts pray for fresh powder and adventurers assemble their gear, take inspiration from this scenic mood board that contains all things ski: cozy interiors, inviting saunas, and the thrill of the hills. Think of it as an avant-ski; we’ll leave the après up to you.

For more frosty views, dive into Scandinavian design and check out our ski listings for life on the slopes.


Clockwise from top left: 1. Propriétés de Courchevel Sotheby’s International Realty 2. Propriétés de Courchevel Sotheby’s International Realty 3. Propriétés de Megève Sotheby’s International Realty 4. Aaron Benson / Unsplash 5. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada 6 Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty 7. Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty 8. Propriétés de Megève Sotheby’s International Realty 9. Patrick Robert Doyle / Unsplash

Source: Mood Board | Peak Season – Sotheby’s International Realty | Blog

Unlocking the Power of Joyful Design | A Conversation with Ingrid Fetell Lee 

New York, New York | Michael BollaSotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

We constantly receive advice on how we could be happier—cleanses, retreats, mindfulness—but according to industrial designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee, the secret ingredients of joy may be found in our surroundings.

Lee has built a career studying the science of joy, and how everyday surroundings can engage us in ways that influence our emotional well-being. That’s the subject of her bestselling book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness.

Her journey started with simple curiosity while studying for her Master’s in Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute. “I really didn’t set out to study joy at all,” she says. “I had always thought of it as an intangible feeling—the idea that tangible objects could lift our emotions was confusing me. I started to ask professors to explain how things could bring a feeling of joy, and they couldn’t answer. That began the journey: if joy could be designed, then how?”

Lee has gone on to answer that question through her practice, and in the past decade, her knowledge has been sought out by brands from Condé Nast to Kate Spade. How can Lee help homeowners intentionally imbue a sense of joy into their spaces? Here are a few of her discoveries.

Define Happiness for Yourself

Palm Beach, Florida | Jeff Cloninger & Ridgely FosterSotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage

“I start by asking people, ‘How do you want your space to feel? How do you want to feel when you walk in the door? What kind of life do you want to live in this space?’” says Lee. Joy, after all, is a subjective state: it’s a little different for everyone.

Lee has identified ten “aesthetics of joy” that can infuse any designed environment with positivity, albeit in different ways. Take energy, for example: the energy aesthetic harnesses bold, bright colors to enliven your space with warmth and excitement. The abundance aesthetic, in contrast, brings together prints and patterns, blankets and pillows, to create a space that embraces you with plenty. Both are sensorial experiences that express joy through design, but they don’t work the same way.

Tune Into Your Inner Child

Palm Beach, Florida | Cristina CondonSotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage

Have you ever found yourself completely spellbound by the simple act of blowing bubbles on a sunny day, or been entranced by the decadent circular cakes in your local bakery? Your response to these things is subconscious—and it’s largely driven by geometry.

“It turns out that the amygdala—a part of your brain associated with fear—activates when you look at angular shapes,” explains Lee. “When we have a space with more curves, it feels more joyful and it puts our unconscious minds at ease.” The round objects we fixate on as children—from cookies and balloons to hula hoops and carousels—naturally resonate with us on an unconscious level.

It’s a similar story with symmetry. “There’s a study out of the University of Chicago, where they had half the subjects take a math test while exposed to pictures of very odd, asymmetrical spaces. The other half looked at symmetrical spaces that were neat orderly.” When given the opportunity to grade their own work, the first group were more likely to cheat when marking their tests.

Even though everyone from small children to adults can sense that curved shapes and balanced environments are emotionally satisfying, we live in an overwhelmingly rectilinear world. So what can we do about it when designing our living spaces?

“Furnishings are one way to do it,” says Lee. “If you can get a round coffee table, that changes the way a living room feels. Lighting fixtures are a great solution because there are so many beautiful round bulbs and shades. And you can solve angles through renovations if you have the budget: a curved wall or arches are another way to create roundness. Adding a porthole or circular window is a very playful way to embrace shape as well.”

Rethink Conventional Color

New York, New York | Michael BollaSotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

As with the study of shapes, watching how children use color can help us better understand the unconscious, elemental experiences that make us happy. Lee encourages people to think beyond the basic associations of chromotherapy—red as passionate, blue as calm—and pay attention to the nuances of saturation and light.

“It’s less about which hue you choose, and more about how bright and vibrant the colors are,” she says. “You can have a really invigorating space where all the color comes from a natural element, such as plants, so there’s no neon but it still feels joyful. It’s more about having a palette to work with.”

Designing for joy, it turns out, is quite a subconscious process; people simply need to follow their instincts and intuitions. For instance, Lee points to the popularity of hyper-minimalist spaces, whose success is mostly a cultural phenomenon, not a natural one.

“If you imagine our ancestors trying to choose where to settle, if they saw a lush forest to the left and desert to the right, it’s obvious which way they’re going to turn—they’re going to choose the lush forest. Some people do want a minimalist environment, but in general, research suggests we’re more productive when our spaces are not totally bare, and have at least some plants and art.”

You Only Need to Impress You

Johannesburg, South Africa | Wayne BrownhillLew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

Many luxury homes have all the building blocks for joy—spacious layouts, high ceilings, great lighting, outdoor areas, gorgeous views—and yet their interiors, however magazine-worthy, are stark and grey.

“When you look at the luxury market, the focus is on sophistication, not on joy,” notes Lee. “I think the reason for this is that we tend to associate joy with childhood—bright colors, sumptuous curves, abundant textures—we see those things as joyful, and we forget that they can also be sophisticated.”

Homeowners frequently ask Lee how they can incorporate joyful aesthetics on a budget—so it’s exciting to think about what can be done in luxury homes to support the psychological and physiological well-being of residents and guests. Lee encourages homeowners to take a step back and rethink the entire design process.

“Designers like to start with style: they ask questions about modern or traditional, minimalist or maximalist—and while those questions can help, I think it’s starting in the wrong place,” she says. “They’re trying to find an externally defined idea of what is good. I want to help people see what feels good to them.”

Source: Unlocking the Power of Joyful Design | A Conversation with Ingrid Fetell Lee – Sotheby’s International Realty | Blog

3 tips to create email marketing your clients will actually read

How to rise above the noise in a crowded inbox

Email is a staple of office productivity, and one of the easiest ways for real estate agents to engage their spheres of influence. But it’s just as easy to alienate clients and teams with marketing emails that miss the mark and fail to deliver value in exchange for your readers’ time. How can you reconcile these two conflicting truths, and deliver regular content that is a benefit to your clients, colleagues, and prospects?

It takes vision, strategy, and diligence, but it can be done. Here are actionable recommendations from two leading agents who have found a way to make email marketing work wonders.

Create a database — or several

Luxury home libraryDaniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

Skylar Champion, Global Real Estate Advisor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in Dallas, Texas, maintains a database of her complete network, featuring over 25,000 names and addresses — but she’s quick to qualify that she would only rarely send an email to everyone at the same time.

“Targeting who I send emails to depending on what the content is has made all the difference in the effectiveness of each campaign,” she says. “I have a database of California agents that I may send an email to regarding a specific listing, or I might send an email to a small number of clients in a specific area that may be interested in a certain type of home. I sometimes send an email to my entire sphere regarding an upcoming event or market data.” She adds, “I only email open house information if someone requests it.”

To enhance email effectiveness, she advises agents to start making a database, cataloging each address in their network with specific tags so that they can quickly pull together a list of potential buyers, top agents, brokerages, and any other contacts they might need to reach out to.

But ultimately, having multiple streams of email content makes the biggest difference. Nikki Sturges, Global Real Estate Advisor at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Huntington, New York, uses this tactic to streamline her communication. “My advice would be to create a database of your real estate colleagues, your family and friends, and your clients, and then create three templates that offer the reader a concise and thought-provoking summary for everything they need to know about you, your listing, and your market,” she advises.

Depending on the goal of the email, Champion has different lists that she sends emails to as well. This purposefulness has gotten her some great outcomes. “I was able to sell a home directly from one of my emails,” she recalls. “I sent one out about hip neighborhoods and my buyer fell in love with one of the homes on that list. It resulted in a sale.”

Add value with variety, but keep it relevant

There are certain elements that enable email campaigns to perform better, capturing the attention of their recipients and delivering real meaning to clients and contacts. “Overall, visual elements are the most important aspect of my email marketing, with videos being the most popular items in terms of clicks and shares,” says Sturges.

She identifies three key topics that her correspondences tend to cover:

  1. News that may impact her sphere of influence in their decision to buy or sell properties in the current market.
  2. Calls to action regarding any recent or relevant listings, ensuring that her colleagues and buyers are aware of any adjustments in prices.
  3. Personal, authentic stories — whether it’s professional tips on handling negotiations, or something interesting in the neighborhood.

Sturges and Champion abide by the same simple rule—quality over quantity—curating bespoke, meaningful messaging that reaches the right audiences at the right time. “I send both marketing emails for listings, as well as branding emails, which include market stats, holiday e-blasts, business updates, and other important and pertinent information,” says Champion.

“The most important element is creating something of value to be delivered to your audience,” she elaborates. “No one wants to receive emails from you every week about generic information that doesn’t pertain to them.” Champion, therefore, goes to great lengths to think empathetically, and question what information her contacts will genuinely enjoy.

Sturges agrees that tact and consideration are critical. “I have a surprisingly receptive audience, but it starts by my getting permission to email my clients from the outset,” she says.

The medium makes the message

luxury living room interiorBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Changing audience behaviors and digital platforms are transforming how people connect with campaigns — something that Sturges has kept an eye on. “Email marketing is constantly evolving, and this year I’ve been monitoring the increase of emails being read on a mobile device or tablet. It’s over 60%,” she says. “So my presentation and templates have been adapted to the screen size.”

She has also integrated her email marketing into her client relationship management (CRM) system, which notifies her automatically of who she needs to reach out to, as well as when and why.

This relates to one of the biggest benefits of digital communication for luxury agents: the ability to collect and analyze data, and track campaign success in real time.

How readers respond to your emails can show you how to adjust and tailor them in the future. “I fully understand the power of email marketing due to a recent ask for help I made on behalf of a charitable event,” notes Sturges. “The email became the most shared of the month and I even had clients calling to ask what more they could do.” It’s capabilities like these that enable top agents to differentiate themselves and ensure that email remains a reliable, versatile tool for delivering value to a large and diverse network.


Skylar Champion
Global Real Estate Advisor
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


Nikki Sturges
Global Real Estate Advisor
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty


Source: 3 tips to create email marketing your clients will actually read – Inman

Market Watch

Curious about the market in Western Montana?

Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty puts together Quarterly and Annual Market Reports to keep current and potential real estate buyers and sellers informed.

Click the images below to see the 4th Quarter and Year-End Reports for 2019.

4Q`19 Market Reports_Final_Page_01


Year-End 2019 Report_Lakeside_Page_01

CES 2020 | 5 High-Tech Picks From the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show 

As is always the case, the start of a new year brings us another incredible showing from the tech industry at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Further deepening the integration of technology into our lives, the world’s innovators in fitness, home security, automobiles, and more delivered truly stunning products to the show floor in Las Vegas. Join us as we explore 5 tech-fueled debuts from this year’s show.


Photo: Amazfit

Home fitness has long been a staple space for many homes around the world. Companies like NordicTrack and ProForm have been producing exercise equipment for in-home use, but when Peloton and MIRROR burst on to the scene in the last decade, these brands showed fitness enthusiasts how they could bring workout classes home with them like never before.

In 2020 Amazfit, known for their fitness wearables, introduced their “Home Studio” offering. Debuted at CES, the Amazfit Home Studio features an immersive 43” HD Screen and 3D TOF camera system, high-end slat belt treadmill, surround sound customized JBL speakers, and classes on-demand.

Home Entertainment

Photo: Samsung

According to Nielsen, the average American spends more than 1,800 hours a year watching TV. It’s no surprise that with numbers like that, TV and TV-connected device manufacturers often play a large role at CES; this year was no different. Among the many entries in this category, Samsung’s cutting-edge 8K QLED line offers a true glimpse into the next generation of ultra-high definition. Shockingly thin, with remarkable sound technology and built-in AI, these 8K sets represent a strong example of a household name pushing the envelope in what’s possible in their field.


Photo: Lamborghini

Whether you are a commuter, collector, or self-advertised “gear head,” automobiles are an undeniable part of our lives. While companies like Tesla are focused on revolutionizing the industry itself, others are looking to make an already luxurious or enjoyable experience all the more so. Enter the Lamborghini Huracán EVO – the Italian luxury car maker’s tech and power driven dream car. Starting at $267,000 and available now, this Alexa-enabled powerhouse of a car goes from 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds and has a top speed of 202mph.

Home Security

Photo: Ring

Most stats place a home burglary occurring every 13 seconds in the United States – this unsurprisingly places home security high on the list of must-haves for home owners. Acquired by Amazon in 2018 for more than $1 billion, Ring  offers doorbells, cameras, and whole-home security systems – all of which are among the more popular choices when looking into home security options. With an impressive setup on the CES show floor, Ring widened their already broad offering of smart-home tech. Ring introduced their smart LED bulb and hub, solar-powered external lights, the Access Controller Pro for opening gates remotely, and hinted at their new X-Line – a premium offering with more details to come.

Self Care

Photo: Kohler

Rest and relaxation are chief among human necessities – people recharge in many different ways, but for most, the time we spend in the shower is an easy way to replenish energy and reflect. Kohler seeks to improve the time you spend in the shower with their Moxie Voice – a smart speaker crossed with a shower head.

Built with the quality Kohler is famous for, this sleek-looking shower head’s speakers are powered by the audiophiles over at Harmon Kardon. Head on over to their site and sign up for to be notified when this product is available.


From the future to the past, turn back the clock and look at our past coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show


Source: CES 2020 | 5 High-Tech Picks From the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show – Sotheby’s International Realty | Blog

Rock Creek Cattle Company named in GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World 2020-2021

Expert course raters sized up the best golf courses on the planet to rank GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World for 2020-21.

99. Rock Creek Cattle Company

TOM DOAK, 2008

Tom Doak’s works along large bodies of water populate our list but some contend what he did in the American West at Rock Creek is just as exhilarating as his more photographed courses in sandy soil. Though Montana’s rocky conditions made for a tough build, the end result are wide fairways that flow over the tumbling land with a grace and ease that is hard to fathom. The same design principles — fairway contours that either shunt you out of position or send you to the ideal location, hazards that appear ageless and greens that offer a wide range of hole locations — demand you reassess how to best play each hole from one day to the next. Hard to find better playing angles.

View current listings here, or contact GSIR’s Ron Snow for more information on the exclusive Rock Creek Cattle Company community.



Source: Best golf courses: GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World 2020-2021

Whitefish Mountain Resort Ranked No. 3 Best Resort in the West by SKI Magazine Readers | 2020

Whitefish embraces the old school passion that fuels the sport of skiing

Whitefish Mountain Resort earned its highest ranking ever from SKI Magazine Readers as the No. 3 Resort in the West, its highest ranking to date. Consistently ranking among the top resorts in North America, Whitefish stands out as the only resort ranked in the top 10 for Service that is also ranked in the Top 10 for Value, proving that it is possible to deliver outstanding service while keeping the ski experience affordable.

“We are deeply honored to be named among the top resorts in the west in SKI Magazine’s 2020 Resort Guide, it is our mission to provide a memorable experience that is affordable, personal and fun. This year’s ranking is indeed a sign that skiers appreciate finding a ski area that values character, and makes guests feel relaxed so they can be themselves. This ranking illustrates our commitment to providing a high level of hospitality while maintaining the community’s unique and colorful qualities that set us apart, without charging a premium for it. Whitefish’s warm and welcoming personality extends beyond the resort to all the businesses throughout the community that take care of our visitors and go above and beyond to make them feel welcome.”

– Dan Graves, CEO Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont.

There’s something slightly melancholy about Whitefish’s rise up the rankings, and the heartfelt affection it’s receiving from a new generation of fans. The overwhelming message from readers is: “The locals are friendly and helpful. It’s the people who really make it special.” Apparently, the genuine hospitality found here is increasingly rare in the rapidly consolidating resort universe. That’s a shame. More the reason to head to Whitefish, which, not surprisingly, lands No. 1 in Local Flavor.

Oddly enough, what can get overlooked is the serious skiing. A glance at the trail map shows that black is the dominant trail color. Hellroaring Basin is big-time legit, as is almost everything in the East Rim pod when taking advantage of the new Chair 5. One reader does grouse that when the weather report says “chilly,” “we’re talking frostbite.” Relax. That’s just Montana grading on a curve. There’s no grade inflation needed for the “warm and welcoming” town of Whitefish. “I’m hesitant to say too many great things. I would rather it remain a secret,” is a common sentiment.

At every turn, it becomes clear that Whitefish embraces the old school passion that fuels the sport. Kids six and under ski free (the industry standard is 4). And the resort actually keeps a (public!) tracker on its website of vertical feet skied across a gloriously wide range of patrons: super seniors, kids, college students, business partners, even employees, and so on. The fun part is the disclaimer, which advises everyone to please chill out: “Your vertical is approximate and some scans can take several days to show up, or they might not show up at all. Our recommendation is that you enjoy the vertical program but not get too terribly hung-up on the results.” Whitefish gets it. Come crank a few turns here, and you will too. — Greg Ditrinco

Average Snowfall Acres Lifts Trails
300″ 3,000 14 105
  • LOCAL TIP: In what’s known locally as the “4 o’clock clear,” the mountain’s famous cloud cover tends to break up just about the time the lifts close. Act like a local and grab the last chair to the summit, linger a bit, and soak in the alpenglow and the glorious views on the way down.
  • MANDATORY RUN: Inspiration. The name says it all. This meandering groomer off the Big Mountain Express drops down the ridgeline with Glacier National Park views to skier’s left and valley views to the right. On an inversion day, the clouds stretch like a fluffy sea across the valley floor.
  • FAMILY EXPERIENCE: Without being too melodramatic, take an off-day trip with the kids to Glacier National Park for a Ranger-led snowshoe walk to see the eponymous features of the park before they disappear.

SKI Magazine’s 2018 Review of Whitefish, Montana

This quaint, old-school Montana skier’s mountain has been attracting attention for all the right reasons. It’s not crowded. Not pretentious. Not pricey. In other words, not a mega-resort. So what’s the big deal? Quite simply, Whitefish’s loyal fans across the ski universe pretty much just adore the place, giving it the highest praise for Overall Satisfaction.

Whitefish’s loyal fans across the ski universe pretty much just adore the place, giving it the highest praise for Overall Satisfaction.

Whitefish’s loyal fans across the ski universe pretty much just adore the place, giving it the highest praise for Overall Satisfaction.


Leading that buzz is its kick-butt/no lift-line skiing. North Side and Hellroaring Basin keep it real. And moving Chair 5 last season to the east side of the mountain deleted the long traverse back to Chair 1, creating a sweet pod of expert terrain. (Look- ing to prove yourself? Drop in and test your technique on NBC—North Bowl Chute—accessible from the top of the East Rim run. Enjoy lots of mandatory jump turns and spectators checking you out from Chair 5.)

But at the end of the day, it’s the small-town Montana hospitality—found sharing a lunch table at the Summit House or in the family trail tips heard from a local parent on Chair 2—that should reserve Whitefish a spot on your must-visits. Yes, there’s fog. And you bet it’s cold here in Northern Montana. But no one can argue that this resort must be doing something right: For the second consecutive season it has set a skier-visit record. That’s saying something. – Greg Ditrinco


Sources: Whitefish Mountain Resort, Mont. – SKI Magazine Resort Guide Review – Ski Mag

2020 Ski Magazine Ranking – Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Carnival crowns GSIR’s Marcus Duffey in first round of royalty

Whitefish Winter Carnival Prime Minister Marcus Duffey, Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty

Dutchess of Lark, Sara Straka

The Whitefish Winter Carnival is off and running for 2020, embracing a theme of “The Roaring 2020s” that will weave through all carnival activities in the coming month.

Marcus Duffey was crowned carnival Prime Minister and Sara Strake was named Duchess of Lark Saturday night at the annual Merry Maker event.

Duffey hails from West Texas, but left Texas to attend Gonzaga University. Marcus met his wife, Audrey Peterson, there and they married soon after graduation. They moved back to Audrey’s hometown of Whitefish as quickly as they could. The Duffeys have enjoyed life in the Flathead Valley with their four children for the past 12 years. Rearing their children — George, 7, Charley, 5, Jane, 3, and Ruth, 1 — in Whitefish was a dream of theirs.

Duffey grew a prominent local business for nearly a dozen years and has participated in dozens of local events and organizations. Today he maintains much of his community involvement as he sits on the North Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and chairs the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Duffey currently is a Realtor with Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty. He enjoys the great outdoors as a fisherman, hunter, skier and golfer, and has a passion for cooking and gardening.

Straka is a Whitefish native, born in 1985 to Joe and Cindy Straka, who relocated to Montana from the Midwest in the early 1980s. She was raised in Whitefish with her younger brother Sam, attended Whitefish schools and graduated at the top of her class in 2003.

Straka attended college at the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Longing for the mountains and the familiarity of her hometown, she moved back to Whitefish shortly after finishing college.

Carnival activities continue on Jan. 18 with the coronation of King Ullr LX and Queen of the Snows in downtown Whitefish, followed by a Disco Party at the Great Northern Bar.

Prince Frey and Princess Freya will be crowned Jan. 24 at Whitefish High School between the girls and boys varsity basketball games.

The carnival culminates with a parade and full day of activities on Feb. 8 in downtown Whitefish. For a full schedule go to

Source: Daily Inter Lake – Local News, Carnival crowns first round of royalty

The 4 industry conferences top producers never miss

How to make the most of your convention calendar

With busy schedules and set budgets, it can be challenging for agents to choose which annual conferences to attend from among the myriad options available. Which gatherings will yield the most useful learnings and the best opportunities to connect with peers?

Michael Valdes, REALOGY

There’s no surefire way to know which event will deliver the greatest benefit for your practice, but one rule holds true: you get out what you put in. “I think the right conferences provide an excellent return on investment if the agent is invested in the process,” says Michael Valdes, Senior Vice President of Global Servicing at REALOGY.

With investment in mind, we spoke with three leaders in real estate to hear their insights on how to make the most of any convention — and their recommendations on the industry conferences agents should have on their radars.

A conference tour de force

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

One of the value-adds of conferences is that they often take you to other cities, granting you a chance to visit global real estate hubs where you may represent a property or homebuyer in the future. “Those events that have an international component to them are the most rewarding,” says Valdes.

For luxury agents, here are some favorite stops on the conference circuit:

  • The National Association of REALTORSⓇ Conference & Expo is a November tradition that offers hundreds of sessions and features learnings from the industry’s top experts. It’s an excellent opportunity to network with both national and international peers, as the conference attracts some 1,500 global guests.
  • MIPIM is high on the list for many luxury agents. The annual event takes place in March at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, and connects high-level professionals from across the entire real estate value chain. The nearly 27,000 participants include financial institutions and investors, developers, tech innovators, and business leaders, among many others.
  • As the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) understands, there’s an ever-growing roster of Asian luxury buyers who are investing globally in high-end real estate. The AREAA Global & Luxury Summit is therefore a unique opportunity to make inroads with this exclusive market.
  • The annual Inman Luxury Connect conference is the perfect milieu for luxury agents looking to focus in on the issues that affect the higher end of the real estate market. Not only can you meet fellow luxury professionals, but break-out sessions and immersive discussions ensure that agents are receiving information and connections that can directly lead to new business. Stay an extra day or two to catch the broader Inman Connect Las Vegas conference, where franchise executives, marketers, and tech entrepreneurs all come together to trade business cards and expertise.

Tye Stockton,

LIV Sotheby’s
International Realty

“Industry conferences have been vital to my success,” says Tye Stockton, Global Real Estate Advisor with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “In a small community like Vail, having the ability to tap into knowledge and talent outside of our market has been a great way to bring a fresh approach to my buyers and sellers.”

Conferences provide an opportunity to expand your horizons — literally and figuratively — through traveling abroad and connecting with colleagues from outside your own niche. Stockton says he averages three to four conferences per year, though if you haven’t been in the business for long, it can be in your best interests to register more often.

“Newer agents should be attending as much as possible, as their learning curve is more important,” notes Joel Schemmel, J.D., REALTORⓇ with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Bigger isn’t always better

Joel Schemmel, J.D.,

Premier Sotheby’s
International Realty

A smaller-scale conference may not have the pomp and circumstance of the year’s major events, but they can be just as educational. They’re often thematically designed to target select issues, and may speak to a challenge you’re experiencing in your own day-to-day.

“I have attended large and small conferences and have found the smaller regional conferences sponsored by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates to pack in a lot of valuable information,” says Stockton. “They tend to have a meaningful and targeted message most relevant to expanding my marketing offerings and deal negotiations.”

Likewise, Schemmel is a regular at real estate seminars because of the specialized lens they provide — whether it’s examining the intricacies of 1031 exchanges or working with international clients. “The most beneficial seminar I attended recently was on Ninja Selling,” he recalls. “It was almost a full week, and was interesting for me, as an experienced and high-volume agent, to see how many aspects of my business could be refined.”

Ask the experts

Luxury home dining room interior

Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

Networking with other agents at conferences is a good opportunity to grow your sphere of influence and lay the groundwork for future referrals. To that end, Valdes recommends seeking out agents in your direct feeder markets. But the greatest benefits are the connections you can forge with other industries. “Ancillary allies like finance and legal are important to have so that you can offer consumers a ‘one-stop’ deliverable,” he says. “That’s going the extra mile for a client.”

For Stockton, building these connections at conferences has been critical to his business. “I consider these contacts to be personal consultants to my business, and I stay in regular contact with several I have met,” he says. “Don’t think of conferences and networking as a referral source but rather as a best practice opportunity. What you learn will make you successful every day, unlike a referral, which may deliver a good piece of business once.”

As Schemmel points out, conferences should never be a passive exercise. “Just going and listening is not going to do it,” he says. “You need to attend with the goal of learning and building your network. Only with effort and commitment will you reap the benefits.” Most importantly, you can then share those benefits with your colleagues, your team, and of course, your clients.

Source: The 4 industry conferences top producers never miss – Inman