Sotheby’s International Realty Transforms How They Deliver Information to Agents

Founded in 1976, Sotheby’s International Realty network of brokerage connects prestigious clients around the world with luxury listings ranging from mansions and ski lodges to vineyards and castles.

As part of a quality selling experience, Sotheby’s International Realty highlighted properties through enticing and visual brochures. But producing and delivering print materials to offices in 47 countries was a time-consuming and costly effort. That’s why the company switched its focus from print media to digital with Anthology: The Collection of an Extraordinary Brand, the company’s digital app.

Created using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (now part of Adobe Experience Manager Mobile), Anthology brings its 13,000 sales associates and their clients real-time updates on the hottest properties. Wendy Purvey, Chief Marketing Officer; and John Passerini, Vice President of Interactive Marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty talked to Adobe about reaching clients through the Anthology app.

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Adobe: What were some of the challenges with print media?

Purvey: We have about 660 offices in 47 countries and territories. Our design teams would spend months gathering information, designing brochures, printing them, and delivering them to all of our offices.

As you can imagine, the cost of printing and shipping all those materials was quite high. But more concerning, the materials were outdated virtually the second that they reached offices. To provide our clients with a luxury experience, we needed to deliver more timely and accurate information.

Adobe: Why switch to a digital app?

Passerini: With the Anthology app, we can push updates through the network whenever we need to. We’re able to add interactive features that draw in buyers and showcase our sellers’ properties in the best light. This innovative app is a real differentiator in the real estate industry for us. The cost savings can’t be understated. If we needed to make updates to printed brochures, that required design edits, reprints, and shipping to hundreds of offices. It could easily add $1 million to our budget to achieve the same results that we see in a fraction of the time with the Adobe mobile app solution. We’re transforming how we deliver information to our sales associates, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Adobe: How are sales associates responding to the app?

Passerini: Using the built-in analytics, we can get good insight into adoption, downloads, and views. We can figure out exactly what our sales associates, anywhere in the world, are looking at. This helps us figure out what’s working well, refine, and update the app to make greater deals.

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Adobe: What kind of returns are you seeing as a result of the app?

Purvey: For us, the returns are apparent through our listings and sales. One of our brokers was suddenly called out to a multi-million dollar property. The owners wanted to sell, but they hadn’t decided that they were going to list with Sotheby’s. The broker simply showed up with his tablet, gathered the entire family in the theater room, and demonstrated the app over the big screen TV. Everyone watched as he scrolled through listings, guided them through virtual tours, and highlighted all of the many features that Sotheby’s International Realty uses to attract quality buyers. The family contracted with Sotheby’s on the spot without ever talking to other agencies. That’s a clear return.

Watch Wendy Purvey present Sotheby’s mobile app strategy at an Adobe symposium. Click here for the highlights or here for the full version.

Click here to download the _Anthology: The Collection of an Extraordinary Brand _app today.

Learn more about building and managing apps with Experience Manager Mobile. Read the Experience Manager Mobile solutions brief for the services industry.