Moving to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada after having many successful years at a great firm was a big decision for me. It meant reinventing myself a bit as well as developing our business with more of a team concept.
Over the years, I watched the growth of Toronto and saw that is was becoming an International hub for buyers. Canada is a safe haven and offers property rights that do not exist in many countries around the World. We are lucky and live in a wonderful country that allows us property rights that we sometimes take for granted.
In Mainland China, the property is all owned by the Government and ownership is based on the premise that at some point in time all land reverts to the Central government: second homes are not allowed, nor are investment properties. Sadly, Canadians take our property rights for granted.
So over two years ago, after 15 years at my previous firm, we made the decision to move to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. It was to become part of a Global brand and it has been a wonderful experience. I refer to SIRC as not a real estate company, but a marketing company that sells real estate. The opportunities it provides for me and the Torontoism team cannot be had elsewhere, and we have all established global connections.
Last year we were referred a seller in the Four Season’s Residences through the Sotheby’s Auction House here in Hong Kong. He was a loyal client of the Auction House and when it came to a decision to sell his Toronto property, he chose SIRC. He wanted its International reach and network for his property. It was sold in due course and Jim Burtnick who co-listed the Four Season's apartment and I decided to take advantage of the connections that we had made at the Sotheby’s Auction.
Each year the Sotheby’s Auction House in Hong Kong has their historic Fall Auction and Sotheby’s Realty members can sponsor the auction and have visibility during the week long event. It is held at the Hong Kong Convention Centre and is thousands of square feet in scope. There is important Chinese Art and Paintings, Classical Chinese and Modern Asian Art, Contemporary Ink Art, Magnificent Jewels and Watches and the finest and rarest Wines.
Sotheby's is everywhere! Advertising the Sale on a Hong Kong Tram.
Tracy, Jim and I with Dr. Paul Boldy, Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific Group at Sotheby's International.
Attending the Sothebys Booth at the Auction with our colleagues from around the World and of course, a translator.
At Sotheby's Desk in Hong Kong
To whet the pallet there are other items on view. Most exciting is a preview of Highlights from the collection of A. Alfred Taubman of New York. There are probably 50 pieces by famous artists including Degas, Modigliani, Miro, Warhol, and on and on….
ART FROM THE AUCTION
As a sponsor of the event, we attend at a table staffed by representatives from North America, China and India. One of the great advantages is getting to know the over 60 salespersons attending within the Sotheby’s Realty network…learning about their markets and offering assistance when needed in of helping all our clients benefit from our relationships gained this week.
Watching the fireworks with Paul Boldy of Sotheby's International Realty Asia and friends at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. It was a National Holiday on our first night and we were jet-lagged!
Fireworks in the Hong Kong Harbour. The photos can not do justice to the experience!
Fireworks in the Hong Kong Harbour
Earlier this year the Torontoism team added Tracy An, born in Mainland China and having Mandarin as her first language, she has been a brilliant asset for us both in Toronto and here in Hong Kong, this week. Tracy, Jim and I have dubbed our selves Team Asia-Canada as the three of us are the only representatives from SIRC but have a number of properties that we have been featuring for other sales representatives. We are on day four and are almost schmoozed out.
California friends with Christine Krenos of Napa Valley and Andrew Greenwell of "Million Dollar Listing San Francisco" fame.
Team Asia with our friend Doris Lam of Savills HK at the 102nd floor of the Ritz Carlton. What a view!
Dim sum 102 storeys up at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. To say the least, the weather has been wet!
Dim Sum on the 102 floor of the Ritz Carlton with Doris Lam. A treat!
So far this is an incredible experience. Not only meeting sources of future business but also learning more about how Real Estate is done in Asia so that we can understand expectations of the many Asian buyers and sellers, who are a large part of the business that we do…
Coming all this way would not make sense without making more connections in Asia, so later today we are invited to meet the reps from Sotheby’s Realty Hong Kong and on Thursday we are travelling to Taiwan to present at the Sotheby’s Taipei Office, followed by Sotheby’s Beijing and then Shanghai.
These visits will be recounted in later posts…stay tuned…more to come in the next release from China.