Relocation Spotlight on Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty
Later this year, Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty will relocate its central office to the new Amegy Bank building, located at 1717 West Loop South.
According to Tess Chaney, the company’s relocation director, the upcoming move represents a significant shift toward a more modern, high-tech, collaborative work environment for its agents and staff.
During a recent interview, she shared her thoughts on the new office space, and the opportunities that lie ahead for the company, its agents, and the clients it serves.
Following are excerpts from our conversation:
MS: What brought about the decision to move your central office?
TC: The reason for the move is to create a space that is reflective of the incredible properties we represent. Our agents can thrive in a modern, high-tech environment, which will also benefit our clients, and our staff.
We’re very excited to move our office to the Amegy Tower. The quality of the building is very upscale, which reflects the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. Amegy Tower is a premier high-rise that was built to the highest environmental standards and has achieved LEED Gold certification.
MS: What can you share about the new space?
TC: Collaboration is big in our company. The new space will encourage group meetings among the agents, and will have more shared space, so that they can learn with each other and work together. The floor-and-a-half office suite will have individual and collaborative workspaces for about 200 people, multiple conference rooms, and a custom-designed reception area and beverage bar. Other amenities include a lounge with arcade games, podium parking, an on-site cafe, unobstructed city views, and outdoor terraces on the ninth floor.
MS: What are some of the opportunities that our market offers for newcomers today?
TC: Houston is unique in the housing options it offers, which are affordable compared to other markets. There are also shifts in what different generations are looking for today. For some, the ability to have extra square footage might be worth more time spent in the car, but for others it might not be. I think the role of a relocation director is to be the first point of contact, listen to what people want, and make helpful suggestions about areas that may fit their lifestyle.
MS: What are some of the benefits that your agents offer your relocation clients?
TC: The Houston market gives Realtors an opportunity to educate our relocation clients. There’s so much to take in and to know. So, for those who are new to Houston and unfamiliar with our market, the key is to work with a local Realtor who knows the present, past, and potential projects that may be happening in an area.
MS: How do emotional factors generally play into the home-buying decision for your relocation clients?
TC: The popularity of real estate reality television shows and entertainment is apparent in our everyday lives. Real estate is a very passionate and personal thing for everybody, and it’s a reflection of their personality and lifestyle. Buyers desire the most current design trends and color palettes, which definitely influence the emotional factor for purchasing.
MS: What opportunities do you see for your agents today?
TC: There is an opportunity for agents living in a fast-paced world. Buyers and sellers want to know if an area or neighborhood is appreciating, stable, or depreciating. So, providing clients with data and analytics is a huge tool and resource, versus just sharing advice or opinions. This enables our clients to make educated decisions, and it’s also a pivotal change in the trust level that they place in us.
MS: Since consumers are bombarded with so much information today, how can they determine what is the most accurate as it relates to real estate?
TC: We are constantly absorbing content, because there is so much being pushed in our direction. For a Realtor, the opportunity to constantly educate yourself is key. The consumer is also receiving a lot of content, and the Realtor adds value by helping the client filter through the important pieces. Relocation agents are trained to assist the transferee in getting a driver’s license if moving from out of state, managing movers, and helping with international relocations. There can be misleading information, which is another way Realtors can assist the client.
MS: What opportunities do you see for your company?
TC: The history of Sotheby’s, and the effect that our brand has on people and their perception tends to open many doors. It is helpful with our mobility clients to have a consistent name and global footprint that covers different markets. Clients feel more comfortable and have experience with the level of service that we are known for.
Michelle Sandlin is an award-winning writer, journalist and global mobility industry expert. Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/The-
MichelleSandlin and on Twitter: @MichelleSandlin. Also visit “On the Move” at blog.chron.com/onthemove.