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The oldest listed company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (BID) will be taken private after 31 years.

On 16 June 2019, Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by French media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector, Patrick Drahi for US$3.7 billion. The price tag marks a hefty 61 per cent premium to Sotheby’s close price the session prior, and shares of Sotheby’s spiked nearly 60 per cent after the announcement. Patrick Drahi owns 60 per cent of the stock of Altice NV, based in the Netherlands, and is listed on the 2019 Forbes list of Billionaires. Through Altice, Drahi also owns 75 per cent of Numericable, France’s largest cable operator.

One of the world’s largest auction houses and brokers of art, collectibles and jewelry, Sotheby’s has been in operation since 1744. Founded in England and headquartered in New York, it started as a dealer of rare and valuable books.

Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York in 1955. It was first listed in United Kingdom in 1977 before going private in the early 1980s. It went public again in 1988 in the United States as Sotheby’s Holdings, Inc and was renamed “Sotheby’s” in 2006. The auction house has achieved a number of firsts – Sotheby’s was the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong in 1973, India in 1992 and France in 2001. It opened in China in 2012, making Sotheby’s the first international fine art auction house in China. In all, Sotheby’s presents auctions in ten different salesrooms and has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries.

Along with the paintings and sculptures that Sotheby’s sells, the brand has built a massive name for itself by offering a number of related services, including Sotheby’s Financial Services, Sotheby’s Global Fine Art Division, Sotheby’s Diamonds, Sotheby’s Home and Sotheby’s Wine.

Tad Smith, Sotheby’s CEO, said: “This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.”

Domenico De Sole, Chairman of Sotheby’s Board of Directors, agrees and added: “After more than 30 years as a public company, the time is right for Sotheby’s to return to private ownership to continue on a path of growth and success.”

The change of ownership at Sotheby’s signal great and exiting things to come. The transaction is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of 2019 following shareholder approval.

Sotheby’s Holdings, the owner of the auction house, sold its real estate brokerage firm and the brand’s licensing rights to what is now Realogy in 2004. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.

On the acquisition, Philip White, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty, said in a statement: “Sotheby’s International Realty enjoys an extraordinary partnership with the auction house – including client referrals, worldwide event sponsorships, a realty desk in Sotheby’s global headquarters and advertising opportunities in Sotheby’s print and electronic communications. We do not expect any changes to these programmes, and look forward to collaborating with Sotheby’s management moving forward under their new ownership.”

Article originally appeared in the INSIGHTS,  List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home.

Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.


Sotheby’s International Realty hosted the annual Global Networking Event in Vancouver, Canada, May 13-15, welcoming nearly 2,000 members of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand from 35 countries. Johnson Goh, List Sotheby’s International Realty’s Chief Marketing Officer (Asia Region), attended the networking event.

Only Sotheby’s International Realty

New brand marketing campaign Only

The Next Level event introduced Onlya new brand marketing campaign that highlights the spirit and crystallisation of the exceptional core values of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, providing custom marketing materials for all affiliates.

Industry Leaders

Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Philip White

Sotheby’s International Realty President and CEO Philip White kickstarted the event’s mainstage presentations, setting the tone for the Next Level theme by taking those in attendance on a journey into the brand’s future.

Sotheby’s International Realty COO Julie Leonhardt LaTorre and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group John Peyton

Julie Leonhardt LaTorre, the brand’s COO, continued the thread when she hosted a panel with John Peyton, CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, and Noah Wunsch, Sotheby’s SVP and Global Head of E-Commerce.

Focus on APAC

List Sotheby’s International Realty Chief Marketing Officer (Asia Region) Johnson Goh

There was also a special meeting for affiliates from Asia Pacific, where cross-border collaboration between affiliates was discussed, as well as conversations on possible opportunities and common challenges faced. During a session on new developments in the real estate industry, Johnson Goh briefed the audience on the trend of branded residences, following Singapore’s recent release of a research study on the topic.

A Special Guest

Gwyneth Paltrow, Academy Award winning actress and CEO and Founder of Goop, a modern lifestyle brand, joined brand CMO Kevin Thompson on stage as keynote speaker, sharing her thoughts on the importance of creating a timeless brand and connecting with today’s consumer in an intimate fireside chat.

Call of the Wild

The nighttime events were truly Next Level, featuring acrobatics, bountiful food and quite literally turning the conference centre into a Canadian rainforest.

The Future of Tech

Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider

Realogy CEO, Ryan Schneider excited the audience unveiling new and upcoming technology innovations and guests also enjoyed hearing empowering stories from their peers about bringing their business to the Next Level.

The event highlighted personalisation as the new luxury, allowing guests to hand pick their own gift from “The Living Room,” a curated store featuring goods from more than ten Canadian purveyors. In the brand’s new Events app, the digital hub for all things GNE, attendees posted more than 1,000 times and liked content nearly 7,500 times during the event. Some of these live moments can be found on the brand Instagram profile’s #SIRGNE highlight.

The event lived up to its theme and was truly Next Level.

Further reporting by List SIR SG. Article originally appeared in the Extraordinary Living Blog, Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo credit: Andy Foster Photograph

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.


Technology has disrupted lives in so many ways, impacting industries at an accelerating speed and pushing companies to rethink every aspect of their businesses.

The key goals of the industry transformation map for many industries is to automate processes in order to scale the business. For the real estate industry, it is to fully digitalise property transactions. We take a look at how technology has changed the way real estate business is done.

For the buyers

The internet has made things a lot more transparent and information more easily accessible. Consumers can easily search for the latest transaction prices, read up on the potential development of a particular estate, or calculate the expected rental yield of a development through a search engine.

As an investor, one can subscribe to notifications on the latest trend affecting the property market and receive updates through a preferred messaging platform, like electronic mail or messages.

For those who are looking to venture overseas for a holiday home or tap on an opportunity that opened up, it has become easier to obtain information. People can buy into overseas properties in the comfort of their homes after doing their research online instead of making a trip to survey the market. Information such as the country’s regulations on foreign investment to applicable taxes and financing requirements, will come in handy before one makes the move.

For the sellers

With a digital device on hand, it has become so simple to do-it-yourself. One can simply take photos of his/ her home and list them on property portals and get the property exposed to thousands of eyeballs. However, please note that you will need to be certified by the Council for Estate Agencies to broker a real estate deal in Singapore.

Home staging before putting a property on the market is now also possible through augmented reality. Home staging is an important aspect of selling your property, as it enables the potential buyer to imagine living his or her desired life. Instead of  the traditional way of staging a home with props before putting it on the market, it is now possible for sellers to let buyers visualise how an empty room will look like fully furnished with Curate, a mobile app by Sotheby’s International Realty. In essence, Curate allows potential buyers to have a preview of how their ideal home can look like, thereby curating the entire homebuying and selling experience.

For the companies

Real estate companies have also found new ways to connect with the consumers in a highly personalised manner, through social channels that have learnt buyer’s behaviours, reaching out to them based on their preferences. On a more advanced level, PropTech is the latest buzz word in the industry. PropTech startups offer tools for every stage of the consumer journey, from listing to selling and offering projection based on proprietary algorithm driven by big data. It is to be lauded that the industry has transformed to provide transparent information in a fast and efficient manner, benefiting various stakeholders, including the end consumers.

As the real estate industry continues to streamline the transaction process between buyers, sellers and agents, it will be worthwhile to note that the real estate business will still require a human touch to it. Ultimately, relationship-building is at the core of the real estate business. Only through knowing our customers and their needs, will we be able to provide high value and impeccable services to clients

Source: List Sotheby’s International Singapore

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.


The doors to the Thai office of List Sotheby’s International Realty (List SIR) opened on 25 September to great fanfare.

In the early afternoon, a media conference was held, where Mr Hisashi Kitami, Founder, CEO & President of List SIR, shared his vision for the company as a group as well as for each of the offices. Indeed, the List Group has certainly come a long way since Mr Kitami founded the company in 1991 and also started List Sotheby’s International Realty in 2010.

With the Thailand office now officially opened, there are sixteen List SIR offices in total – 10 offices in Japan, two in Hawaii, and one each in the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. The company’s expansion will continue to progress, and there are already plans to open up offices in Indonesia and Vietnam in 2019.

Ms Shanya Sae-Tia, Chief Operating Officer of List SIR, Thailand, is a veteran in Thai property with over two decades of experience. Speaking at the media conference, she said that her main mission now would be to promote the List Sotheby’s International Realty brand among luxury customers and to support the company’s growth in the ASEAN market. She added that the Thailand office’s core businesses are:

  1. Real estate brokerage in Thailand
  2. International real estate brokerage, and
  3. Sales consultant and project management for developers.

Besides Mr Kitami, Ms Sae-Tia and Mr Yasushi Yamada, Chief Operating Officer of List Holdings Singapore and Head of Asia Region, List Group, there was another special guest present at the media conference. The media were introduced to Mr Quang Do, who sits on List SIR Thailand’s Board of Directors. Mr Quang Do’s company, Weng Group, entered into the joint venture with List Holdings Singapore because he sees the potential in the List SIR brand and also the trust that consumers already have for the Sotheby’s brand with its 200-year heritage. Mr Quang Do felt that the global recognition of the Sotheby’s brand also means that it already has a strong base of luxury clientele which will help the Thai office to promote the best property brands in Thailand to them.

After the media conference, a celebratory party was held in the evening at the luxurious Gaysorn Tower, where the List SIR Thai office is also located. More than 100 guests turned up to witness the official launch. The evening started with a traditional Thai puppet show before senior management, including Mr Kitami and Mr Quang Do, took to the stage to address the guests and launch the brand.

Established in 2018 with a registered capital of 108 million baht, the List SIR Thai office has targeted a revenue of 18 million baht for the year 2019. Of that, 50 percent of revenue is expected to come from brokerage services, both local and international, while the other 50 percent will likely come from project management. The company also projects that revenue in the third year of operations will hit 180 million baht.

During its first year, the company is predicting that 70 per cent of its customers will be domestic clients, with the remaining 30 per cent being foreigners from Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Currently, the Thai office has already secured an inventory of around 200 million baht, and intends to grow that inventory to 570 million baht before reaching 6 billion baht in the third year.

Source: List Sotheby’s International Singapore

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.


Leading luxury real estate brokerage List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore, won a total of 4 awards at this year’s Asia Pacific Property Awards. The awards ceremony was held at The Marriot Marquis Queen’s Park, Bangkok on 15 May 2019.

With awards in 4 major categories, List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore emerged as the biggest winner in terms of number of wins among the real estate agencies in Singapore.

Four Awards Include two 5-Star Awards for Real Estate Agency Marketing and Realty Estate Agency Website

  • Real Estate Agency Marketing 5-Star Award Winner*
  • Real Estate Agency Website 5-Star Award Winner* (for
  • Real Estate Agency Single Office National Award Winner 
  • Development Marketing National Award Winner (for Melbourne Square)
Four Awards

Held annually since 2008, the Asia Pacific Property Awards is the largest and most prestigious award in the region, and is widely recognised as a mark of excellence for property professionals.Of the four wins, the agency was named a 5-Star Winner in two of the categories –Real Estate Agency Marketing and Real Estate Agency Website. 

A 5-Star Award represents the top award attainable in each category.At the gala dinner event, List Sotheby’s International Realty was also announced to be a nominee for the two categories at the International Property Awards which will be held in London in December.

Since opening its office in 2017, List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore, has grown from strength to strength, and now has a team of close to 70 real estate professional relationship managers.Locally, List Sotheby’s International Realty (referred to as “List SIR” hereafter) has been appointed to market some of Singapore’s most exclusive properties, including both the Super Penthouses of Wallich Residence and Concourse Skyline.

Mr. Leong Boon Hoe

Since opening its office in 2017, List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore, has grown from strength to strength, and now has a team of close to 70 real estate professional relationship managers.

Locally, List Sotheby’s International Realty (referred to as “List SIR” hereafter) has been appointed to market some of Singapore’s most exclusive properties, including both the Super Penthouses of Wallich Residence and Concourse Skyline.

One of the significant transactions that List SIR was involved in 2018 was a $33.3 million deal for a Sentosa Cove bungalow – the highest quantum for a Sentosa Cove bungalow since 2012. List SIR was also involved in the first sale of a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) for 2019 – a Jervois Hill GCB that was transacted at $30.88 million.

Internationally, List SIR’s Singapore office has also been appointed to market several major projects from Malaysia, Australia and Dubai (U.A.E).

Mr Leong Boon Hoe, Chief Operating Officer, List Sotheby’s International Realty, Singapore, said:

 “The key to our success is in valuing each of our clients and the relationship we have built with them. This relationship is what drives us to constantly push ourselves to improve our service, processes and how we market our properties. Winning these awards is testament to the efforts that the team has put in ensure that we deliver only the best to our clients.”

The Awards are judged by an independent panel of over 80 industry experts from fieldssuch as architecture, design, marketing, public relations, publishing and interior design,as well as investors and consultants. Aspects that the judges focused on includedesign, quality, service, originality and innovation.

Mr Johnson Goh, Chief Marketing Officer of List Sotheby’s International Realty (Asia Region), said:

“Today’s real estate industry sees many changes at an ever-increasingpace. We have to stay nimble and know what are the needs of our clients and how toreach our clients through multiple channels. Our integrated real estate marketingecosystem has been set up precisely to do that and we will continue to build on ourstrengths to be data driven, while remaining customer-centric at the same time.”

List SIR has established itself as a leader in the marketing of properties, including harnessing the power of technology to maximise the promotion of listings and enhance the experience of buying and investing in properties. Innovation – both online andoffline – is also key to List SIR’s success.

List SIR is part of the Sotheby’s International Realty® network, which was founded in 1976 as the real estate arm of the prestigious Sotheby’s Auction House. The network currently has more than 22,700 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 1,000 offices across 72 countries and territories.

Uniting the worldwide recognition and prestige of the Sotheby’s name with the expertise of Japan’s List Group in the growing Asian market, List SIR is one of the leading luxury residential brokerages in Singapore and the region with an international network and strong digital marketing capabilities. Headquartered in Japan, List SIR also has offices in Hong Kong, Thailand, Hawaii and Philippines, with upcoming offices in Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Asia Pacific Property Awards was established in 2008. It is part of the International Property Awards, which was first presented in 1993 in London. Awards are also given out for other regions including Arabia, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, Central & South American, Europe and the U.S.A. These awards will be presented at gala events around the world during the course of the year, and will culminate at a final awards ceremony in December, where results of the International Property Awards will be announced.

The Asia Pacific Property Awards were presented alongside the IPAX Asia Pacific Global Exhibition and networking event which was held on 14 and 15 May 2019 at thesame venue.

Next Read: To learn more about what makes a perfect summer luxury home. Read What To Look For In The Perfect Summer Luxury Home In The Philippines.


A full suite real estate firm, List Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines, takes great pride in the ability to provide luxurious service to the clientele it upholds in developed Central Business Districts in key cities and regions such as Makati, Ortigas, BGC, Eastwood, Triangle Park Quezon City, Filinvest Corporate City, Cebu Business Park and Downtown Davao. 

We will be offering a refinement of living through its newest complimentary e-newsletter called Spotlight.  It will highlight a collection of curated lifestyle events, hottest luxury property listings from the Philippines and its cross border affiliates, investment and analysis of the real estate market leveraging from our 990 offices worldwide and counting.

Real Estate Firm in the Philippines

There has been a rapid development of emerging cities in the Philippines. Projects such as high and low-rise condominiums, resort-oriented hotels, satellite communities, innovative shopping malls, and various offices are quickly sprouting. These developments contributed to the stability and steady growth of Philippine real estate which makes it one of the most lucrative markets in Southeast Asia.

List Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines, a collection of the trusted names in luxury real estate, is here to bring its comprehensive listing of the most coveted properties in the market and its signature of the  unparalleled service, consistent with the full potential of luxury real estate here in the Philippines.

Balinese Villa at Sta. Elena

Part of List Sotheby’s International Realty of Japan, List Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines was established in September 2016 which marked its third year last year. A full-service real estate firm that caters to all clients all over the Philippines and the world, We offer exclusive marketing, advertising, and referral services that are carefully designed to attract targeted buyers to the firms curated property listings.

With our dedicated team of Property Specialists and Relationship ManagersList Sotheby’s International Realty Philippines provides invaluable local knowledge and services while offering clients exceptional expertise that brings the world to its doorsteps. Our impeccable attention to details and anticipation of their needs is what sets them apart from other real estate firms in the market.

Our affiliation of List Sotheby’s international Realty with global brands provides its clientele extensive network and exposure. One affiliate, the Sotheby’s International Realty®, has a network of over 22,500 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 990 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide.

Going beyond expectations, defining the value of Sotheby’s International Realty® brand, and various real estate market updates and property insights will be featured in the upcoming informative Spotlight e-newsletters.


What should you keep in mind for luxury real estate investments?

  1. Types of luxury real estate investments
  2. Importance of studying the market
  3. Appropriate design is key

Luxury homes in the Philippines are not common. In fact, luxury real estate is something that only the most elite can get themselves involved in. Whether you’re selling a luxury home or putting it up for rent, it will be difficult to find potential clients.

If it were regular real estate, the level of difficulty won’t be as high. However, since you’re dealing with deluxe homes for sale in the Philippines, you also need an increased level of expertise in order to go through with a sale.

The thing is, regular real estate is way different from luxury real estate. It’s important that the proper steps and strategies are implemented in order to ensure that a house is sold in a timely fashion and at a fair price!

Types of Luxury Real Estate Investments

Types of Luxury Real Estate Investments

When it comes to real estate, more often than not, your goal will always be to make money; to earn a return on your investment. For luxury real estate, you can earn a profit through the following means:

Real Estate Appreciation

The most common way to make money off of luxury real estate is when the property increases in value over time or due to a change in the real estate market. This usually happens when the land around your property becomes scarce or the area near or around you is bustling with activities (such as a commercial center being built next door). It can also increase in value when you implement upgrades to the estate. However, you will only get a profit when you make a successful sale.

Cash Flow Income

With this type of real estate investment, you can focus on collecting rent from luxury homes, condominiums, or apartments. You will be the one to operate on it for simple things such as housekeeping. The cash flow will start when you begin to have tenants. This kind of real estate investment is more reliable than when you use real estate appreciation.

Real Estate Related Income

This kind of endeavor is usually done by professionals of the real estate industry. That would include brokers and agents that make money through commissions from buying and selling properties. This also includes real estate management companies that get a percentage of their rents in exchange for running day-to-day operations for the property.

The Importance of Studying the Market

Luxury real estate, as its name implies, will never be cheap. Investing in it will cost a large sum of money. However, when you do your homework correctly, the gains will be well beyond what you put into it.

That’s why it’s incredibly important for you to be careful when you do your research. Be mindful not just about the people that you’ll be planning to sell to, but also about the place where the luxury home is located.

These two factors, along with the quality of the property itself, are the major considerations that most people look at to appraise the value of estates. The better you appeal to their needs and wants, the more they’ll be willing to pay you for it.

Make sure that you understand the surroundings of the estate or the luxury house that you’re selling. Use that as the main selling point of the luxury home. For example, the place may be near a popular commercial district, or it’s in an exclusive community, or it might even be in an area that’s isolated, giving off a surreal and private feeling.

Appropriate Design is Key

You may have a property in an incredibly ideal location. However, what it looks and feels like is probably far from what the market wants. Chances are, they won’t even consider buying your property unless you are willing to drastically change its whole appearance.

That being said, both interior and exterior design are vital in making sure that a property that you’re selling meets the standards of your potential customers. That means not only making sure that it’s exterior is aesthetically appealing and functional, but the interior is fully furnished with the best possible equipment that they might need as they live in it.

Key Takeaway

Think of luxury real estate investments as more lavish and expensive real estate investments. You’ll be dealing with mansions, estates, penthouses, and sometimes even giant plots of land. When it comes down to it, however, buying and selling luxury homes in the Philippines is the same as any other real estate purchase.

The key here is that there’s a wholly different market, market value, and price boundary—which can either be advantageous or disadvantageous to you depending on how your own investments pan out.

That being said, luxury real estate investment can be great as a secondary or your primary source of income as long as you know the ins and outs of what you’re doing.


Although branded residences have been around for nearly a century, it was only in the 1980s that the market has grown significantly. With North America as the largest market for branded residences with a 32% market share, Asia Pacific comes a close second with 30% while Europe is third with 13%.

In Southeast Asia, the dawn of the first branded residences, the Aman brand, happened in Phuket, Thailand. This is when the successful sale of some 30 villas of Amanpuri in 1988 led to the subsequent evolution of the brand. It was in 1995, during the launch of Four Seasons Chiang Mai that Thailand’s first branded residences was introduced, in collaboration with an international hotel chain. Since then, branded hotel chains continued to develop and has remained the most dominant form of branded residences in the region.

In light of new entrants in the market, the meaning behind branded residences has taken on an expanded definition in recent years. It has further evolved by marrying residential real estate with brands from other sectors such as fashion, jewelry, interior design, and even automotive brands. Luxury brands such as Armani, Bvlgari, and Porsche are some examples of these other sectors.

One of the newest branded residences in the market is currently in construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre or KLCC, its two residential towers are set to become the world’s tallest twisted twin towers upon completion.

This is made possible by YOO8 serviced by Kempinski, who features not one but two power brands – international design studio YOO founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck and Europe’s oldest and most established hotel group, Kempinski, which was founded in 1897. YOO8 serviced by Kempinski is part of 8 Conlay by Malaysian developer KSK Land, and features interior concepts by Steve Leung and Kelly Hoppen of YOO studio and in-house services by Kempinski.

A brand is a stamp of quality recognized and cherished by buyers, and is one that comes with a premium. With a growing market and higher expectations from consumers, branded residences will have to continually stand out to attract investors and maintain their premium over luxury residences. It was reported that buyers were willing to pay premiums of up to 132 percent in Bangkok and 69 percent in Kuala Lumpur over non-branded dwellings, what more if they see the quality and elegance of a branded one?

For those who dream of having the best in luxury living from iconic buildings by starchitects, interior works by top international designers, to five-star services and amenities, a branded residence is the perfect answer. It is more than just luxury. It is history in the making.

Are you interested to own a branded residence soon? Know more about it by downloading the “LIVE BRANDED – Rise of the Branded Residences” report and you will be well on your way to becoming the owner of a property that is all class and elegance!