As a way to meet the highly specialized needs of its most distinguished clients, Engel & VĂ¶lkers created the Private Office Advisor title, a title bestowed upon the firmâ€™s top performers. In fact, out of the firmâ€™s 7,000 agents worldwide, only 53 currently hold the exclusive designation.
â€śAs a Private Office Advisor, I feel I serve as a brand ambassador for the firm,â€ť says Christine Miller Martin, a broker with Engel & VĂ¶lkers New York City. â€śEngel & VĂ¶lkers is a global luxury real estate and lifestyle brand that is also engaged in the selling and leasing of yachts and planes. Itâ€™s a premium brand, and I feel my role is to live up to it by providing the highest level of service to our clients and referral sources. I consider it a great honor and a way to ensure my clients receive the highest level of service.â€ť
As Private Office Advisors, the group has access to marketing tools and opportunities developed specifically to work with the luxury brandâ€™s highest net-worth clients. They also work together as the preferred contacts for international referrals that require the highest level of service and market expertise.
â€śI get the chance to network with other Private Office Advisors and get information aboutâ€”and access toâ€”listings and properties that are not currently on the market,â€ť Martin says. â€śMoreover, when I send my clients to other Private Office Advisors, I know theyâ€™re being taken care of by a highly competent broker who shares my commitment to a seamless experience with the highest degree of professionalism, competence and service.â€ť
As members of Engel & VĂ¶lkers overall network, each Private Office Advisor continues to work and support fellow agents in providing the best services in the market. They are valued for their leadership, experience and commitment to the brandâ€™s core values of competence, exclusivity and passion. These top representatives also serve on the Presidentâ€™s Advisory Council, which meets four times a year to work with the CEO of Engel & VĂ¶lkers North America, Anthony Hitt, in shaping the direction of the company.
In order to be considered for Private Office designation, advisors within the Engel & VĂ¶lkers international network must be nominated by their brokers. Individuals are then selected based on their consistent, year-after-year production numbers, market expertise, high-quality service and passion for their role as a real estate professional. In addition to the individualâ€™s production, their professional reputation and profile in the community, must be considered.
All applications are then reviewed by a committee before being approved by Hitt and Constantin von Dalwigk, the head of Private Office at the Private Office headquarters in London.
Bob Nathan, with Engel & VĂ¶lkers Scottsdale, was invited to be a Private Office Advisor upon joining the firm just a little over a year ago based on his sales statistics for the previous five yearsâ€”despite having worked elsewhere.
â€śThe beauty is that theyâ€™re analyzing and evaluating agents who are coming into the organization as if they were already part of the family,â€ť says Nathan. â€śThey are acknowledging past successes regardless of where youâ€™ve previously worked.â€ť
In Nathanâ€™s opinion, the distinction shows that the firm not only appreciates excellence, theyâ€™re holding steadfast to their commitment to continuing to be a leader in the field.
â€śWhen people look at my business card and ask what a Private Office Advisor is, I can tell them I have successfully completed between $20 – $25 million a year for the last five years, which is an acknowledgement that I know what Iâ€™m doing,â€ť says Nathan. â€śWeâ€™re a small brotherhood and sisterhood of members who are Private Office Advisors for Engel & VĂ¶lkers, and we have significant connections and relationships.â€ť
For example, if Nathan is dealing with a client looking to move out of state, he can offer the best-of-the-best in other markets.
â€śThe Private Office Advisor designation was designed for communication and relationship building, providing a national reach to top producers to promote our listings,â€ť says Nathan. â€śThere are also certain events held by Engel & VĂ¶lkers that are only for Private Office Advisors where we welcome new members and celebrate mutual successes.â€ť
Desmond Milvenan, an agent with Engel & VĂ¶lkers Austin, was considered to become a Private Office Advisor this past March when the agency she previously worked with affiliated with Engel & VĂ¶lkers.
â€śTo become a Private Office Advisor, an agent has to meet certain sales requirements,â€ť says Milvenan. â€śEngel & VĂ¶lkers also reaches out to the agentâ€™s clients to verify that the agent is providing the quality of service they expect.â€ť
One of Milvenanâ€™s favorite things about being a Private Office Advisor is the opportunity to meet other real estate professionals who hold the designation, which happens several times a year.
â€śThere are only 53 Private Office Advisors in the worldâ€”35 in the U.S.â€”and itâ€™s a pretty selective and impressive group,â€ť says Milvenan. â€śIâ€™m in a number of luxury groups here in Austin, and I am not easy to impress, but the Private Office group is very impressive. These professionals are at the top of their game and are willing to share their innovative marketing ideas.â€ť
The Private Office program also provides members access to contact information of high net-worth individuals, as well as the opportunity to advertise in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, where agents most likely would not run ads of their own.
Then, of course, there are the bragging rights, which Milvenan says are just as important for attracting clients, especially when dealing with premium properties.
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