Business & Industry

Dec 1, 2014

Turning Realty into History

As a subsidiary of an historic firm with a globally recognized name, Sotheby's International Realty (SIR) joined a rich tradition when it was created in 1976 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the main company. SIR was conceived as a natural extension of Sotheby's portfolio of auction services.


The founder of Sotheby's, Samuel Baker, held the company's first sale – a book auction – on March 11, 1744. During the intervening 232 years, the company evolved from its role as a book seller to the recognized international leader in auctions of fine and decorative arts, furniture and collectibles.

The patrons who frequented Sotheby's auctions were also involved in the buying and selling of unique properties and were desirous of working with an entity that could both understand and best represent those residences and estates. Thus the decision to branch into real estate seemed a natural for the storied auction house.

In 2004, Sotheby's Holdings forged an alliance with Cedant Corporation, now Realogy Corporation, to create a long-term, multi-national presence in the world of luxury real estate. Realogy, the leading real estate brokerage franchiser on the world stage, developed a full SIR franchise network via a subsidiary, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC.
Sothby's International Realty France operates more than 35 offices with a goal of 50 in total to appropriately cover the country's most important markets. Firms designated as Sothby's affiliates are carefully chosen via a strict election criteria and must first have a well-established reputation for excellence before they can be considered to join the Sothby's network.

The Burger Davis affiliation with SIR dates from 2003. The firm's managing director, Judith, began a career in luxury hospitality management in the United Kingdom where she worked in operations with renowned 5 star hotels. Moving to France, she became the first female maitre d' hotel at the Carlton Casino Club and helped to design and manage celebrity functions and events, notably during the Cannes International Film Festival. In 1995, at the request of her celebrity clientele, she founded Davis Villa Management to ensure they enjoyed exclusive second homes on the French Riviera.

With the Sotheby's partnership in 2003, the firm became the recognized leader in rental and management company on the Cote d'Azur and now offers a full real estate service. Judith is a leading figure in real estate industry on the French Riviera and her exclusive client list is testament to the unrivaled levels of service that Burger Davis Sotheby's offer.

Sotheby's International Realty brokerages gain a powerful program of marketing and referrals as members of the Sotheby's network. Consequently, SIR's independent real estate firms serve the needs of the world's most prestigious clientele. Affiliates are ever mindful of the reputation they uphold and are cognizant that they are responsible for providing an exceptional level of service to both buyers and sellers.

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