MARGATE – “Consistency,” “uniqueness,” “savvy,” and “discrete” are some of the words used to describe Soleil Sotheby’s International Realty listings and the agents who sell them. Sunny dispositions are required to work at Sotheby’s Margate real estate franchise. That’s only partially because Soleil, is French for “sun.”
Brokers Tamy and Donald “D.J.” Gluck said their sales philosophy reflects the exclusivity of the Sotheby’s International brand.
“We tell the story of the homes and are more client-centric,” Tamy Gluck said.
The company boasts 20 full-time, and just as many part-time or “virtual” agents, listing and selling homes ranging from $80,000 for a motel studio condo conversion to $5 million for a five-bedroom, five-bath bayfront mansion. A dozen or more of the company’s top agents are recognized each year by the Atlantic City and County Board of Realtors, D.J. Gluck said.
The couple, who migrated north in 1996 to be closer to family after managing restaurants and night clubs in South Beach Miami, purchased the business in 1998 from mutual friend Carol Blumberg who owned and operated Blumberg Associates Real Estate.
“Managing clubs was not very conducive to raising a family,” Tamy Gluck said. “At that time, Sotheby’s was looking for offices and they are quite particular about who they bring into their affiliate system. They wanted a luxury beachfront community in a second-homeowner market, which fits their criteria. Although they were looking at three other agencies, they worked to persuade us to take on the franchise.”
No regrets with that decision, she said.
“Sotheby’s marketing is, without a shadow of a doubt, unbelievable. With the international real estate company and the auction house, we’re global,” she said. “We’re always collaborating and sharing.”
“One of the great things about the brand is the consistency and uniqueness,” D.J. Gluck said.
The couple describes their business as “inviting, refined, savvy and discrete.” Not only does the franchise provide upscale marketing materials and brochures, consistent signage, and an “e-gallery” of listings, it also refers buyers to affiliate offices.
“Our online presence is phenomenal, and then there’s the international marketing in online publications such as Architectural Digest and The New York Times,” Tamy Gluck said. “It’s about the story of the home. It’s really about the home, the people in the home, telling the story of the home, and less about the agent.”
The office, which is located at 8502 Ventnor Ave., beckons with a sleek style and iconic blue and white façade. Inside a receptionist greets you at the front counter, complete with white orchids and distinctive Sotheby’s signage. Beyond the counter are private cubbies for the agents and several conference rooms and private offices.
Tamy Gluck said she is planning some upgrades for 2019, including duplicating the lobby’s wall-to-wall display rack in the conference rooms. The custom-built wall unit provides a colorful mosaic detailing some of the exquisite homes listed with the company, not only in Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Atlantic City and Brigantine, where they operate another Sotheby’s office, but also in other locations in South Jersey, around the country and internationally.
Having the referral system is a good way to support newer agents, she said.
“Some of our newer agents are ultra-successful. D.J. does a lot of training and coaching. Their early successes mean they will be successful later-on, so we want to help them cultivate their business,” she said.
New agents in a second-homeowner market can find it challenging in the beginning because they may not have a huge sphere of influence to draw from, D.J. Gluck said. That’s why the company offers a lead-generating system that agents can buy into for a monthly fee.
Established agents can easily pay for the leads because they are making money, but newer agents who are just getting their feet wet may not be able to, so the Glucks make the investment for them and deduct it from the agent’s commission at settlement, D.J. Gluck said.
An in-house agent helps the newer agents with introductions to the clients, they said.
“No other office that I’m aware of does this,” D.J. Gluck said. “They might focus more on commission splits, but we prefer to offer agents the support staff needed to get business done with a high-degree of quality control.”
There’s a receptionist, office manager, full-time marketing manager and virtual agents to assist them, and both Tamy and D.J. are in the office most days to help with contracts, research, and making appointments for showings.
“We try to be a full-service company for our agents to help them help our customers,” Tamy Gluck said.
Their philosophy of supporting the agents plays out in their market share reports, D.J. Gluck said.
The company is tops in market share for new construction on the island, he said. A handful of agents each produced an average of $6.09 million in listing and sales volume, capturing for the office nearly a third of the entire Absecon Island new home market, he said.
“Our agents are very good at understanding all the nuances of new construction and have the ability to develop relationships with the builders,” he said.
Although the company is second in resales this year, with 18 agents garnering a 17-percent market share, it did so with half as many agents who produced twice as much in per capita sales volume, he said.
“I like number two,” D.J. Gluck said. “As a broker, I prefer a higher average sold price, and fewer agents making more money.”
The company leases and sells real estate throughout Atlantic County and in parts of Cape May County, but most of the sales are on Absecon Island and in Brigantine, where they operate their second office.
The area is a vacation Mecca for Philadelphia, New York and “West Jersey” visitors who eventually purchase something.
“They decide to share their memories of the shore with family members and friends. Others chose to sell their city homes and retire here,” Tamy Gluck said.
The brokers do not compete with their agents, but instead, support them to ensure their success.
Tamy Gluck said she likes to first meet with referred customers before passing the lead onto a newer agent or an experienced one.
“After about five minutes, you can start figuring out what their criteria is. I found that matching personalities is huge,” she said.
The system allows them to be fair to everyone.
“There’s more than enough business to go around,” she said. “It works out organically, and we want to allow all our agents, regardless of experience, to be successful.”
The office boasts an extended family atmosphere, she said.
“We have a lovely team here with a lovely vibe, so whoever comes on board should have the same feelings and priorities,” she said. “And those who do come on board, we want to help them cultivate their business and they become part of our family. It’s not about making the deal, it’s about the relationships we have with our customers and agents. For me, that’s my daily mantra.”
The couple lives in a classic Atlantic City beach-block home with nine bedrooms, mahogany ceilings, a massive front porch, and parking for six cars, that they share with their three children, two boys – Jacob, 22, and Sam, 18, and daughter Cassandra, 20.
“This is a fabulous area to raise a family,” D.J. Gluck said. “The neatest thing about living here is the pace of life. I can drive to Margate from Atlantic City in about five minutes.”
D.J. Gluck said weekends in the summer are “chock-a-block,” but weekdays and shoulder seasons “it’s absolutely gorgeous,” he said.
“I walk the beach every morning,” Tamy Gluck said. “How blessed we are to be able to do that.”
Copyright MediaWize, LLC 2018