Luxury international brokerage expands its footprint within the United States.
BARNES International Realty has been selling the art de vivre, “art of living,” in the U.S. for more than a decade, with outposts on both sides of the country. Now, the luxury European brokerage and No. 1 firm in Paris is expanding its services and its U.S. presence — a response to the growing demand from its global clientele, made up of investors, entrepreneurs, high-level executives, celebrities and family offices.
“Presently, we are in New York and Miami” says BARNES President Thibault de Saint Vincent. “Those cities are key for us because they are truly international destinations. So, we are expanding there, but also in Westchester this month, and eventually in the Hamptons and Greenwich, Connecticut. There is real movement happening in those locations, and our clientele is already asking for us to assist them there.”
Saint Vincent, whose wife, Heidi Barnes, founded the eponymous company 25 years ago, announces that the firm is opening a Westchester office in Larchmont this month. It has already seen demand and has begun recruiting top agents. BARNES currently boasts 95 offices spread across 20 countries and 60 luxury destinations. Saint Vincent says that it’s BARNES’ wide reach that makes it such a powerful marketing tool for both agents and clients.
In Miami, specialized departments such as Relocation and Sports & Entertainment, are being developed in order to offer tailored assistance to accompany the growing attraction of the Sunshine State.
“The fact is that luxury real estate is truly international,” says Saint Vincent. “The major New York-based or Miami brokerages have no presence in Europe beyond partnerships, referrals or affiliations, which are not sufficient. Clients want to work with one company that can market their mansion in St. Barts, their apartment in New York, their villa in Miami and house in London.”
For agents, BARNES promises superior marketing budgets and a level of global exposure that no other brokerage can offer. That means a big-ticket townhouse on Fifth Avenue, an estate in Westchester or a penthouse on Fisher Island (Miami Beach) is getting pitched to billionaires in Geneva and Monaco in a language they understand. For instance, the brokerage’s publication BARNES Magazine prints over 200,000 copies worldwide and presents a selection of its finest properties to wealthy audiences in locations like Switzerland, Spain, North America and Russia.
What’s more, BARNES has a deeply rooted culture of recruiting agents with a truly international background and clientele. Joining BARNES gives them the ability to keep on accompanying clients in all of their worldwide real estate endeavors, ensuring trust and confidence for the client but also for the agent, who doesn’t have to seek referrals every single time.
“We are a global company, with local experts,” Saint Vincent says. “In every country, people are reconsidering their real estate positions, reinvesting in luxury properties, diversifying assets, so they need a single brokerage that can handle all of their needs, ensuring a consistent approach based on excellence and confidentiality.”
BARNES is the go-to firm for many European family offices because they appreciate the fact that they are talking to one brokerage in all the global real estate spots that matter. Those same family offices have been heavily investing in luxury real estate in the U.S. lately, and keep on doing so amidst and post-pandemic.
The firm even sells luxury assets not typically handled by residential sales teams, such as high-end hotels worldwide, landmarked castles, equestrian properties, vineyards in France’s top winemaking districts and art collections, allowing for a full-service experience. And speaking of service, BARNES’ commitment to the art de vivre means working on behalf of clients well before and after the real estate transaction is closed. BARNES handles everything in-house from financing, renovations and interior design to property management, short-term rentals and relocation.
“We offer every service imaginable, because that is what our clients are looking for,” says Saint Vincent. “For instance, we have a client who bought a building asset in New York, sold an apartment in Miami and recently bought land on St. Barts. Now, we are coordinating all the work with the architect because he is building one of the biggest houses on the island. You see, we can do anything for our clients. We are not just brokers who are here to sell an apartment.”
Saint Vincent says that by bringing that luxurious, service-oriented ethos to Westchester and other New York suburbs, he hopes that his firm will reset the standard for luxury in a city that already prides itself on having the best of the best.
“For wealthy buyers looking for houses, apartments, seafront villas and country homes, the world is their oyster,” says Saint Vincent. “It’s our job to provide them with the outstanding support and global service that they are looking for.”
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