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Christie’s International Real Estate Makes Big Move into Manhattan

<p>Pictured: Ilija Pavlovic, Owner, President and CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate Group LLC</p>

Pictured: Ilija Pavlovic, Owner, President and CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate Group LLC

Ilija Pavlovic continues to expand the Christie’s real estate brand in the tri-state market

For the past 250 years, the Christie’s brand has been a force that represents trust and confidence for millions of clients worldwide. Christie’s International Real Estate, an extension of this trust and confidence within the world of real estate, has introduced some pivotal changes in the last 12 months. 

Ilija Pavlovic is the Owner, President and CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate Group LLC, which represents Christie’s in the tri-state area. Pavlovic first started with Christie’s International Real Estate in New Jersey in 2017. He quickly expanded the firm’s footprint to include Westchester and Hudson Valley in New York, and that fast-growing success now includes a recent entrance into to the Manhattan market with a flagship office at 1 Rockefeller Plaza. The Real Deal recently sat down with Pavlovic to hear more about the firm’s growth plans.

You have been on a fast growth track over the past six years. What are your main goals at the moment?

With the introduction of new changes to the Christie’s International Real Estate network last year, and the ensuing robust domestic and international growth that followed, we were extremely excited to be awarded the Christie’s Manhattan business. From the beginning of our journey, we had the vision of creating one company that would be equally present and powerful throughout the entirety of the tri-state area. Over the last six years, we were able to establish our presence with over thirty offices and 1,100 agents across central and northern New Jersey, the New Jersey shore, Westchester and the Hudson Valley in New York. Last year we sold almost 4,000 homes, representing more than $3 billion in total sales. Entering the real estate capital of the world was the logical next step for us to connect all of our territories and best utilize our international presence. 

Can you briefly describe Christie’s International Real Estate network?

The Christie’s brand is affiliated with top real estate companies both in the United States and globally. It has a presence in almost 50 countries, with more than 30,000 agents and yearly sales of over $100 billion. We have a strong presence not only in North America, but also in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Asia and Central and South America. 

The luxury real estate market is highly competitive, what has been your strategic approach?

We had to establish an environment of permanent growth. We are talking about both vertical and horizontal growth, which includes continuous individual improvement, but also possibilities to enter new markets. The traditional approach of learning from the past and applying past models to the future is no longer applicable. Every year brings new market situations, which cannot be compared to anything from the past. 

You must be able to create a system with the capability to quickly recognize new situations and to have maximum mobility. Parallelly, you must be able to challenge the status quo and always be in a leading position. We cannot grow simply by collecting agents, we instead need to be able to deliver new business opportunities to our agents. In the last 10 years, there has been a significant shift towards business being generated through the internet. Respecting this shift, companies are better positioned than individuals and we were very much focused on maximizing this opportunity.

It was equally as important for us to build and nurture the right corporate culture. We can proudly say that our agents consider our offices happy places and enter them with a smile.

How do you plan to differentiate Christie’s International Real Estate from your competitors in the Manhattan market?

There are only a few truly international markets within the United States, and New York City is definitely the most important one. To provide the best possible service to clients and developers, one must be prepared to guarantee the best possible exposure for a property. Being a true global company, Christie’s has the ability to reach key potential buyers, domestically as well as internationally, through all platforms – in print, digitally, via social media and through Christie’s events. We have top affiliates in all major international markets. We are also privately owned and are dedicated to working for our clients. Our unique Christie’s auction house connection ties us to the most influential buyers of art, jewelry, wine and other luxury goods around the world, including real estate. This close symbiotic relationship with the auction house is also a great source of leads for our agents.

While we are on the topic of agents, what is your offer proposition for Manhattan agents?

Our number one proposition is growth opportunity. Year after year we have been able to produce double- and triple-digit business growth for our agents. We built our business model on four pillars: a strong brand, cutting edge technology, a robust lead generation program and full agent support through our corporate marketing, social media and IT teams. As an example, last year more than one-third of our agents’ transactions came from various lead generation programs. We are committed to being real partners in the individual growth of every agent. 

Which business technology do you use?

Last year we introduced pl@tform, as our primary technology, which is a fully integrated system including a CRM, marketing program, creative studio, interactive digital listing presentation and a unique open house tool. Our pl@tform is interactive with 10 MLS’s including the RLS feed, which provides clients and agents with the most updated information.

You have been a resident of the tri-state area for 35 years, but we understand that you are also personally involved in the ownership of Christie’s International Real Estate in your native country of the former Yugoslavia.

Yes. Beyond the tri-state area, we also own Christie’s in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. While these markets definitely differ from U.S. markets, the power of the Christie’s brand has also proven key in enabling us to rise to market leader positions.

It sounds like you are writing a new chapter for Christie’s International Real Estate presence in Manhattan. How do you think Christie’s could be a game changer in the Manhattan market?

There is a permanent flow of buyers and sellers between New York City and the suburbs, just as there is a permanent flow of international buyers in New York City. We are perfectly positioned to be at the center of these flows. Our synergy with Christie’s Auction House, rich global network, ability to deliver additional business to New York City agents and excitement about entering this market sets us apart. As we have believed from our first sale, every client and every home deserves the unique Christie’s experience.

What is the best way for agents to contact your New York City operations?

The best contact for agents is our Manhattan Vice President, Sherri Balassone (917)-473-3236.

Click here to learn more about Christie’s International Real Estate.

This article was produced by The Real Deal’s Brand Studio Team in conjunction with Christie’s International Real Estate. For more information about working with our Brand Studio Team please click here.