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What the CEO says: 'If I'm sounding a little wistful, I am'

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of December 11, 2020.


No pessimists allowed

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Boy, 2020 has tested that concept, a favorite of mine by the motivational speaker John Maxwell. I am one lucky guy: I work with almost 500 leaders, every day. They are the agents, staff and executives of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

These big thinkers have not only helped bring us through the storm of 2020 — they have excelled. Working from home. Embracing the flux. Getting back out there. Reinventing everything. Sacrificing nothing.

I’m so proud of them. Together, we have been able to help our clients find new homes, stay on track, move here, leave here, find a getaway, buy a second home, buy a ranch, sell a ranch, downsize, upsize, change neighborhoods, discover neighborhoods and really — really — connect with what matters most.

Family. Friends. Community.

If I’m sounding a little wistful, I am. In our 60-year history, there has never been a year like this one. After an unsure spring, the market revved up and is still on fire. Multiple offers. Robust sales. Many of our agents will likely have their best year, ever.

Isn’t that something? No one could have predicted it. In the digital world, we came up with new ways of showing and selling homes. Our tech, training, marketing, accounting and support teams rose to every challenge. In the real world, we’ve been able to help the hungry, help the needy, break some records — and help hundreds of clients begin new adventures.

The leaders I work with led us through. They didn’t complain. They adjusted the sails. And in doing so, they guided us to the things that matter most.

Robbie Briggs

President and CEO

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


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