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CEO Robbie Briggs on what happens when you put 40 leaders in a room

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, 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 August 13, 2021.


We try to always make sure our agents have the best training possible — not only in all things technical, but in motivational, too.

A big part of our strategy has to do with mindset, gratitude and communication. For example, our agents can elect to take a training program called Ninja Selling that is all about building relationships — really listening to their clients and helping them achieve their goals. It is far less about selling and much more about how to create value for people.

Once agents complete those instructor-led courses, there is a special group throughout the Sotheby’s International Realty global network who act as facilitators of all the Ninja Selling techniques learned. We recently hosted 40 of these spirited, talented leaders for a three-day summit, in the big, bright training room at our Dallas headquarters that has lots of space to spread out and really work. These leaders came for seminars, tips and inspiration — and now they are taking those best practices back to the best agents in the business.

I asked our brokerage’s executive VP of sales, Jessica Smith, for her strongest memory of the confab. “I was reminded that leadership starts with leading by example. And, that small improvements made regularly lead to big changes.”

One of the out-of-town attendees was Lisa Piccardo, the global VP lead of Affiliate Services for Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Lisa and her team work closely with brokerages in the network, developing strategies for growth, profitability, recruiting, brand engagement and more. Her takeaway from three days of observing these leaders? “The importance of asking questions and going deep. Really get to know your people. Learn what their life list is. Don’t listen to respond. Listen to learn.”

My question for you: Are you listening?    

Robbie Briggs


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


PICTURED AT TOP OF POST: Just some of the Ninja Selling advocates from around the Sotheby's International Realty network, who recently came to Dallas for seminars and brainstorming. Here, they are pictured on a private tour of HALL Arts Residences.

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