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Brokerage President Russ Anderson: Why Our Agents Aren't Agents

Two People Having a ConversationEach Friday, Russ Anderson, the 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 June 21, 2024.




Our real estate agents are not, in fact, agents.

They are advisors — a term we’re using more and more because of the many things our experts do for their clients, and always have.

I’ll let one of the world’s most famous dictionaries explain the difference:

Agent: one who is authorized to act for or in the place of another, such as a representative

Advisor: someone who gives advice

It’s the advice part that separates us from the rest. Our agents have always done far more than find a home, negotiate a price and come to a closing. Their real value is in the expertise and experience that helps their clients achieve real goals, both now and in the future.

Their sage advice can help you make the right investment. They expertly analyze a home’s pros, cons and future desirability, given several factors.

Real Estate Agent Working with a ClientBuying that home can be emotionally charged. That’s when our advisors serve as confidants and fiduciaries, ensuring that emotions don’t cloud judgment or derail a transaction.

That home is also one of the most significant purchases you will make. Like a financial advisor, a great agent’s perspective and advice can help protect your investment and maximize possible future gains. After that transaction is complete, they are your trusted resource, always available to advise on home improvements, market trends, and selling your home when you are ready.

Now you see why the word agent — while universally known — doesn’t quite do it. Our professionals are navigators, strategists, counselors and time-savers. They are risk mitigators, sounding boards, sympathetic ears and wealth-builders.

They are advisors. And it’s not just informed advice they are giving you. It’s confidence. In my mind, that is the most invaluable value of all.


Russ Anderson

President and CEO

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


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