Out to Lunch with Brad Nelson Typography
A Conversation About Consumer Preferences and Real Estate’s Evolution

uying a house can be a challenging process under normal circumstances, but buying a house during a pandemic presents a whole new set of hurdles to overcome. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty virtually sat down with the mastermind behind Sotheby’s International Realty’s (SIR) Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer, Brad Nelson, to talk about what’s happening in the evolving real estate industry and how the iconic brand is pivoting its approach to meet the demands of consumers.

Real estate is an essential business. While brokers may not be saving lives, they are in many cases changing them. Especially now, our homes are our mission control centers from which we rule our own worlds. In this day and age, we work, learn, shop and entertain all from home. Knowing that, if a business wants to reach a consumer, it needs to be accessible from anywhere, including the couch.

“Every interaction we have right now is based around a decision. ‘Am I comfortable interacting with people? Am I comfortable eating outside? Am I comfortable going to the grocery store?’ All of these are carefully calculated risks. And our real estate agents, in my mind, are incredible front-line employees. They’re risking exposure so that people can find a home for their families.”

In order to make the home buying process more socially distant, SIR has fully embraced digital and virtual solutions to keep buyers, sellers and brokers safer by integrating 3D home tours, enhanced video content and photo galleries, and live-streamed home tours.

“We are producing more virtual tours, more videos, and more live-streamed open houses than we’ve ever done before. Buyers want as much information as possible before they walk through the front door of any listing.”

Currently, 90% of homebuyers rely on the internet as their primary research source when looking for a home. What’s more, the majority of homebuyers (51%) prefer to view listing videos on a real estate brand’s YouTube channel compared to traditional online listings, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). This makes digital real estate assets not only a good addition to the marketing strategy of a home, but potentially the most vital tool a broker can use to sell a home.

“I believe that buyers are being reprogrammed right now. I think there is a sizable percentage of the population of potential homebuyers that are only going to look at homes online that provide those virtual solutions.”

And make no mistake, this trend is here to stay, as the digital revolution is rewiring the brains of consumers everywhere. Businesses must learn to evolve or forfeit their clients to competitors.

“I believe that while all of these technologies were, to an extent, born out of necessity because of COVID-19, the convenience factor is going to linger long-term and buyers will now say, ‘If you don’t make it easy for me to experience this property, I’m not going to look at it at all.’ And ultimately, I think those tools are very convenient for buyers. Often times finding time to go look at properties can be a struggle. So, if [homebuyers] can narrow down the number of homes that they’d like to see from 10 to two, that is a better, more convenient and respectful use of their time.”

As a leading luxury and lifestyle-focused real estate brand, SIR is committed to delivering its clients, on both the buying and the selling side, with the best tools that will help them reach their goals. Any consumer considering embarking on a real estate journey needs to be aware of these shifts and ask themselves if the brokerage they choose to work with is ahead of the curve and ready to tackle the market in a way that will make a difference for them.

“As real estate professionals, we really need to ask ourselves, ‘How can we make this process more convenient for our clients?’ We must remain committed to putting their needs above our own.”

“As real estate professionals, we really need to ask ourselves ‘how can we make this process more convenient for our clients?’ We must remain committed to putting their needs above our own.”


Brad Nelson headshot
Right now, in a time when there is so much change happening all around us, creating tangible results is the only thing that matters. As such, the way businesses interact with customers is the most crucial element to their success.

With Brad Nelson at the helm of SIR’s marketing initiatives, the brand will continue to blaze new paths to success in the realms of digital and virtual marketing. For decades the real estate titan has driven innovation with sophistication and poise, setting an example for others and delivering the best experience for its clients.

“At Sotheby’s International Realty, it’s our collective opportunity and responsibility to define for the rest of the industry what that highest standard is.”

Sotheby’s International Realty branding