Sotheby’s Quebec Realtor Kaufman has an elite clientele of home buyers, sellers After years of being a devoted mother to her children, Liza Kaufman decided, on a whim, to accompany her friend to a real estate course. “My kids had graduated, so I thought why not take the course, it would help me in my own real estate investments,” Kaufman said.
“But I never imagined getting to where I am today.” She quickly excelled in the program and has since become an internationally recognized expert in marketing luxury homes.
When she began her career at RE/MAX Westmount eight years ago, she was named top recruit after breaking several records; and she hasn’t stopped since. “My vision when I first started was to deliver the kind of service to clients that I would expect from a top agent,” she said. “I don’t believe in doing anything half way, I’ve given this my all at every step.”
Kaufman has been a partner at Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec for four years. She primarily markets extraordinary homes in areas of Montreal such as Westmount, downtown, the Golden Square Mile, Hampstead, Nuns’ Island and Old Montreal. Kaufman also represents exclusive country estates, horse farms and vacation properties.
“Since the beginning I’ve been very inspired and motivated to elevate the real estate business in Quebec and I think we’ve been very successful in doing so,” Kaufman said. Among her many accomplishments, Kaufman recently sold Quebec’s most expensive home to date – a condo in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel downtown for $15 million, including taxes.
“We’re not a volume house, we focus on the best properties available for any particular market, the top one per cent,” she said. “We sell more luxury properties than anyone else in Quebec.” Sotheby’s Quebec has over 80 agents provincewide. Remarkably, their business was not impacted by the recession. “I’ve increased my sales every year since I started,” Kaufman said. “The market increased by single digits last year but our sales volume at Sotheby’s Quebec increased by nearly 40 per cent.”
Kaufman attributes this success largely to Sotheby’s expertise in marketing properties on an international level. “We’re not a smoke and mirrors company,” she said. “There’s no one in the market right now that can offer clients our level of visibility nationally and internationally.” Sotheby’s Quebec has made substantial investments to build its presence online over the years. “Over 90 per cent of all sales originate on the web, so it’s been a priority for us,” Kaufman said. “We’re well ahead of everyone else.”
In fact, the company has advertising agreements with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times websites, among others. “Our clients expect the level of service we deliver to them: only the best,” Kaufman said. “We work hard and use our network to offer the most visibility possible.” In order to do so, Sotheby’s Quebec enlists the services of a marketing director. “We work in conjunction with our New York, Vancouver and London offices to advertise,” Kaufman said. “We actually have 500 offices worldwide, we’re always in Contact; we’re known as the true international realty company so when someone lists with us they get exposure to 50 million hits a month on our site.” Kaufman frequently works with clients who have been referred to her from cities around the world. “Over 50 per cent of our buyers are from out of town,” she said. “It’s very important. Foreign buyers are what drives a real estate market.” Working on an international level is nothing new to Kaufman. The Peru native grew up in Toronto, and has lived in Los Angeles, Paris, Greece and New York City. She also speaks five languages. Her world travels, combined with her professional experience, have given her the edge in a competitive market. Before making her mark on the real estate industry, Kaufman specialized in management consulting and Corporate finance.
“I think my background has definitely helped my career in real estate,” she said.
In the years to come, Kaufman says the real estate firm is planning on expanding throughout Quebec and opening more offices. “We’re going to stay on top and deliver even better, broader services to our clients,” she said.
Megan Martin Special to the Gazette