Just one year ago, John Lenihan was working in real estate from a 10-by-10 office at Louisville International Airport. But that soon changed after he founded Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, a new real estate firm specializing in upscale housing.
Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty was formed in 2010 after the firm was awarded an affiliation with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand. With more than 500 offices and 11,000 sales consultants worldwide, Sotheby’s International Realty offers luxury homes, estates and properties throughout the world. Thanks to John Lenihan, the Sotheby’s brand now has a home in Louisville.
“During the summer, I vacationed in Telluride, Colo., where Sotheby’s is a really big presence,” Lenihan said. “One night I was coming out of the movie theater, and it just hit me. I saw that the Sotheby’s office was open, and I went in and talked to a friend. I was told that there wasn’t a Sotheby’s in Louisville but they were thinking of opening one here.”
The serendipitous meeting quickly led Lenihan to success in Louisville. After interviewing with Sotheby’s last fall, Lenihan opened his office at 3803 Brownsboro Road. Within seven months, the Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty firm was one of the top three real estate agencies in its target market of real estate valued at $500,000 and above.
“Everyone seemed to question the timing of it because the market was bad,” Lenihan said. “My answer was, I think the market is going to improve. In a time when there’s distress, your advertising dollars are going to go further. You’re going to attract better agents. Sellers are going to look at a company who is advertising heavily. In a counterintuitive way, the best time is to make an investment when the market’s not so good and catch it on the uptick.”
So far, Lenihan’s philosophy has worked well for his business, but Lenihan doesn’t take all the credit. He attributes his firm’s accomplishments to the Sotheby’s brand and his staff of full-time agents.
“We require all of our agents to be at every single showing,” Lenihan said. “We’re trying to have a high-touch, high-feel relationship with the customer, in the sense that we want the seller to know that since this is their most important investment, we’re going to treat it as such.”
Lenihan does not limit himself to high-priced housing, but instead looks to sell quality real estate. Lenihan Sotheby’s seeks the “jewel of the price point.” In other words, he wants to find housing in excellent condition with good value and a great location.
As for the future of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, Lenihan hopes to expand his business to Southern Indiana, but the franchise territory will be in the Louisville metro area. Lenihan also wants to add to his agency by bringing in an additional five agents for the next three years.
“Our ultimate goal is to dominate the higher end of the Louisville residential market.” Lenihan said. “We want our agents and we want our business to be different from anyone in Louisville.”
For information on Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, visit www.lenihansothebysrealty.com.
Category: Business Profile
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Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).