The Art of Home Sales










The Art of Home Sales
Southport’s Dream Team:
Landmark-Sotheby and Yost & Yost
BY: Leslie Foster
When is an art gallery also a real estate office? When Sotheby’s opened its doors in Southport last year, that was exactly the intention of their brand. Wander in to view the art and you also have the opportunity to speak with Renee and Thom Yost who manage Sotheby’s portfolio of homes in our area. It’s a natural fit when one stops to think about it— Sotheby’s long known as a premier Art Auction House placed a real estate office into a jewel box of an art gallery! Genius, I’d say.


1. Our Marketplace has numerous real estate companies, what led Sotheby’s to join the crowd?
Sotheby’s represents a global network of home buyers and sellers and it is only natural that they would want to include our beautiful region in their catalog of properties. After all, Southport was Coastal Living’s Happiest Seaside Town in America! Landmark was one of the first companies along our coastal region to be asked by Sotheby’s to join them. For our owners it was an easy decision as Southport is a beautiful coastal town full of Southern charm and a rich history. Most of all, Southport has a truly thriving art community which fits perfectly with the Sotheby’s brand.
The concept Landmark thought would best engage our community is an office that is essentially also an art gallery. Southport has a truly walkable downtown area and the office/gallery concept invites people into our office to view beautiful artwork and at the same time connect with Sotheby’s International brand for their Real Estate needs. The connection between Art and Home is one of the defining elements of the Sotheby’s Brand. It was exciting to leverage our brand by having this concept to not only meet our clients but also the Southport community. I am glad to have this opportunity to invite all to stop in and visit us – even if you are not selling or purchasing, stop in if you are downtown!
2. Sotheby’s is known for selling premier properties around the world. Is that a pre-requisite for listing with you?
Absolutely not. Thom and I have been “Yost & Yost” working with owners and buyers for over a decade in this area. Being with the Sotheby’s brand brings exposure that goes beyond what we could offer. Whether you are selling a lot, a beach bungalow or a million dollar home everyone receives the same excellent service. The sale of your home is truly a significant experience. Along with our local expertise we feel it is a winning combination.
3. Tell us about Yost & Yost! Your journey, your vision.
Thom and I have been selling the coast of southeastern North Carolina for 12 years. The move to the region was an opportunity for change. Working in a corporate setting most of my career to be able to get out of the cubicle life and work directly with people, which I so love was what I always wanted. For me personally , I try to be the agent that I would like to spend a day with, have some fun but know the facts. If my clients have the time and they have never visited I like to take people on my “ten cent” tour which includes many areas that you would never see or know to ask about. I think it is most important to start with that.
Real Estate was also an opportunity to be entrepreneurial, creative and to embrace a drive that wasn’t being fulfilled behind a desk. No matter what company we work for we are independent contractors under Landmark’s umbrella, it is our business and we treat it so., I love my work. Thom and I truly believe home is where the heart is and we take that into consideration with each and every home we prepare for sale and each set of keys we pass to new owners.
4. Ok: Reality TV: Million Dollar Listing NY and LA are wildly popular! Do you watch?
Yes, A guilty pleasure. But so much drama!
Are these shows an accurate portrayal of selling high-end real estate?
I have to imagine that much of it is a result of clever editing – I cannot imagine speaking to clients the way some of the agents on the show do with theirs. As far as the work put into listing and the marketing: yes. They work multi-million dollar properties and you can see the level of work /money that goes into listing. You’ve got to respect the hustle.
5. Respecting privacy, but we still would love to know, have you worked with celebrity clients? If so, what was it like working with them?
While I have not represented any celebrities buying homes, I was tasked with sourcing possible rentals for some of the cast for Safe Haven. I was able to find an apartment for David Lyons. I hear he was nothing like that rat of a husband he played in the movie. It was fun to be involved, but let’s be honest, Southport was the star of the film!
b: – and yes it was handled through a representative
c: I thought it was exciting to see all of the stars in town and more importantly how we the people of Southport treated them, and let them go about their business like they too were town folk – I know they had to appreciate that and that is why Southport is such a great place to live. The people.
d. No glamour for me but I was able to hand a client’s daughters resume directly to the producers and she did get an internship and her name was in lights !! And additional internships in Wilmington.
I also once had a client that the main character of the show was fashioned after, I believe it is still on and that was cool – you know who you are.
6. Does your office manage premier vacation rentals on Bald Head Island?
While we do not handle Bald Head Island rentals, we do represent homeowners with listing and buying. Bald Head residents should know that Sotheby’s would be pleased to represent them and that we bring with us a network of global clients interested in the BHI Lifestyle. Sotheby’s was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world.
7. At Sotheby’s, are your home sales generally used as primary residences, or vacation/ investment properties?
It’s truly a mix. Our clientele are diverse in real estate needs and interests. Which makes it all the more interesting for us as agents.
8. In the Luxury marketplace what sells homes? Privacy? Location? Square Footage? Builders/Architects? Customization?
In my opinion, expertise. Buyers come from all different backgrounds with different needs and all looking for different lifestyles. The ability of an agent to take that information, the criteria of their perfect home and find the right fit is key.
9. Where was the most beautiful/ extraordinary property you’ve sold located? And what made it so special.
I find something special in every home I list. I would say the most beautiful was because of its setting. The home was perfectly situated and looked at the Lockwood Folly, the Shallotte River, the ICW across the marsh and onto the ocean. You can imagine all of the waterfront homes in Brunswick County whether downtown Historic Southport or St. James on the ICW or off in the country all have beautiful views with something special to offer.
10. If you could live anywhere where would it be?
Well Southport of course! Thom and I feel blessed to have stumbled upon this town 13 years ago. We were on our way back from Charleston and pulled off of 95 to see a development we had been receiving postcards from. You know the postcard – when you are of a certain age they start sending propaganda to retire 🙂 Someone had directed us to have dinner in Southport and when we crested that spot on Howe Street where you can see the water and missed our turn for the Pharmacy – we ended up at the waterfront and that was it, we were in love.


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