ONE Sotheby’s Daniel de la Vega on embracing innovation

2022 RealTrends GameChanger Daniel de la Vega and ONE Sotheby's grew 305% between 2017-2021 by transaction side percentage.

Every year, RealTrends chooses GameChangers based on five-year, transaction side percentage data from the RealTrends 500. This year, we chose seven independent brokerage firms and 10 franchises who grew their businesses at astronomical rates.

In analyzing this list of top-growth brokerages, these GameChangers grew their brokers in multiple different ways — from mergers and acquisitions to recruiting and coaching and retention.

As president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Daniel de la Vega has been instrumental in building the brand along Florida’s East Coast since the affiliate was founded in 2008. The Miami-based firm grew 305% between 2017-2021 by transaction side percentage to be named a 2022 RealTrends GameChanger.

The luxury brokerage now operates across Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, Indian River, Brevard and Duval counties with 27 offices and over 1,300 associates.

Being immersed in real estate for most of his life, including more than 15 years as a professional broker, Daniel holds unique insight into mastering real estate deals and building relationships throughout the globe. He regularly travels the world, from Latin America to Europe and throughout the U.S., in order to expand ONE Sotheby’s International Realty’s network and form partnerships that better serve the company’s distinguished clients.

A native of Miami, Daniel earned a finance and marketing degree from Florida International University, where he served on the Leadership Advisory Board for the College of Architecture and The Arts, and he holds a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Miami, where he serves on the board of the University of Miami’s School of Law Real Property Development LL.M Board.

RealTrends spoke with Daniel about his company’s growth:

Tracey Velt: What was your biggest aha moment or lesson learned while building your firm?

Daniel de la Vega: Strategic growth for us is about quality not quantity. We focus on retention just as much as recruiting. One of the things we decided early on was that we wanted to set ourselves apart so that we could attract quality agents to our team. We invested heavily in our people and focused on cultivating a culture where agents could thrive, at a time when it was uncommon to do so. 

Tracey Velt: In the past five years, what percentage of your growth was organic (recruiting or increasing agent productivity) and what percentage was M&A?

Daniel de la Vega: We believe in following several pathways to growth, so 50% of our growth is from mergers and/or acquisitions and 50% is organic through recruiting and increasing agent productivity.

Tracey Velt: Moving forward, what is your main focus for growth?

Daniel de la Vega: Our first priority is to continue to embrace innovation and invest in technology to support the growth of our agents, who are the backbone of the ONE Sotheby’s International Realty family. We will also continue to expand our footprint in Florida and focus on organic growth for our Development Division and ONE Capital investment arm, while also beginning to forge a new path for growth outside of Florida.

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