For Jenny Ames, CEO and Licensing Partner at Engel & Völkers Chicago, encouraging agents to build relationships that go beyond transactions is as important a goal as sales. “It’s accountability and a different mindset,” she told Chicago Agent earlier this year, explaining Engel & Völkers’ unique business philosophy. Now she and her team have been recognized for it.
At the company’s annual EVX ceremony, held in Las Vegas on March 8, Chicago’s Engel & Völkers stores received a special and surprise honor: the Global Network Award, one of four Pillar Awards awarded for achievements beyond sales. The Global Network Award recognizes the store that best embodies Engel & Völkers’ collaborative concept: effectively using Engel & Völkers’ marketing platforms while striving to promote the brand, not only in its market, but abroad. nationally and internationally within the sponsorship network.
“Essentially, it’s about leadership within the larger global network,” Ames said in a recent interview with Chicago Agent. “We are a truly global company and we have a very active SEO business that comes and goes. In addition, our stores are emblematic. The original Engel & Völkers Chicago store, on Fullerton and Clark, is a recognizable storefront with clean, white architecture. And while it’s a unique sight locally, the boutique adheres to the company’s strict European style guide. “We make sure our stores are very stylish and adhere to corporate branding standards,” she said of the look.
But of course, there is more than aesthetics. “[It’s] also the quality of the brokers who have joined our firm. It’s about the caliber of people,” Ames said. “It even comes down to their messaging on Facebook. We’re a really enthusiastic bunch…and the more enthusiastic we are on social media, the more referrals it generates. Relishing the role of brand ambassador, Engel & Völkers Chicago assists those moving by connecting them with high-caliber brokers in other markets. Their recent Pillar Award honors these collective networking efforts – a particular feat for a store that opened its doors just three years ago.
“The fact that we were selected as one of the top four companies out of 275 is truly astounding,” Ames said. The EVX event in Las Vegas brought together Engel & Völkers partners and consultants from around the world, with winners hailing from both Americas. And although the Engel & Völkers Chicago team knew they were eligible for multiple sales accolades, the announcement that they had won the Global Network came as a surprise. The prize was then distributed on the main stage in front of the 1,300 attendees. “We were all blown away,” Ames said. “We, the leaders of the Chicago society, feel really lucky to be in this network and with this great group of people.”
Going forward, Engel & Völkers Chicago plans to continue expanding its outreach methods. In June, the boutique hosts a Pride Summit for LGBTQ Licensing Partners, Advisors, Allies, and Guests from across the Americas, and in August, they host a Midwest Leadership Summit for fellow Engel & Volkers. Efforts like this are, in part, what earned the store its recent recognition. “Some people work in their bubble and don’t think outside of their neighborhood or sphere. But as a company, Engel & Völkers really encourages [reaching out] — and it pays off,” Ames said. “This award is recognition that we are truly finding ways for our advisors to grow their businesses exponentially over the long term.”