At the annual gathering of North America’s top luxury real estate professionals, approximately 120 Realtors shared and compared marketing techniques and the best of the best were honored at the Leaders in Luxury networking symposium held in Charleston, S.C. in late October.

Hosted by The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM), the unique event brought together upper-tier Realtors from throughout the United States and Canada. While their markets were widely divergent, the Realtors all had one thing in common: A demonstrated excellence at helping customers purchase and market North America’s most exclusive luxury homes.

The event included a multi-category marketing contest that served a dual purpose: It allowed all attendees to see what marketing techniques were working in various North American markets, and it provided a unique forum in which to honor the accomplishments of their professional peers.

“While the awards and recognition are an important aspect of the Leaders in Luxury gathering, the program content and rare networking opportunities are at the core of the conference’s value,” said ILHM President Waco Moore.

This year’s Leaders in Luxury marketing award winners, chosen for the quality, creativity and effectiveness of their submissions, included:

  • Best Market Update Report
    Raziel Ungar, Burlingame Properties Coldwell Banker,
    Burlingame, Calif.
  • Best Property Marketing
    Cecilia DeFritais, RE/MAX Premier, Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
  • Best Personal Marketing with Emphasis on Agent Branding (tie)
    Maria Babaev, Laffey Fine Homes, Greenvale (Long Island, N.Y.)
    Dawn Thomas, Intero Real Estate Service, Los Altos, Calif.
  • Outstanding Personal Achievement with Emphasis on Giving Back to the Community
    Lenard Lind, L.D. Lind Realty, Aurora, Ontario, Canada

Keynote speakers included the number one agent in America, Institute member Ken DeLeon of DeLeon Realty, who closed $275 million in sales last year. Other speakers were agents Tony and Barbara Young, currently selling a billion-dollar resort community in the Swiss Alps; Ted Jones, Chief Economist for Stewart Title; and Kay Green, a Florida-based interior designer.

According to Moore, Leaders in Luxury connects Realtors who focus on the luxury arena, giving them a venue in which they can share productive ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and gain new insights into the luxury market from experts in a variety of fields. For more information, visit

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