President and CEO
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties
Wallingford, Connecticut | www.bhhsneproperties.com
Region served: 4 states from Rhode Island to New York
Years in real estate: 30-plus
Number of offices: 52
Number of agents: 1,850
Lesley Grand: Tell us about the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties strategy.
Candace Adams: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties/New York Properties/Westchester Properties has a strong foundation built on core values that leverage the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand, our people and our resources. In addition to the proprietary systems we’ve built that enable our agents and clients to seamlessly transact business, our strong education and training give our agents an advantage over the competition.
LG: What programs do you offer that differentiate the brand?
CA: Our Agent Advantage program is a gamechanger in the industry. We also offer affordable plans for disability, vision and dental, which can really make a difference in an agent’s life. Years ago, these types of benefits would have been unthinkable.
LG: Describe your management style.
CA: I empower people and foster team spirit and respect. We work with a flat business model, which is to say I do not like bureaucracies or any type of hierarchy. As members of the management team, we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and do whatever is needed.
We also have a marvelous culture. Our core values incorporate growth, relationships and authenticity—and our values are very important to us. Since we strive for authenticity, when an agent or broker goes on a listing call, we tell the sellers the true value of their home rather than inflating the number to get the listing. Because we are authentic, we build relationships. And we always want to know how we’re doing, so we survey all of our clients. We take their comments regarding their experience very seriously, and we learn from them.
My biggest frustration is that I do not have enough time to talk to everyone. Prior to the pandemic, I went to as many office meetings as possible. Reaching out is the most important part of my job, so I’m committed to being on Zoom meetings, and I consider myself very hands-on.
LG: What is your best advice for agent retention?
CA: It is extremely important that our agents know that we see them as individuals. The education we offer is specific to them. We also make sure they have the most innovative technology and automation to make their jobs easier. And, most importantly, our agents know they have a very experienced, caring team behind them. Not only do they have our full support, but we also provide a platform for people to grow at their own pace.
LG: Where do you see the industry in five years? Will there still be a role for traditional brokerages?
CA: Absolutely. This is a relationship business. Agents do not have the time to develop systems, so they need a company to stand behind them and provide them with the systems and services they need to do their jobs. I believe the traditional model will be even more important as we head toward the future. On a personal level, being in real estate will continue to be all about enjoying the relationships I build while watching my agents and sellers work with each other and grow.
LG: As pandemic restrictions ease, what do you see going forward?
CA: We’re in a place where we’re opening up again. We’re doing open houses and allowing in-person viewings again. That being said, we listen to our sellers and do what is important to them. If they want lots of open houses and in-person viewings, we do that. If they are uncomfortable with in-person interactions, we utilize Zoom and do online viewings.
For more information, please visit www.bhhs.com.
Lesley Grand is a contributing editor for RISMedia.