President and CEO
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Danville, California | www.bhhsdrysdale.com
Region served: Northern California and Northern Nevada
Years in real estate: 34
Number of offices: 53
Number of agents: 1,300
Lesley Grand: What would you point to as the chief benefits of being a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchisee?
Gretchen Pearson: Being a member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network separates our agency from all the rest. In the old days, when someone asked about your profession, you could say that you were a real estate agent, and that was enough. People would use you as their agent after having met you at a cocktail party, but that’s no longer the case. No one really cares if you’re in real estate, and they’re not likely to come to you when they need to buy or sell a house just because you’re in real estate. But our agents can say that they work for a member of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network, and the minute someone hears that name, the door opens. It’s a gamechanger.
LG: You’ve received numerous awards for excellence in real estate. What advice do you have for those who would like to follow in your footsteps?
GP: I fell into real estate right out of school when I was 21, and I fell in love with it. In what other profession can we make our day doing exactly what we want? As a REALTOR®, you’re in control of designing your own life. This is the best business ever as we get to help others with homeownership. I show up every day with service and passion, and I’m prepared. It’s that simple.
LG: How do you stay ahead of the competition?
GP: Most brokerages focus on agents as their clients, but I’m 100% for the consumer (aka buyers and sellers). That being said, I invite my agents to be my partner so that we can work together for our clients. Real estate is all about helping consumers with homeownership, and we’re very focused on doing just that.
LG: What do you hope your agents see in you as their manager?
GP: I hope that my agents see that I engage. I write them notes when they close and congratulate them for the work they’ve done. Knowing their names and everything about them allows me to engage with each and every one of them. They know that I’m watching and that I’m always there for them. In addition to putting energy into what I want more of, I meet with my Top 25 every Friday on Zoom, and I listen very carefully.
LG: Talk about your approach to recruiting and retention this past year.
GP: Every three weeks, I invite “the Professor” to our career night, and he’s a central part of our retention efforts. Through our training, we’ve been able to retool some people as well, so if an agent wants to come in and be a loan officer, we train that person to be a loan officer. We also work closely with those who want to join a team. On the recruiting side, the whole company made a pivot throughout the past year by repurposing some of our managers and using them where they fit best. But most importantly, we grow due to attraction. And we go after passionate people.
For more information, please visit www.bhhs.com.
Lesley Grand is a contributing editor to RISMedia.