As the senior vice president of relocation and corporate services for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Georgia Properties, Kathy Connelly leverages her 30 years of industry experience to lead key business initiatives and serve as a qualifying broker.
She was appointed to the Board of Directors for Worldwide ERC® in 2020, where she helps the international relocation organization identify current issues and trends related to management practices for the movement of employees within the U.S. and globally.
Here, Connelly discusses her passions and the path that led her to become an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—and prominent relocation trends impacting real estate.
Jordan Grice: What does it mean to you to be named an RISMedia Newsmaker within the influencer category?
Kathy Connelly: I’ve been in the industry a long time, and I have to say this is a very humbling and proud moment to be recognized as I look at some of the other people in the category—people I respect highly. Just to be in the class is very much an honor for me.
JG: How has your work with Worldwide ERC® intersected with your career in real estate?
KC: Worldwide ERC is the trade organization for the relocation and mobility industry. As a full-service real estate company, BHHS Georgia Properties focuses on different aspects of the business. Relocation is certainly a big part of that. At the end of the day, when people are moving, they have to find a place to live. When someone is relocating for their job, their priorities may be different from someone moving from across town. The employer’s goals are to get that person productive at that job as quickly as possible, so they want this transition to be as smooth and least disruptive to the family. That’s what we focus on.
JG: A big focus of the past year has been on relocation patterns of buyers and sellers. What relocation trends are likely to carry into the new year?
KC: We’ve certainly seen employers either go entirely remote or create a hybrid work environment. When people are being moved in a hybrid work environment, they prioritize their housing needs differently. They’re going to be a little more focused on the family needs and maybe a little less on the commute. COVID-19 has caused people to rethink how they live their lives, what is important to them and how they use their home spaces.
We’ve also seen that the global population has slowed during the pandemic. That is primarily due to travel restrictions and immigration constraints, but I think we will see that pick back up next year.
JG: What are the most prominent opportunities that agents are likely to run into with that trend heading into the new year?
KC: I think relocation-trained agents were probably better positioned for these changes than others because they were accustomed to working with people who were coming from out of town. I don’t see that changing. Going forward, agents who embrace technology, are tech-savvy and are very comfortable leveraging technology to deliver their services will certainly benefit.
JG: Working in an office has changed drastically in the past year. How will the increased emphasis on mobility in real estate change industry operations?
KC: We have brick-and-mortar office spaces for agents to come to, but many of them have a home office, and they’re working more in that office today. But there is still a sense of community and culture that we try to create in our offices to invite our associates there. We are operating under the same standards and feel like there is some collaboration in the office. I think we’ll continue to see that, but we will also see agents maintain their home offices.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news to firstname.lastname@example.org.