Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group
Region served: Greater Tampa Bay North to Hernando County
Years in real estate: Dewey: 40; Allen: 39
Number of offices: 21
Number of agents: 800
No. 1 tip for getting the right listing price: Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you’re on top of the latest market data for the property of interest, you can communicate that to your clients and nail down the right price.
Best tip for dealing with difficult clients: Ask them to restate what their concerns are. This gives the other person a chance to rethink what they’re concerned about and they generally become more reasonable.
John Voket: What’s the most used tool in your toolbox that helps elevate the firm above the competition?
Dewey Mitchell: Right now, we’re using Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ marketing tools the most. The “Forever Agent” philosophy is a culture we’re constantly trying to improve. We don’t want our people to be transaction driven as much as we want them to be relationship driven.
Allen Crumbley: We’ve been a franchisee since 2014, and the whole Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices relationship culture fits in with our own corporate culture.
JV: How has your relationship with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices grown in terms of its support of Florida Properties Group?
DM: I think it improved when Gino Blefari was hired to oversee the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ real estate brokerage franchise operations, and more recently, Christy Budnick, as CEO. Those two are real estate people. They understand what our company is going through on a day-to-day basis, they know what works and what doesn’t.
AC: Christy comes from a company that’s known as a luxury leader, and we’ve been challenged because we’re not known as a luxury agency in our markets. Christy and the leadership team are aware of this, and they’re creating a whole new marketing program that we believe is going to help us immensely as we push into that market.
JV: What’s the biggest thing happening at your company right now?
AC: We recently launched something called BHU (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices University). It’s an educational program that can help develop a new agent from the very beginning, along with modules for advanced agents. We also provide a Masterminds program and Ninja training, and we hear wonderful things about our educational program from agents all over the Tampa Bay area.
DM: We’re also about to open (at press time) a new office in Southeast Hillsborough known as Riverview. It’s the hottest new-home market in the region, and it should be open next year. This is an exciting move for us because it’s a big part of our overall market that we hadn’t been serving.
JV: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group has a tradition of giving back to the communities it serves. Tell us about this.
AC: We work with a group called Metropolitan Ministries, and since Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ color is cabernet, we do an annual activity we call the Cabernet Sleigh where we challenge our offices to collect items for people in need.
DM: Allen and I then rent a big U-Haul, and we dress like Santa and go around to make pick-ups and drop-offs. It creates good publicity, it’s a great team-building project, we get a lot of personal satisfaction out of it, and every year we manage to collect around 10,000 pounds of food and clothing.
For more information, please visit www.bhhs.com.
John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.