RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2019 31 ed the necessary attention to properly understanding where the real threats are, and how the real estate industry should respond. RISMEDIA: What are these threats, and how should we respond? CS: It's certainly not my intent to speak for the indus- try. Obviously, there are certain strategies that must remain within Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. I do believe there are a few areas where the industry could significantly improve with a renewed focus. First, the industry needs to become much more con- sumer-centric. Second, real estate professionals need to expand their value from one that is mostly tactical to one that is decidedly more relational. Third, we need to help our highly dedicated and pro- fessional real estate sales professionals in our net- work do more to express their value to consumers beyond just the transaction. RISMEDIA: Without getting into brand secrets, what initiatives are you personally introducing to your brand that both address these needs while also differentiat- ing the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand and your network agents? CS: My first major initiative was to better define what our brand exemplifies to our network and consumers. I introduced a campaign that now characterizes Berk- shire Hathaway HomeServices as the Forever Brand SM , and all of our network agents as Forever Agents SM . RISMEDIA: Tell us about the significance of this nomenclature. CS: I remember the year before I became CEO, watch- ing as numerous network agents were asked on video why they liked being in the network and they all said, "I love the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand." Yet I sensed that they could not specifically articu- late why. In other words, they were more attributional about the brand than definitional. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was clearly who we were. What was not as clear was what we did that was different than other brands. The Forever Brand SM and Forever Agent SM mantra and mission announces to the public that our network is not merely transactional, but lifetime relational. To the network agents, it conveys that our brand and network—and, most importantly, our network bro- kers—aspire to develop and enrich company cultures where their agents can build and sustain a lifetime career in this industry. RISMEDIA: Well that explains the relationship-building part of your vision. How about your consumer-centric mission? CS: You cannot be a forever agent, forever broker or forever brand, unless you are relentlessly focused on keeping the consumer's interest as the top priority. While the need to keep the consumer front and cen - ter must be met with multimillions of dollars invested into technology, education, marketing and community participation, it needs to begin with an appropriate Chris Stuart opened the brand's Las Vegas conference with a ceremonial moonwalk.

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