“These fine companies are national leaders that dominate their markets—their success is no accident,” says Lee. “They are led by smart people who recognize opportunities and act for the benefit of their agents, clients and brokerages. As these influential companies embrace the brand, it underscores what we’ve known from the outset: the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate network is a true game-changer.”
Yet, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is selective in granting franchises. “We choose top-quality companies to represent the brand,” Lee explains. “In the spirit of our Berkshire Hathaway namesake, our affiliates must be known for their stability, strength, quality and integrity.”
Sealing the Deal with Technology
Brand aside, it is a value proposition rich in technology that seals the deal for brokers. As Lee says, the brand’s industry-leading real estate technology and affiliate support are critical to making the brand a compelling choice for brokers.
“The brand itself is carried out and brought to the marketplace on a daily basis through the Internet and our technology presence,” explains Phillips. “We have a new, national website and a comprehensive Global Network Platform, which provides marketing and operational services to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.”
According to Phillips, the platform’s consumer-facing components provide some of the “freshest and cleanest” data in the industry, data that isn’t available from other sources. “People making the decision to affiliate are getting deeply involved in looking at that platform and realizing it’s something that will greatly benefit their business on a day-to-day basis.”
To go hand-in-hand with this high-level approach to technology, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices launched a comprehensive social media campaign (right), which has garnered a vocal contingent of agents, friends and followers.
“We’re big believers in the future of social media in this business and we’re involved at all levels to create a multi-faceted web of interaction,” Phillips explains. “We made significant investments in people and processes to upgrade our game and we’re seeing the results. We don’t think social media is the be-all and end-all, but it will be one of the main components in our reach.”
According to Lee, this rapid social media growth is indicative of the widespread, positive buzz that’s surrounded the brand since its launch. “It goes back to the pride I’ve witnessed first-hand in our agents. This is their brand and they accept the responsibility of representing it locally. Our social media sites have enjoyed success as a place where agents can voice their enthusiasm, share information and gain new and breaking information about the brand and fellow affiliates.”
To 2014 and Beyond (Borders)
The road ahead is clearly mapped out for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Currently, the brand is focused on bringing new affiliates successfully on board throughout 2014 and into 2015, at which point Phillips and Lee expect the conversion process to be “substantially complete.” The next step? The world.
“The next big thing for us is to go international,” says Phillips. “This is a global brand, tailor-made and well known throughout the world. That adds nicely to our network’s value proposition, enabling international expansion and also establishing a pipeline for international clients to buy and sell homes in the U.S.”