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network_business_relationshipWe’re in the business of relationships. Relationships, whether with your affiliates, clients or brokerage management, are what keep our industry moving forward. The focus on value can come in the form of technology, marketing tools and new business strategies; but we cannot forget what provides the greatest value of all—the people who make up the company and the brand you represent.

Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate recently hosted our 6th Annual Owners’ Retreat, bringing together affiliated brokers from around the country for two days of targeted content geared toward our network’s key decision makers. Network events are an extremely valuable element to our business. As a brand, we provide an experience, but it’s the people who make the experience exceptional. After our Owners’ Retreat, I sat down with Jeff Martel of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43° North to discuss the impact our brand events have on his business.

Sherry Chris: With a strategically orchestrated content strategy, sprinkled with unique twists that showcase our culture and celebrate our attendees, we do everything in our power to use our events to educate and enhance the business of our brokers. What value did you find in attending this event?

Jeff Martel: From start to finish, there’s no question that this event was designed specifically for us as brokers. The brand reached out and asked what was important for us to experience through surveys and steering committees. The variety of brand updates and visionary insights, accompanied with national acumen from strategic brand partners, broker best-practice sharing and even first-hand consumer and agent insights left us feeling completely blown away. Content was not delivered for the sake of filling time, it was all carefully calculated.

SC: Successful events have an igniting effect. They foster new relationships and ideas and challenge us to examine our businesses through a new lens. What does it mean to get together with other affiliated brokers?

JM: Bouncing ideas back and forth, sharing successes and roadblocks is what being part of a network is all about—it keeps us progressing. I was an independent brokerage, now I have a network of people to support me and encourage me to think of things I never would have before. We have so many entrepreneurs within our brand constantly trying to change and challenge the way things are done for the betterment of our industry. Being part of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand is like being part of a giant mastermind group, and the brand always sets up the right type of opportunities for us to engage, allowing us to truly grow from one another.

SC: A network has to be nurtured and should live and thrive between moments such as brand events that are specifically scheduled for collaboration. What drives you to keep a constant stream of communication with your fellow brokers?

JM: At the Owners’ Retreat, I met Daryl Rogers of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners. I discovered his in-depth knowledge of building offices, which we are currently undertaking. He gave me so many ideas, and just as importantly, shared what not to do. Our conversation saved me thousands of dollars and a great deal of time. Getting advice from non-competitive industry leaders regarding every topic that impacts our business is vital, but giving back provides the most value.

Sherry Chris is president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.

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