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Maintaining integrity in your business is critical for long-term success. In the following article, Byron Kelly of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center Chattanooga, Tenn. lets us know why.

Kelly_ByronByron Kelly
General Manager, Principal Broker
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center
Chattanooga, Tenn.

Region served: Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia
Years in real estate: 13
Number of offices: 5
Number of agents: 160

Who has most influenced your success?
My mother and father. Brokers since the ’70s, they’ve taught me the importance of taking care of our agents—making sure they have the best tools, resources and working environment to deliver a premium experience for every client. Of course, our focus is to extend that premium experience to all involved in the real estate transaction from business alliances to other participating agents.

Where does your market stand in terms of consumer confidence?
While outsiders looking into the area think Chattanooga is one of the most wonderful markets they’ve ever seen, our biggest challenge is getting locals to see how much value the area has. Outsiders who see an undervalued market can’t wait to come in, and they are in droves. In addition, the opening of Volkswagen’s first American plant in 40 years—right in Chattanooga—will continue to be a boon when it comes to consumer confidence.

How are you working to help native Chattanoogans see the value in the local market?
By educating locals so that we can open their eyes to all the growth and newness in parts of town they haven’t considered. We’re also seeing a lot of young entrepreneurs coming into the area to take advantage of our outdoor lifestyle, bringing fresh business ideas and an entrepreneurial mindset.

What demographic segments are driving your business today?
Investors have been dominating the area for the past two years, but today, we’re seeing a lot of move-up buyers. We’re also seeing a lot of movement among early retirees who have left their corporate gigs and are coming to the area to open art boutiques and wineries.

How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate?
A big part of preparing our agents for the future centers around our decision to sign with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Not only do they understand exactly what real estate professionals need, they focus on what those of us who are in the trenches will actually use. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has made it easy for our agents to access what they need to find success well into the future.

In what ways does your affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices provide your firm with a competitive edge?
Having transitioned this past January, we’ve been blown away with the way in which the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices name has resonated in our smaller, semi-rural market. Between the name and connotation—along with the fact our brokerage has served this market for many, many years—clients understand our focus is on selling with integrity. Affiliating with Berkshire Hathaway has been a home run.