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Untitled-1Real estate has always been highly individual and entrepreneurial in nature, yet sustainable success is possible only through effective collaboration with others. The very foundation of our industry is the concept of “cooperation and compensation,” with the premise that all parties are better served when there’s a platform for working together with a common cause. It is, after all, the ultimate relationship business.

Throughout my career, I’ve observed that the highest performing organizations create environments in which people openly exchange ideas and information leading to enhanced results, with the leaders of these organizations actively looking beyond the insulated cocoon of their own environment to connect with others, hear new ideas and elevate their game.

This outreach is the very basis of a franchise network, with brokers and agents openly exchanging their wisdom and best practices, sending referrals knowing they will be nurtured, and striving to raise the standard of quality and professionalism of all.

We recently welcomed Coldwell Banker of the Valley in Huntsville, Ala., into our network. Owners Jim and Leia Merical went through the typical deliberation and on-boarding process that began with recognition of a responsibility to grow their business on behalf of their sales professionals, community and their families.

“I was not expecting our world to change so quickly,” Jim told me. “We knew it would take time for us to truly absorb and implement all that was available. That was not a shock. But what truly changed was our immediate exposure to so many companies and leaders in such a short time. From some of the biggest names in the industry to firms like us in communities like Huntsville around the South and the nation. Not only do we now know what’s possible, we have the ability to get there.”

Those of us on the Coldwell Banker team know that collaboration only occurs if fostered daily, and our best days are those when we’re hosting events on the road, including our international Generation Blue Experience, and we hear from those in attendance just how much they learned from one another and the takeaways they can implement immediately.

Over the last few years, Coldwell Banker has been recognized as a leader in social media not just within real estate, but among all industries, with the third-party rankings to support the claim. Along with a robust consumer strategy, our internal social effort has become an invaluable, collaborative tool utilized routinely by agents who get helpful responses from their peers who go out of their way to help one another.

Real estate professionals always seek a competitive advantage. The industry invests countless dollars into new programs and technology to keep ahead of others. An imperative, no doubt, if one is to remain at the forefront. But history has proven far too often that competitive advantages are fleeting when based on “stuff” that others may also eventually obtain. Increasingly, the only sustainable differentiator is the caliber of people and the environment of collaboration in which they work.

The very best companies, and brands, in any business are unified in purpose, fueled by culture, and totally connected. That’s Coldwell Banker.

If you have questions on how our collaborative approach can impact your business, email me at

Budge Huskey is president and CEO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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