In 1980, Mike Basile, broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties, became the third agent in a three-agent startup firm, with the other two being owners. Over the next two years, the other two agents left the industry and Basile purchased their shares of furniture, fixtures and equipment for $2,400, thus becoming the new owner of the firm.
Today, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties is a leader from Big Sky to Big Fork, with offices in 12 different markets throughout southwest Montana, divided by almost 300 miles of geography.
“We grew slowly from that point on by being selective of the agents that joined. Some of those early recruits are still with me today,” Basile says. “I love the entrepreneurial aspect of the business.”
As of November 2016, the firm had transacted more than $900 million, and is projected to finish out the year close to last year’s numbers.
“This year, the number of sales is down slightly due to a lack of inventory, but sales volume is up,” Basile says. “The average sales price in my specific market is $465,000, up from $425,000 in 2015.”
Always looking to grow, in 2016, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties entered two new markets, and is currently researching an expansion in one of those markets, with plans to establish itself in another in 2017.
“We’re attracting new agents to our firm by opening in new markets where we have intelligence that implies we will be well received, by recruiting agents we want in the markets we’re in, and by accepting millennials, who are new to the business, but show good work ethic and a promising future in our industry,” Basile says. “The biggest opportunity for increasing business is continuing to recruit the right agents in all of our markets, and growing into lucrative markets where we don’t have a presence.”
The firm prepares its agents for the rigors of a 21st century world through in-house training and technology, as Basile understands the biggest challenges in the industry center around keeping up with technology and staying ahead of the competition.
“We’ve hired several millennials in the last year and have adapted our in-house procedures to serve their ways of practice without sacrificing the manner in which we support our legacy agents,” Basile says. “We’ve also retained a national technology firm to scrutinize our current platforms and introduce new and innovative technology platforms that we’ll have ready for 2017.”
What ultimately sets the firm apart is its proven track record, respected leadership and administration, and strong name recognition.
Vitals: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties
Years in Business: 36
Size: 15 offices, 200 agents
Region Served: Montana
2015 Sales Volume: $911 million
2015 Transactions: 4,845
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