Vitals: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties
Years in Business: 43
Size: 30 offices, 475 agents
Regions Served: Northern Utah: Wasatch Back (Park City, Heber Valley, East Summit County, Jordanelle), Wasatch Front (Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties); and moving into Southern Utah: St. George
2018 Sales Volume: $2.195 billion
2018 Transactions: 3,556
As the former president and CEO of the First American Corporation’s Residential Group and its subsidiary, MarketLinx, Stephen C. Roney was responsible for building one of the largest residential real estate platforms to provide transaction management, MLS and CRM software and services to more than 500,000 agents and brokers. Today he serves as CEO and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties, one of the state’s largest brokerage firms.
What are you seeing in the Utah market this year?
Stephen Roney: Along the Wasatch Back (Park City area), there continues to be significant development activity throughout our market area coupled with enhancements to both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. We believe this, in conjunction with anticipated inventory increases and low interest rates, will continue to drive our markets in a positive direction. As the market begins to stabilize, we see increased buying opportunities in Summit and Wasatch counties, especially with the continued growth around the Jordanelle Reservoir and Heber Valley. Along the Wasatch Front (Salt Lake Valley through Ogden), strong demand and low inventory levels persist. We expect appreciation to continue, sales to remain strong, and a variety of development options to emerge across all sectors of the Wasatch Front. We anticipate mortgage rates will reduce slightly in the near term and also expect increased buyer activity, especially at or below median prices. With a strong regional economy in Utah, we see little sign of a market downturn in the foreseeable future.
Are you planning to grow your firm in the next 12 months? If so, in what capacity…increasing agent count, new offices, new markets, mergers/acquisitions, etc.?
SR: In short, yes. We have recently opened an office in St. George, which has seen rapid growth as retirement, warm weather and business expansion bring more and more buyers to the area. We are also actively evaluating entry possibilities in other markets in Utah and nearby states.
What most sets your firm apart in the marketplace?
SR: In one word, culture. We have great agents and employees who demonstrate knowledge, services, integrity and teamwork every day. Additionally, we have unparalleled experience in development marketing, sales and advisory services in our markets. We also have an in-house marketing department that includes marketing strategy/planning, graphic design, digital and social media marketing, and print and public relations capabilities.
How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed?
SR: Our chief technology officer and executive leadership team are constantly evaluating new technology and maintaining alignment with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ existing platforms and future initiatives.
How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers?
SR: We have a very selective recruiting process for new agents. We look for strong-producing agents or other individuals with significant sales and service backgrounds who will fit our culture and benefit from the strength of our marketing capabilities, development experience, and leadership team. We also place great value on collaboration and collegiality. Retaining top-producing agents requires building and maintaining the “best in market” leadership team and support capabilities.
What do you look for in someone new coming into the company?
SR: A successful and sustainable business will flourish in a culture that honors service, knowledge and a strong work ethic. Preserving the trust of our agents and their clients is our No. 1 priority.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.