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For Mary Lee Blaylock, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, spanning San Diego to Santa Barbara, Calif., pulling out all the stops and going above and beyond to enhance the consumer experience is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the brokerage’s continued success.

While helping buyers and sellers alike navigate the ins and outs of the real estate transaction is the ultimate end goal, forging longstanding relationships with key service providers is critical to offering the level of service today’s consumers expect.

That’s why Blaylock and the 3,000 agents who work at the brokerage choose to educate their clients about the benefits associated with home warranty protection, such as those offered by American Home Shield (AHS®).

“An exceptional service provider from the get-go, AHS always comes through for us,” says Blaylock, who has nothing but faith that AHS will continue to offer the products and services to raise the bar even higher.

The home warranty leader for more than 45 years, AHS’ home warranty plans help safeguard buyers and sellers from the expense associated with something going wrong with a covered system component or appliance during the real estate transaction.

“Homeownership can be unexpectedly expensive and, as such, having a home warranty for those unexpected, large expenses is critical in a market where the average price of a home can sometimes consume most people’s income,” explains Blaylock.

Moving forward with the ever-evolving real estate industry, AHS has introduced a variety of new services, including rekey service, seasonal HVAC tune-ups, TV installations and Roof Rx®. The roof coverage offered through Roof Rx® is only available in select states and has been a big differentiator in the markets where it is offered.

“If you look at any real estate market, you’ll see that there are specific trends that occur,” says Blaylock.

One popular and prevalent trend in the Southern California marketplace? Smart homes.

“If a new homeowner doesn’t rekey their locks, for example, someone who previously lived in the home—or a friend of the owners—may have access to that home,” explains Blaylock. “Rekeying and covering that issue makes all the sense in the world for the safety and security of consumers,” she adds.

Another key benefit in working with AHS? The open lines of communication with Regional Director Jeremy Kelly and her local AHS team.

“Not only are Jeremy and her team very good at what they do, but they are also very accessible and proactive in their communications,” says Blaylock. “There are so many factors that go into getting a home closed, so knowing you have the security of a team that is knowledgeable about the product and can articulate it well provides an extra layer of comfort.”

Operating with an all-hands-on-deck mentality, according to Blaylock, AHS has risen to the occasion as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and accept the realities of the new normal we’re now living and working within.

“They’re continuing to be there for us and are answering our clients’ questions about how to best deal with a repair in the home when people are sheltered in place.

“When the rubber meets the road, and we’re in a time of need, there is nothing they’re above helping with,” concludes Blaylock.

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Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to