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Christy Budnick
Vitals: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty

Years in business: 32
Number of offices and agents: 9 offices, 450 agents
Regions served: Northeast Florida including Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Clay and Nassau Counties
2019 sales volume: $1.2 billion
2019 transactions: 3,125

As the daughter of real estate guru Linda Sherrer, Christy Budnick was exposed to the real estate business when she was just 11.

She and her sister would help her mom with marketing, stuffing envelopes for mailers and answering the phone when they could. By 1988, Sherrer was one of the very first brokers to launch a Prudential franchise.

“Although as a child, I swore I would never get into real estate, it has a way of getting into your blood,” says Budnick.

Today, she serves as president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty.

How did you get started at the firm?
Christy Budnick: I joined the firm in 2002 after a successful career in mortgage banking, including leading the sales and leadership training programs for Bank of America’s Consumer Finance Division.

How did COVID-19 impact the firm in 2020? What are you seeing in your market as we head to the end of 2020?
CB: In March, business declined nearly 50 percent seemingly overnight. April and the first part of May were equally challenging, with fall-throughs increasing at an alarming pace and pendings declining. Fortunately, we rebounded beautifully, and because of the low interest rates and low inventory market, we have experienced record-breaking months June through September. We are also beginning to see the listing inventory increase slightly, which is helping to further fuel the market.

What sort of strategy do you have for 2021 to help recover from what we’ve all experienced?
CB: Although I would love to say we are expecting 2021 to continue at the frenzied pace we are currently experiencing, I expect that we will see business settle down into a frothy but more normal pace by the end of the first quarter. Our strategy is to continue informing buyers and sellers of the advantages in today’s market. Although prices have risen, buyers are still able to take advantage of the low interest rates, which offsets the price increases in most cases. For sellers, there has never been a better time to maximize returns.

What is your firm’s unique value proposition in your market?
CB: We have the most well-trained, professional agents in the business, and they are constantly recognized as such by their peers. I regularly hear from site agents that they know a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty agent when they walk in the door, and that is a source of pride for our whole team. Additionally, we are the luxury market leader in Northeast Florida, which means that our marketing materials and outreach are superior regardless of the price point we are marketing. Sellers in all price points benefit greatly from this.

In what can be a demanding career, how do you maintain a proper work/life balance?
CB: That’s a good question, and not something I’m very good at. My husband and I have a 9-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and we both make sure to put our phones down when we have meals and activities with her so that we can have uninterrupted time. However, that means waking up extra early and working until we go to bed to stay on top of everything, but that’s okay, because I love what I do. I recently took a few days off to celebrate our 25-year wedding anniversary, and when I shared that I was taking PTO time, the CEO I was talking with said, “Oh, you mean pretend time off,” and I had to laugh because it’s true.

Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.