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Connie Yoshimura
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alaska Realty
Anchorage, Alaska 

Region served: Alaska
Years in real estate: 40
Number of offices: 2, with plans to open two additional offices.
Number of agents: 42
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: Get up and go to work every day. It’s also important that you learn from your mistakes and keep going.

Talk about your decision to join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. 
I was a land developer first (and still am), but as a land developer and a broker with a small brokerage, the reality is that I could not compete without technology. The decision to join Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was a no-brainer, as it provides us with the resources of a successful brand. Since joining the network in June 2020, we have seen a 14-percent increase in sales. And while some of that growth can be attributed to low interest rates, much of it has to do with the stability and integrity of the brand. In addition to the broker-to-broker referral network being strong, the brand’s name recognition—both nationally and internationally—has provided us with listings we never would have had. And that clearly impacts the bottom line.

In what ways does being part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices help you hire and retain the best agents and brokers? 
As we prepare to open two new offices, we’ve been interviewing new agents, and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand has helped, as it speaks for itself. We don’t have to spend time on a listing call explaining who we are, because everyone knows Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, so agents can get right into pitching their marketing proposals.

How important are training and education to your practice? 
They are the most important things. I put a great deal of emphasis on education, from running monthly group training programs to creating individualized training programs for each of our brokers. We also select a program for each new hire. Another big push for us is getting market information to our agents, so we designed a program that allows them to learn about the market quickly.

Talk about giving back to the community. 
Because I am both a land developer and a broker, I feel strongly about the home-building side. If all I do is collect commissions as a broker, then I’m not giving back to the community that supports us. We need inventory, and I want to help build that inventory as a way to reinvest in the community.

How are you helping agents through this unprecedented time? 
It’s a lonely time for many people, so it’s a challenge. As CEO and broker, I want to touch our brokers so that they know we are here. That means we have a larger staff than most, which will help facilitate growth when we come out of COVID. But right now, it lets us answer our phones in person and show our agents that we are here to help them.

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Lesley Grand is a contributing editor to RISMedia.