Victor Hugo, the famed French poet and author of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” and “Les Misérables,” added to his literary legacy when he proclaimed, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Chris Stuart, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, introduced his career-changing concept, the Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM, a transformational new real estate platform, designed to exponentially increase the performance and productivity of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network’s brokerages and their agents, at the brand’s recent conference.
The global network’s virtual convention attended by approximately 20,000 high-caliber real estate professionals held a theme of “Unstoppable,” which was appropriate given Stuart’s announcement of a proprietary and organically created system and network, plus his book, “Real Estate Influence,” all dedicated to helping real estate agents and brokerages increase and sustain their real estate influence.
His idea, whose time had come, surrounding the importance of establishing strategies and tactics devoted to increasing real estate influence for the benefit of consumers, clients and real estate professionals, transcended his epic convention address and sparked a global, network-wide movement and unprecedented cultural unification tied to his crusade.
Stuart, along with myself as senior VP of research and development and co-director of the I.Q. System, had now converted his research, teachings and a combination of his experience and extensive experimentation into a structure, system and network-wide solution—all based upon his holistic idea of greater influence attainment—and it was greeted with widespread and fervent network-wide enthusiasm. Stuart made clear that the missing link required to close what he refers to as “the real estate loyalty gap,” create real estate ecosystems, become Forever Agents and build equity in one’s practice versus one’s business, was contingent upon creating and sustaining materially higher levels of influence, which led to his vision to develop the Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM.
Stuart, a quintessential real estate reformer fits the following description: “Reformers are those who educate people to appreciate what they need.” Before educating others however, Stuart first needed to convince himself that the lack of sweeping influence threatened the future viability and success of real estate professionals. His learning process and proposed solutions were a byproduct of his years as a bioscience major, and his extensive experience gained while working at Oracle, in real estate brokerage franchising and his last several years as a global real estate brand CEO. His deep and highly relevant experiential knowledge, along with his impressive synthetical reasoning, led him to make the following observations during past years’ global convention keynote speeches:
– That the real estate industry suffered from what he has defined as a real estate loyalty gap.
– That the real estate industry needed to do more to create real estate ecosystems.
– That Berkshire Hathaway Home-Services network real estate professionals should endeavor to become considered by their clients as “Forever Agents.”
– That network agents need and deserve to build equity in their personal businesses by imitating how other professionals build and sell “practices.”
This past year, Stuart singularly determined, and then collectively validated, that just as penicillin or antibiotics can serve as an antidote for a variety of medical issues, that greater and sustainable influence is a holistic real estate prescription. Greater influence, according to Stuart, can be the prescription to countervail or preempt listing-side disruption and value diminution, as well as to inspire higher levels of transactions globally.
The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CEO wanted to prove his hypothesis surrounding real estate influence outside of abstract theory. Therefore, before commencing with the development of the Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM, he conducted a network-wide survey pertaining to both the need and desire to expand and extend influence. Almost 100% of the thousands of network agents who responded to the survey confirmed both their need and desire to become more influential, and expressed enthusiasm for the project.
Stuart, in ensuring that his Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM would be governed by a very accessible and intuitive yet complex digital footprint and blueprint, companioned with a real estate influencer network and coalesced around the teachings of his best-selling book, recognized that this multidimensional project would require interdisciplinary devotion and excellence. Leaders in technology, education, marketing and social media, and business consultants who work directly with Stuart, including myself, collaborated with scores of distinguished, top-producing network agents and esteemed brokers and managers to form subject-expert Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM teams.
Stuart collaborated with a diverse team of colleagues and top-producing network agents, teams and leaders from across the global network to carefully design and create the exclusive platform. The System combines the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand, marketing resources and technology with progressive education, training, coaching and consulting. The System and its related Influencer Network have been purposefully created to elevate its network agents’ range, reach and influence (the “I” in I.Q. stands for Influence) by providing the essential tools and guidance to build stronger and more valuable long-term relationships with clients and prospects.
To guarantee that the Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM would reflect the depth and breadth of his vision, Stuart went outside the network, and industry, and retained Neal Shaffer, author of “Age of Influence.”
I am not at liberty to share details of the organically created Real Estate I.Q. SystemSM or the components of Stuart’s real estate influencer network with the industry at large. What I can share is what Stuart openly conveys during industry interviews: “Just as no one life insurance company, if acting alone, would have resulted in the life insurance industry evolving to the status of financial planners, so too, the real estate industry’s need to more greatly influence consumers beyond a Google search, and to become more relational, will never be achieved by the efforts of one brand or brokerage alone.”
Brian Buffini’s quote on the front cover of “Real Estate Influence” (with all profits going to the Sunshine Kids’ Foundation), reinforces Chris’s reason and rationale behind his system, network and book devoted to influence: “Influence, and not image, is the key to long-lasting success in the real estate business.”
On the front cover of the book is also a quote from the person whom Stuart refers to as both his mentor and real estate’s GOAT—the greatest of all time—Gino Blefari. Blefari writes: “Influence must be treated as seriously as technology, prospecting, social media, networking, selling and marketing.”
I believe that without possessing the ability to influence others, it is not possible to change the behavior of others. Stuart’s idea—whose time has come—regarding the exponential amplification of influence, I believe, can positively impact the real estate industry and ultimately change its behavior and value. How about you?
Allan Dalton is Sr. Vice President of Industry Research and Development for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. For more information, please visit