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Dede Jenkins
Rick Jenkins
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty
Austin, Texas |

Region served: Central Texas
Years in real estate: Dede: 41; Rick: 48
Number of offices: 6
Number of agents: 250
Best time management tip: Write it down on your calendar. If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t count.
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: Do the right thing.

Why is Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices the best fit for you? 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is the best fit for us because of the credibility and the confidence one gets from the Berkshire Hathaway name. The brand is excellent, and if you think about it, there really isn’t anybody who doesn’t like Warren Buffett.

You and your wife, Dede, have worked together very successfully for years. What’s the key to making it work? 
Dede. It is her interest in each individual person who works for us and with us. Also, we kind of compartmentalize what we do so that we don’t work on top of each other. I am the accounting/technology person and Dede is the people person.

How do you stay ahead of the competition? 
We spend a great deal of one-on-one time coaching, training and supporting our agents. For instance, since December 2020, we’ve been in a market the likes of which we’ve never seen—with houses selling on average in about four days. In fact, we say that if a house hasn’t sold in four days, there is something wrong with it. We have no inventory, and a new house priced between $400,000 and $500,000 may get as many as 90 bids, so we spend time showing our agents how to work in this environment and how to prepare their buyers. What’s more, we work with our staff members one-on-one so they can support agents with whatever they need to complete transactions. Because we build very solid relationships with our managers/staff members, there is always someone available to give individual help to our agents. We also do onboarding. We found that while our agents attended training sessions, they never used the tools, so with our onboarding, we are able to establish right off the bat what each person needs and provide them with real-world training so that they do use the tools. All told, it makes us a very strong brokerage.

What is the one thing you hope agents say about you? 
That we are fair, honest and nice people—and that if an agent leaves us, we don’t steal their money. We don’t charge them fees for leaving, nor do we impose penalties, as we don’t believe there is anything to be gained from that. In fact, we hope they come back.

Have there been any major changes to the way you do business since the beginning of the pandemic? 
We don’t have in-person meetings anymore. We are Zoom masters. It is all about Zoom, which is not all bad. People tend to show up on time for their Zoom meetings, there is far less chit chat, and people tend to be more on point. They also end on time.

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Lesley Grand is a contributed editor to RISMedia.