In the following interview, Candace Adams, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England & Westchester Properties in Wallingford, Conn., discusses the company’s recent expansion and its plans for growth in 2017.
Region Served: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Westchester County, N.Y., New York City
Number of Offices: 56
Number of Agents: 1,800
On Relaxation and Balance: I’m very active and a physical fitness fanatic. I love the outdoors and hike all the time. I also read incessantly, usually 5-7 books at a time. My family and two beautiful grandchildren are also a big part of my life.
You have exciting news about a recent expansion. Please tell us about that.
Yes, we have enthusiastically expanded our presence into New York City. We have leveraged the relationships we’ve built over the years in the suburbs of Westchester County, N.Y., and Fairfield County, Conn., and all the way up the coastline of Connecticut and Rhode Island, to bring Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to New York City, where there’s been a high demand for the brand.
When did the plans for a presence in New York City begin?
New England Properties was one of the first two franchises to convert to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and we quickly grew under that brand into Rhode Island and Westchester County. We’ve had a mission to open an office in New York City since the onset of the brand three years ago, but we wanted to do so very carefully with the right talent at the right time. In early January, we opened our doors at 590 Madison Avenue, right in the heart of Midtown in the spectacular IBM Building. We hired a wonderful, talented leader by the name of Ellie Johnson who spent many years in New York City real estate, 11 of which were at Sotheby’s. We’re vetting people very carefully and have several other experienced New York City brokers who have joined us.
What’s your take on current market conditions in Manhattan?
The Manhattan market continues to have strong momentum. The mid-level is very active and there’s an oversupply of new development right now that we expect to be absorbed in the next 24 months. There’s a massive migration back and forth from the suburbs to the city and the city to the suburbs.
There’s also a good international buyer’s market. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has a very strong global initiative and international focus, and that weaves into our New York City expansion.
Any other expansion goals for 2017?
There are plans to grow our Madison Avenue location. I’m seeing brokers doing business in different areas of the city from one location—they’re crossing over borders to service all parts of the city. Ultimately, we’ll do small satellite offices in the boroughs. We’re also looking to expand our Massachusetts footprint, and focus on growing additional offices in Westchester and Rhode Island.
As the company gets bigger, how do you stay in tune with the needs of your agents and their consumers?
We’re set up to support the team infrastructure to withstand the pressure of growth. Our ear is always to the ground and I’m personally involved with our agents on a daily basis. We have tremendous support from the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand. As we look at the landscape for growth, we have a very collaborative approach to make sure our agents’ needs are met.
What’s your best advice to agents for succeeding in 2017?
Our business continues to be built on strong relationships, so agents have to make sure they continue to build and maintain those relationships. They also have to make sure they’re exposed to professional education, and align themselves with a brand that supports that. Technology plays a part, but technology is fairly accessible these days—it’s not necessarily the reason agents are successful, but an add-on.
What’s your firm’s mission for the year?
Last year was our ‘Year of Momentum.’ 2017 is the ‘Year of Evolution’ as we grow into new markets, from skylines to coastlines. The most important factor in supporting our growth is our amazing team.
For more information, please visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.
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