When Warren Buffett believes in and invests in an industry, you can be sure of two things: first, he has analyzed the industry’s potential for success, and second, the industry is sure to thrive.
His most recent investment – which is stamped with his revered company’s name – is no exception. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate network is trending to the top of the industry. Riding the wave of success is Gainesville-based Trend Realty, which as of January 2014 is Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Trend Realty.
While integrity and stability have always been synonymous with the Trend brand, there is an additional layer of prestige that is associated with the Berkshire Hathaway name. Berkshire Hathaway is a diversified holding company with significant holdings in many well-known companies. Chairman Warren Buffet has guided the company for decades and is considered by many to be the smartest investor in the market.
“Buffet was insightful and adhered to his value-based philosophy as he built Berkshire Hathaway into Barron’s ‘most respected company in the world.’ It is very exciting to be invited into the Berkshire network and have Trend Realty join such a prestigious organization,” said Thomas McIntosh, president of Trend Realty.
About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) is a brand-new real estate brokerage network. The network, among the few organizations entrusted to use the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway name, brings to the real estate market a definitive mark of trust, integrity, stability and longevity.
“While the name is new, the people leading this company have a successful record of running both real estate brokerages and franchise companies,” Thomas McIntosh said. “They have used that experience to create a fabulous opportunity for our customers and our associates.”
Importance of the BHHS Brand
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) commissioned marketing firm Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultant, to develop the BHHS brand.
“At a time when Americans are feeling more optimistic about the housing market, there is a belief that having a good REALTOR® is more important than ever before. As such, in creating the identity, our goal was to convey that the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand stands for leadership, trust and accountability in the marketplace,” said Chris Campbell, Interbrand’s executive creative director.
Interbrand deployed a two-tone color scheme of cabernet and crème. The richness of the cabernet in combination with the softer crème tone gives the identity a distinctive character, while also providing a sense of elegance and authority.
“The new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand identity is smart, distinctive and versatile for all markets and price ranges,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates, which operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
In the midst of such a large transition, the Trend team is overwheliming positive about taking on the BHHS cabernet and crème colors.
“This transition is fantastic,” said agent Denise Mongiardo.
She and her partner, Cheryl Hartley, are especially excited to provide customers with worldwide exposure through Berkshire Hathaway.
- “There is an excitement running through the office,” said Donna Pitts. “The Berkshire Hathaway name certainly adds an air of importance and sophistication.”
- “I am very excited about Trend Realty joining the Berkshire Hathaway family,” said Joseph Freck. “The switch will add marketing strength and clout to Trend Realty and will be an added bonus to sellers of real estate.”
- “Trend Realty has been an icon in this area for many years,” said Joyce Dorval. “To have the support of Warren Buffet tells the public that the real estate market is on the move in the right direction.”
- “We look forward to helping our past and future customers make an informed decision,” said Laraine Teiss. “Home ownership is part of the American Dream, and we’re thrilled to help our customers make theirs a reality.”
“We have an awesome opportunity in front of us. The combination of Berkshire Hathaway’s global reach and experience and Trend Realty’s local market knowledge is a winning combination. Trend Realty’s values have always been rooted in words like professionalism, integrity, honesty and progressive business practices,” said Thomas McIntosh.
A Seamless Transition
Trend Realty has been special in Gainesville since its inception in 1973. Currently, there are more than 50 agents with offices in Gainesville and High Springs. Donna Pitts, who began with the company in 1979, recalls the early days of Trend.
“I have seen Trend grow from a company of 10 agents to the robust company that it is today,” Pitts recalls. She attributes much of the company’s growth to President Thomas McIntosh.
Trend’s transition into the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network will be seamless, as both share many of the same customer-centric practices that have made Trend so successful.
“We are combining the integrity of our long-time locally known brand, the integrity of our ownership, management, and associates and the integrity of Warren Buffett and his worldwide respected brand,” REALTOR® Jeff Tice said. In Tice’s eyes, this combination creates a “true synergy of strengths” that can be relied on by past, present and future clients.
The associates who make up the new Berkshire Hathaway are one of the undeniable strengths moving forward. They tout a myriad of expertise.
The wide array of characteristics at Trend blends together to create an atmosphere that Berkshire Hathaway will use to make an impact not only in Gainesville, but nationally as well. Helping clients obtain their individual goals is the overarching mission at BHHS Trend Realty.
Cheryl Hartley sees “loyalty and problem solving” as key components in helping clients. Pat Sucher feels that “creativity and stamina” are essential for any agent or broker. Laraine Teiss stated “patience” as a central capability while her daughter Chelsea mentioned “confidence.” Joyce Dorval added that something as simple as “drive and a smile” will take you far in the business.
“It is such a wonderful feeling to get up each day and know my work will make someone happy,” Debbie Rowland said. “By the time we go to close, I have mixed emotions. I’m excited for them, but I feel sad because they’ve been a part of my daily life, and now I will not see them as often. They become like my family, and I want to maintain that relationship forever.”
Those sentiments aren’t solely Rowland’s. Husband and wife team Graham and Marsha Philips work with the motto “it’s all about the people, not the houses.” For Graciela “Dada” McGlynn, being part of the realization of lifelong dreams is “always an opportunity for which I am grateful.” Laraine and Chelsea Teiss always have “the goal of finding the home that makes our client go, WOW!”
Others at Trend love their profession for a multitude of reasons. Tice “loves the challenge and energy of every day.” Sucher “loves meeting great people and then protecting them from those that are not so great.”
“We have an exceptional group of real estate professionals. I am proud of all they accomplish. They are committed to providing an excellent experience for those they serve,” says Thomas McIntosh.
The Strength of the BHHS Trend Team
Everyone has his or her own opinion about the qualities that lead to success in the real estate business. While the most common traits are honesty, work ethic, professionalism, passion, knowledge and a general love of people, some unique outlooks help mold the diverse culture that Berkshire will bring to Gainesville.
One of those outlooks is the importance of using technology. Pat Sucher differentiates himself from others by “utilizing video with voiceover and a comprehensive Internet presence.” Chelsea Teiss loves using photography to “capture the exceptional features” of her properties. Several agents also pinpoint an all-encompassing training program that breeds “professional, honest and ethical” agents, according to Jennifer McIntosh.
Knowledge of the business is integral to the importance of the BHHS Trend Realty team. The growing trend in the real estate industry is a reliance on Internet resources such as Zillow or REALTOR.com to search help them in their research. Pitts speculates almost everyone utilizes the Internet to search for his or her ideal home. However, that is merely the first step in the process.
“Buyers need the help of a REALTOR® to guide them through the process. With their knowledge of the steps required to consummate a sale or purchase through finding information about schools, attorneys, employment, et cetera,” Pitts said. “We stand out in these areas because we have the tools at our ready to help us guide buyers and sellers in their decision-making.”
Experienced agents who are familiar with the area, as are members of the BHHS Trend Realty, can make a world of difference when searching for a property. One of themany partnerships at Trend is the TNT Team, which is comprised of Jeff Tice and mother-daughter duo Laraine and Chelsea Teiss. Among the three of them alone, there are 68 years of collective experience in real estate. The personal stories and tales are as endless as the varying degrees of knowledge.
Agent Carolyn McPherson ran her own real estate company with her husband before joining Trend 12 years ago and McGlynn has been in residential real estate for over 18 years, spanning two countries: nine years in the United States and nine years in the Philippines.
- Carolyn McPherson: “The consumer can receive personalized services with the least amount of stress and confusion.”
- Joyce Dorval: “REALTORS® abide by a code of ethics and give back to our association and our community.”
- Laraine Teiss: “Buying and selling is an emotional process, and working with a REALTOR® who has expertise and experience can provide direction and support without pressure, which makes the process fun and satisfying.”
“While our industry has been revolutionized by technology, this is still a people business,” added Thomas McIntosh. “This is still a business in which we help buyers buy and sellers sell. Technology is irrelevant if our associates are not helping our customers with their pressing real estate concerns,” he added.
Russ Hirshik, Director of New Media Strategies at Trend, specializes in Internet marketing. He encourages customers to check online sources to be educated about the market. Ultimately, he feels that “there is no substitute for a real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the market and negotiates real estate transactions for a living.”
“We have a full-time support team to ensure that buyer leads are responded to immediately. We have the shortest average sale time in the market place. We sell homes faster than the market average,” Jennifer McIntosh said.
As you begin to see the new cabernet and crème Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Trend Realty signs around town, take comfort in knowing it’s simply an old friend ushering in a new Trend in Gainesville real estate.
“We have an amazing team. Now, we are combining that team with the best name, the best image and the best tools in the real estate business. I am more energized about our industry today than ever before,” said Thomas McIntosh.