Employees benefit from technology, flexibility.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties is number one top workplace by Hearst
As a $3 billion unit of one of the most admired companies in the world, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties covers Connecticut, Rhode Island and Westchester County, NY., with the strength of a multinational conglomerate.
For seven consecutive years, Berkshire Hathaway has earned a spot in Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s Top Workplaces awards as a large employer. For 2018, the Wallingford-based unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has earned the No. 1 position in the size category.
The Berkshire Hathaway residential real estate division closed 10,000 transactions in this past year alone. But money isn’t everything. Buffet said in his 2014 biennial memo that the company’s top priority, “trumping everything else, including profits — is that all of us zealously guard Berkshire’s reputation.”
“Every decision made throughout our company is done so around a set of core values from authenticity, integrity to service,” said Candace Adams, the regional president. “We are entrenched in preserving our culture and our employees have a sense of pride belonging to this organization.”
Innovation is at the core of the firm’s continual success as a workplace, with new technology tools, for example, leading to consistent praise by employees.
Agents reported that they appreciate their company’s flexibility, family atmosphere and “a culture that encourages personal growth, balance and out-of-the-box thinking.” They also appreciate Berkshire’s technology that handles lead generation, marketing and transaction processing. “We are constantly researching technologies and new platforms for our clients,” Adams said. “Very important that we meet the needs of clients through technology and communication. It’s second to relationships, caring and follow through.”
The Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island region has 55 offices in all, 15 in Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties. Berkshire has fared well in the Hearst Top Workplaces awards, with a previous first-place win.
Berkshire agent Shannon Drury, 39, of South Norwalk, became a real estate agent in 2004 with Prudential, later acquired by Berkshire’s real estate arm in 2013. Now a part of the three-person team Maher-Drury and Associates, Drury said agents have a sense of pride working under the Berkshire brand.
“There is a quality of agent that comes in here, and there’s a definite respect in the community and also the brokerage community for the Berkshire brand,” Drury said. Because agents who work for Berkshire aren’t actually employees, but rather independent contractors with flexible schedules, some might argue the company has an advantage when it comes to measuring workplace satisfaction. But, Drury said, while her schedule is certainly flexible, it doesn’t mean she works any less than a regular 9-to-5 gig. In fact, she said, she often puts in 60 to 80 hours each week. “You’re always working. Nights, weekends, holidays. You have to be ready to answer your clients immediately — whether you’re on vacation or not,” she said. As an agent, Drury said, it is even more critical to have most up-to-date tools to do her job and do it well.
“There are so many systems in place for us but it’s seamless. We can be out there in the field and manage our transactions which allows us to really focus on our clients and customer service,” she said.
“Our culture is authentic, transparent,” Adams said. “The culture we have recognizes the value of doing the right thing, every time. The value of carrying out in a professional way and well-serving our clients in a diligent way. Agents feel secure in working for a company that values that.”
Celeste Lugo, 27, of Norwalk, joined the team just after obtaining her real estate license in January 2018. “Berkshire offered a certain confidence and professionalism. When I came to that first office meeting the atmosphere, the culture, everything — I was sold. I wanted to be a part of it all,” Lugo said.
“At the end of the day, we are there for each other professionally and personally,” Adams said. “We will always be here. We will never go away. And we are one of the very few companies who can say that.”
By Makayla Silva |