Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s green thumb has yielded an impressive crop of new affiliates.
The lifestyle-focused brokerage added a record-breaking 14 new affiliates during the first and second quarters of 2021, with five offices in California and eight other offices across New York, Connecticut, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada and Washington. The final addition is in Wasilla, Alaska — BHGRE’s first location in the frontier state.
“Reflecting on the first half of the year, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate continues to prove itself as the only real estate franchisor backed by the name recognition and trust of one of America’s most admired lifestyle brands,” BHGRE President and CEO Sherry Chris said in a prepared statement on Tuesday. “This national awareness, paired with business and industry-accolades, helps attract the interest of innovative and savvy real estate entrepreneurs.”
“Not only are we surpassing growth records for our brand, but we continue to be dedicated partners with our existing affiliated companies, helping them advance their businesses and find success in this competitive environment,” she added. “Our nationally recognized brand cachet attracts broker/owners who appreciate our dedication to investing in marketing resources, technology, training opportunities and growth initiatives.”
In a phone call with Inman, Chris said the BHGRE benefitted from buyers taking advantage of the freedom to relocate to idyllic locations with plenty of outdoor space and other amenities. To seize this shift, Chris said brokers began reaching out to BGHRE as real estate’s lifestyle brand.
“What we found was broker-owners were looking for partnerships with brands that had a strong technology strategy, strong servicing and operations strategy,” she said. “Another thing that really came out loud and clear is the fact that lifestyle, community, family and home were really at the top of everyone’s priority list.”
“That’s where our brand plays so well because we are the lifestyle brand of real estate,” she added while noting Better Homes and Garden’s 96 percent consumer awareness rate. “We have access to all of the data and digital assets of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine [with its] cooking, gardening and decorating.”
Chris said she wasn’t surprised by the number of California broker-owners who moved their team to the brokerage, as it was already BHGRE’s top state. “California has always been what I would call a lifestyle state,” she said alluding to the state’s plethora of scenic cities including San Jose, Palm Springs and Lake Tahoe.
However, the CEO was most excited about the launch of Better Homes and Gardens Dream Makers, the brokerage’s first office in Alaska. Chris said she’s always wanted to bring BHGRE to ‘The Final Frontier;’ however, it wasn’t until 2021 they found the right partner.
“Alaska is a lifestyle state unto itself. People move to Alaska for particular reasons, usually not employment, but because they want a different type of lifestyle,” she said. “I always felt that the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand would be an important brand to have in Alaska.”
“The brokerage there wants to continue to grow and expand in different parts of Alaska, and Alaska is one of the few states that I personally have not had an opportunity to visit,” she added. “I’ve been in almost every state across the country and I plan to visit our broker there when it’s safe to do so.”
Chris was secretive about which markets she has her eye on next, but revealed “the growth will continue” in “some very interesting and unique lifestyle markets in the months to come.”