As 2016 approaches and 2015 comes to a close, I want to reflect for a moment on a fantastic year gone by.
Our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network has grown to more than 40,000 agents and 1,200 offices operating in all but three states. As important, we’re adding elite, new affiliates in key U.S. markets while our current family of brokerages continues to thrive. This year we announced our intentions to expand across the globe while making serious strides to capture the international buyer’s market here at home. Watch for more on this exciting initiative in 2016! In addition, we gave away $50,000 in a record-setting sweepstakes with HGTV superstars Chip and Joanna Gaines, launched at a packed Sales Convention in Las Vegas.
We’ve had gains not just in the residential arena but also in our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commercial Real Estate division. We’ve improved our CRE value proposition to ensure the delivery of quality products and services to our affiliates. Currently, we offer our CRE professionals a best-in-class technology platform, with additional enhancements planned for the coming year.
In 2015, we released a new national commercial—voted best real estate TV spot by more than 15,000 Inman News readers—and significantly enhanced our mobile app. We advanced our thought leadership program by creating a quarterly Homeowner Sentiment Survey, last week making national headlines for our insights on the Fed’s interest rate hike in major media outlets including, CNBC, The Washington Post and CNNMoney. Through the success of our survey, we didn’t merely react to the real estate conversation but in many ways, created it.
Our Real Living Real Estate family is also making tremendous progress. We are growing our network with new affiliates in key U.S. markets while our current family of brokerages continues to thrive. Our distinctive brand positioning is essential as we embrace the power to be us and the freedom to be you.
Real Living Real Estate is a network built for entrepreneurs with the kind of innovative mindset that makes our companies stand apart in their marketplace. This year, the spirit of our brand was celebrated in events from Nashville to San Antonio, as Real Living professionals came together from offices near and far.
Additionally, we rebranded our nationally-recognized customer service program, Real Living 360 ServiceSM, designed to provide a strong foundation of quality service for our customers so we can achieve the highest level of accountability and client satisfaction. Exceptional service is-and will always be-the foundation of Real Living’s values and our industry-leading independent ratings prove our commitment to this goal. We also made major enhancements to the RealLiving.com site design and are preparing to launch a new version of Market Advantage as the year ends.
Still, as much as we accomplished together in 2015, we aren’t a network focused on what’s behind us. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate are brands built on the future, on creating a great real estate industry of today … and tomorrow. We are constantly moving forward—never complacent—and always making strides to become better, stronger, wiser and more unique.
And that’s why as you celebrate the New Year with family and friends, it’s important to congratulate yourself on a job well done while also understanding there’s much left to do in 2016. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Without ambition one starts with nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”
Happy New Year,