Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Moving Families Initiative

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Pittsburgh to meet with the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty and owner/CEO Ron Croushore. Attendance at the meeting topped more than 450 agents, managers and staff, and I spent five hours—one with managers and four with the agents—talking time management, principles for success, operating a brokerage and more. What an incredible experience and what an energized group! As I stood on stage addressing the crowd, a thought came to mind: This, like all our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices members, is more than a brokerage. It’s a family, a community of like-minded individuals who understand the importance of learning and growing together for the benefit of all.

And that thought stuck with me the entire day and night, following me as I took in the breathtaking views of downtown Pittsburgh while dining at LeMont Restaurant and then as I returned to my hotel to write this post to you. It also became incredibly significant because it happened to coincide with HSF Affiliates breaking the news we’ve joined forces with World Class Coaches. World Class Coaches and its Moving Families Initiative, directed by former Los Angeles Rams All Pro football player Johnnie Johnson, tackles the challenges of moving families with a strong focus on serving, protecting and meeting the needs of relocating families with children ages 19 and younger.

As part of this program, agents from our HSF Affiliates brokerage networks will join more than 3,100 other real estate professionals already serving transitioning families coast to coast. Johnnie, recognizing that moving can be difficult for anyone but puts particular strain on children, launched this initiative to take a proactive approach on assuaging the physical and emotional strain kids face when changing neighborhoods or schools.

I actually found out about the program over breakfast several months ago with Johnnie. Just two friends, having breakfast on a Saturday morning, catching up and the whole thing turned into an incredible opportunity to share the great work he’s doing with our networks. Meetings ensued, I connected Johnnie with Mary Kelly, HSF Affiliates director of referral channel development, and Edward Maldonado, HSF Affiliates director of operations. With a lot of hard work—I like to say Mary quarterbacked the project—here we are today, kicking off this initiative to help moving families reach the end zone and help their children tackle the challenges associated with relocating to a brand-new place.

A new community to learn, new friends to make, new schools to navigate … all of this can deeply impact a child’s well-being and as real estate professionals, we have not only a unique positioning to help but also perhaps a duty to do so.

According to U.S. Census data, more than 10 million children 19 years and younger move throughout the U.S. That’s a massive number and a testament to the kind of large-scale impact we can make. To engage with this program, people simply access the new Moving Families Initiative Connectivity or call (866) 224-8895, prior to the execution of their home rental, sale or purchase agreement. Home Connections will then join them with a Preferred Real Estate Agent of the families’ choice.

So, what’s the message? Real estate is much more than a financial transaction. It’s a life change and we in real estate facilitate this monumental shift. We show our clients how a house can be a home and then watch as they live in it, transforming bricks and beams into a whole new existence for them … and their families. That’s why we support the Moving Families initiative plan. Because it ensures all family members’ needs are met through the move and beyond. It’s a holistic approach to relocation that is not only smart but it’s also the right thing to do.

GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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