Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 23, 2018

Berkshire Hathaway marks big year

Berkshire Hathaway’s broker team at the annual awards breakfast. From left: Barry Hamilton, Signal Mountain; Susan Jensen, East Brainerd; Byron Kelly, downtown; Shel Thomas, North Georgia; and Mark Blazek, Hixson. - Photograph provided

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center kicked off a new year of home sales in grand fashion: with a 30-foot Southern breakfast buffet served at the elegant Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

The locally-owned real estate firm also distributed awards celebrating the work of its agents in 2017.

“What an industrious year it was,” said emcee Byron Kelly, Realty Center president and son of owners Karen and Ben Kelly. “We did over $440 million in volume as our average sales price rocketed to $230,000.”

Kelly also said Realty Center is one of the top 40 firms in the national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.

“Your professionalism and zeal to meet your clients’ needs are unmatched in our industry,” Kelly said.

Kelly then announced three promotions at the leadership level of the family-owned firm.

Mark Blazek, former president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors, is the new sales manager of the Hixson branch after a 20-year tenure as a leading Realtor there. Vanessa Mercer has been named chief communications officer of Realty Center. And Neal Spann is the new talent coordinator for the entire five-office firm.

Spann’s responsibilities include career development and creating growth opportunities for Realty Center’s 180-plus Realtors.

Realty Center simplified its recognition of high-producing agents and teams in 2017 by placing them in one of six groups based on total gross commission income or unit sales. The highest level, Chairman’s Circle Diamond, requires an agent or team to earn $750,000 GCI or sell 150 residential units.

The Edrington Team far-outpaced the unit sales requirements with 482 home sales in 2017. The team, which operates out of the downtown office, is a local leader and ranks among the top 10 teams in the national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.

“Their marketing systems and hustle have kept them in Chairman’s Circle status for 11 straight years,” Kelly explained.

 Linda Brock, a longtime leader in Chattanooga’s luxury homes market, had another career-defining year in 2017 with sales exceeding $70 million dollars – a remarkable achievement for an individual Realtor, Kelly said.

This feat made Brock a Top 10 producer in the national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. Brock has been the top individual sales leader at Realty Center for 20 consecutive years.

Joining these company legends was the largest cohort of Chairman’s Circle Gold and Platinum honorees in the firm’s 36-year history. Receiving plaques of recognition were: the Lawrence Team; the Hamilton Group; Team Clayton Taylor; Kevin Wamack; the Travis Close Team; Diane Burke; Team Blazek; Ned Weigel; and The Burns Team.

Realty Center’s Rising Star for 2017 is Christa French of the East Brainerd office. The Rising Star is awarded to the agent with the highest GCI during the year in which his or her first anniversary of licensure fell.

The firm’s Orchid for Service Award went to Susan Jensen for her volunteer work at the new Miracle League stadium in Chattanooga.

“Our honoree has a huge capacity for giving and personifies much of what this firm strives to embody,” Kelly said as he handed her a cabernet-colored orchid. “You deserve a beautiful reminder of the beauty of giving and receiving.”

The event also included a presentation by Susie Horan, a longtime Realtor and speaker from Seattle. Horan provided tips to help agents reduce the stress buyers and sellers feel during the complexity and chaos of a real estate transaction.

In closing, Kelly remarked on the professionals his firm is proud to call family. “Our Realtors have proven their value and skill over many years of selling homes in Chattanooga. The national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand reinforces our local reputation with the values of one of the most respected companies in the world.

“The Beatles said it best as they ended their recording career, singing, ‘And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.’ Let’s stay above the line in our thoughts, words and deeds.”