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2 September 2014

Go Gets Better

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Kevin Woody, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Go Realty, reflects on the recent transition to Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.

I awoke at 3:00 a.m. wondering one more time, “Is this the right move for us?” Our 5-year-old firm of innovative, artistic, and energetic agents were about to get their official introduction to the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network.

I’m glad we didn’t make a one-size-fits-all announcement. Like everything at our firm, we pursued a tailor-made fit. The 1:1 and small group conversations of the previous week were exhausting, emotional, but so beneficial.

Announcement day was a blur. A company gathering, leaders sharing their journey into the decision, a great interview with Sherry Chris, and a quick overview of key tools and benefits for our affiliated agents – all these first steps went well. We even poked a bit of fun with our Top 10 Agent Responses to the decision (#2, Sherry Chris, doesn’t she own that great steak place in our plaza?).

We took the BHGRE crew on a quick roadtrip to our other three offices, even completing the ALS Ice Bucket at the final stop. All day long we posted on our social media channels, using our hashtag, #GoGetsBetter.

We came together that evening to celebrate. With transition support from our new partners, we were able to host an incredible event. Agents, spouses, guests, key recruits, and a few industry leaders joined us for a remarkable evening. Who knew we could dress up so nicely?!

I was particularly proud of the Fashion Show of Go Realty-wear that our team put together to review our story – past, present, and a peek at what’s ahead in our new partnership. The most exciting part is that there are so many chapters to come.

Our first two weeks of integration are winding up as I am writing. Yes, we’ve had some wrinkles. A few technology items needed attention, we discovered shortcomings in our established systems, and our agents had a point or two of application frustration – how do I make those magazine subscriptions work? Nobody embraces this level of change without some friction.

But overall, things are going beautifully. The single greatest asset of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has been the people. Sherry Chris’ vision, Doug Stryker’s execution, Amy Chorew’s training, Jen Marchetti’s expertise on coverage have all been powerful forces. On day one, Debbie Ashbrook was already at work focusing me on key objectives and handling all of our rollout questions with incredible speed. It’s clear to me, they’ve got our back.

I believe we have elevated our firm to an entirely different playing field. National level friends in the network called to congratulate; already, they contribute ideas and feedback. Our technology tools are more remarkable to me with each level I learn. Top agents have tools to help them work fewer hours with greater outcomes. Our new agents can engage in training on day one. All things we needed to improve. Our team is having fun as we embrace the brand with small increments and celebrations through our internal Daily Better emails.

There are miles to go, but the journey’s underway. I’m buried in the minutia, the questions, and the energy.

But one thing’s clear: We’re better.

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