Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Director of Talent Attraction Bret Calltharp has an undeniable enthusiasm, a deep love of Star Wars, and a determination to Be Better! With over a decade of real estate, marketing, and even music experience, Bret stands out as one of our truly accomplished team members. Find out more about this BHGRE superstar in our latest “Ten Questions With” series.
Which of our BHGRE® P.A.I.G.E. (Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, Excellence) core values do you identify with most, and why?
I can’t say all of them right? When I met with Sherry Chris about this role, we spent quite a bit of time discussing these core values and honestly all of them are very important to me. If I had to choose just one, I would say Passion. If something isn’t worth doing with passion, it isn’t worth doing at all and I think that when I look at some of the accomplishments in my life that I am the most proud of, the common factor to all of those was my passion to succeed in whatever endeavor it was. A close second would be Innovation – partly why I joined this company is that I feel we have an opportunity to define what the next generation of brokerages look like. That’s exciting!
What are your favorite qualities in a customer?
People like to work with people that they like on a personal level. My “customers” are brokers and agents, so I’d say my favorite quality is the desire to learn. I think when one takes their success seriously enough to be engaged in lifetime learning, always striving to be better, that’s a universal trait in business success. It’s hard to coach someone who views learning as a chore.
What is the one characteristic that’s helped you the most in your career?
I’ve seen surveys that show that people say they fear public speaking even more than death! I’m fortunate to have always felt comfortable speaking, whether one-on-one with clients or in front of an audience. I think the ability to communicate effectively while hopefully inspiring the other person to make changes that are beneficial to their bottom line has played a large role in my career path, particularly over the last few years. I’m also a quick learner, which has helped me to adapt to the constant changes we see in our industry and be more effective in coaching agents and brokers through those changes.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read for improvement was “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. For personal enjoyment, it was actually “Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon.” I just ran my fourteenth marathon over Labor Day weekend – and did so with little to no training as I was so busy preparing for my move to New Jersey. That was the last time I do that! The book is going to be a great training guide as I prepare for a few half marathons this fall and my next full in the spring.
If you weren’t in real estate, what would you be doing?
I have played guitar and wrote music in bands for most of my life, beginning in the third grade. I had a few breaks in there but my last two projects were relatively successful – we landed production deals with two different platinum producers but never quite earned the record deal. If I wasn’t in real estate I’d probably still be pursuing that dream – but I’ve always had a career too so I’d say I would be a high school history teacher who moonlights as a wannabe rockstar.
What was the last song you heard that you couldn’t stop humming?
The two bands I’ve listened to a lot as of late are Glass Animals and X-Ambassadors. X-Ambassadors have a song called “B.I.G.” and it’s become my go-to power song when needed. Love the message, love the beat.
Who is your real-life hero?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars films, and in the past I’ve mentioned George Lucas and the early special effects pioneers at Industrial Light and Magic as heroes. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized more and more that it’s actually my father Glen Calltharp who is my hero. He’s the smartest man I’ve ever met: entrepreneurial, funny and he’s made selfless choices in his life to benefit his family yet still been extremely successful. He’s taught me a lot about business philosophy, bringing passion to what you do, lifelong learning and generally how to be a good man.
What’s your favorite thing about social media?
Relationships. Relationships remain the core of this industry and I think human existence in general. Through social media I’ve been able to develop relationships with industry thought leaders and peers that I respect long before we actually meet face to face. It also allows me to stay in touch with agents, brokers and friends around the world on a daily basis.
If you could sell a home in any market in the world, where would it be?
Without a doubt it would be Vancouver, British Columbia. I had the great fortune to live there for the last three years before moving to New Jersey to accept the role with BHGRE and it was every bit as wonderful as you might read about. It’s an incredible city full of diversity, culture, awe-inspiring nature and fantastic people. Also if I was selling, the fact that the average sales prices are so high wouldn’t be terrible either!
What is your favorite motto, and what advice would you give your younger self starting out in real estate?
It’s not so much a motto as it is a favorite approach to life. I’m a big believer in the Japanese philosophy of “kaizen.” Kaizen roughly means “continuous incremental improvement” and ever since I heard about it in business school it’s had a powerful effect on my life, both personally and professionally. In the face of adversity or negativity, a lot of people are tempted to blow everything up and start fresh out of frustration trying to reach a goal. Instead, if you just seek out each day to do one or two things to get closer to that goal, be just a bit better than before, over time you’ll be much more likely to accomplish it. As for my younger self – I think I’d tell him to not confuse loyalty with stagnation. If you’re in an environment where you’re not growing, not engaged, you should change the scenery.