Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty held its annual company meeting Jan. 9 at 99 Sea Level in Bethany Beach. The company closed its offices so management, agents and staff could gather to reflect on accomplishments of 2018 and set goals for 2019.
Broker and Vice President Andrew Ratner kicked off the meeting on a celebratory note, recounting the company history and playing a video featuring company founders Bette and Sal Gallo. With the company celebrating 40 years in business in 2019, the video brought a tear to many eyes and illustrated the correlation of honesty, integrity, knowledge and hard work to success and longevity in the real estate business.
The presentation was inspiring to the many new agents who have come on board within the past year. Gallo Realty welcomed 14 new agents and staff members during 2018: Agents Kathy Albert, Chelsea Brown, Joseph Gallagher, Gail Henry, Megan Honeysett, Bill Humber, Tracy Hynes, David T. King, Ellie Maher, Rich Norcross, James Smith and Vince Walsh; and staff Tracy Apgar and Mark Clark.
The heart of the meeting concentrated on setting goals for the agents and the company to continue to build on the successes earned over the years. Education was one goal set for the agents. Ratner challenged each of the agents to spend one hour per week on educating themselves about the real estate business.
Ratner said, “The real estate commission requires you spend 21 hours every two years on continuing education. Our challenge will total 104 hours over two years. The educated and well-trained agent will be the one who succeeds in the years to come. Our company is known for outstanding customer service, and one of the core factors in providing excellent service is becoming a market and professional expert.”
The meeting also focused on the firm’s technology initiatives and marketing plans for the upcoming year. The marketing plan includes professional photography and virtual tours on all listings, and targeted Facebook advertising, among many other strategies to maximize exposure on company listings. Agents will be armed with several tools to assist them, such as cloud-based transaction management, client relationship systems, and integrated listing presentations.
One of the highlights of the morning was recognizing the 2018 top producers. Many of these agents will also be acknowledged at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices national convention in Las Vegas in March.
The Chairman's Circle Diamond Award, for over $200 million in sales volume, went to The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group.
The Chairman's Circle Gold Award, for $10-$20 million in sales volume, went to Barbara Morales Associates, Laurie Bronstein and the Beth Evans Team.
Named to the President's Circle, for $7-$10 million in sales volume, were Lurty Team and Chris Beagle.
Named to the Leading Edge Society, for $5-$7 million on sales volume, were Lana Warfield, Cindy Baker, Joe Choma, Sandra Ware.
Honor Society, $3-$5 million in sales volume, includes Adrienne Klase, Kathy Ford, Joanne Young, Edie Page, Frank Albany, Peter Walling and Patsy Carpenter.
For rentals, Platinum Club recognition, for over $185,000 in gross commission generate, went to Maureen Kyritsis and Margaret Iorii.
Also for rentals, Gold Club recognition, for over $120,000 in gross commission generated, went to Alyssa Bishop, Donna DiLuzio, Chris Roark, Pam Notarangelo and Kim Rebman.
Ratner also honored individuals celebrating anniversaries with BHHS Gallo Realty. Celebrating 40 years with the company is Michelle Esposito; 30 years, Jeff Thornburg; 20 years, Peter Faber; 15 years, Dane Baich, Pam Notarangelo, and George Thomasson; 10 years, Alyssa Bishop, Kari Munsell and Pat Price; 5 years, Marie Dispoto, Aaron Hood, Linda Huerta, Margaret Iorii, Mary Jarrell, Tina Lambert, David Plivelich, Paula Searle, Martha Smith, Pam Szypulski, Sandra Ware and Taylor Wilkinson.
Ratner summarized the Gallo Gives Foundation fundraising efforts in 2018. Between agents contributing a percentage of transactions and the company matching 100 percent, the foundation donated more than $31,000 to over 20 local organizations, as well as two $2,500 high school scholarships. The foundation has donated over $100,000 to local causes since its inception in 2016.
At the end of the meeting, the company presented its fifth annual Community Service Award, given to an associate for his or her extraordinary contribution to the community, to sales agent Joanne Young. Young makes a difference in the lives of many every day. She plays an integral role in missions and ministries at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church and at Delaware Hospice, as an advocate for March for Life, and as an organizer and speaker for Women of the Word. Young has also “adopted” a refugee family with four children. She helps them to meet their basic needs. She is a loving and devoted friend and mentor who not only helps the family financially but also supports them emotionally and spiritually.
“Joanne is an inspiration to us all. She is a truly humble and kind person who is also a fabulous Realtor,” said Ratner. "We would all do well to take a page from her book.” A donation to the organization of Young’s choice will be made by BHHS Gallo Realty.