An Atlantic Beach resident, Christy Budnick is the president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty. Recently appointed to the position, Budnick is succeeding her mother and the company’s founder, Linda Sherrer, who is continuing as the chairman of the firm.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I joined the company in 2002 as branch manager of the company’s Beaches office and was promoted to executive vice president of residential real estate in 2006. Prior to joining the firm, I worked for Bank of America as its vice president of sales and leadership training, where my team and I traveled the country working with the consumer finance division.
What’s it mean to you to have been named president and CEO?
It really isn’t about the title; it’s about the vote of confidence from my mother, our team and the community at large. That meant the world to me. I am honored and humbled to continue the legacy that Linda has built.
You’re assuming the role your mother has held since 1988. What have you learned most from her?
Growing up in a real estate family in which my mother began here career as a single mother of two daughters, we had a front row seat to her work ethic. From my earliest memories, I remember just how hard my mother worked and that made a huge impression on me and molded who I am. Fast forward to working with her as an adult, I’ve learned to lead with my heart, to always do the right thing since your integrity means everything and to take the time to celebrate every success, big or little and preferably in costume, with a hat!
What are your goals for the company?
Our overarching goals haven’t changed a bit. They are:
1) To create a platform for success for our Realtors and employees. Our goal is to remove obstacles for our agents, allowing them to spend their time creating and maintaining relationships. This also allows them to achieve harmony in their work and home life, which, as a family-run operation, we believe is very important.
2) To create a seamless, one-stop shopping environment for our clients so that we maximize their time and savings, creating an overall better client experience. We recognize how busy our clients are and their desire to be able to handle contract to mortgage to closing under one roof, and we are proud to provide that service.
3) To be a good corporate citizen. We love Northeast Florida and appreciate all that this city has done for us, and we feel that it is extremely important that we give back. For every closing, we make a donation to Dreams Come True, a local organization that provides “dreams” to children battling life-threatening illnesses. Over the last five years, we have donated over $175,000 to this worthy organization. Additionally, we buy, collect, stuff and deliver hundreds of backpacks every year to ensure children begin the school year on the right foot. Then there are countless other charities we support; our team has such a huge heart and we love them for that!
What’s the future of the real estate market in Jacksonville? How is it changing?
Northeast Florida has a bright future in real estate. While we have seen 5 to 10 percent appreciation in nearly every area over the last several years, as interest rates tick up and builder product helps to fill the inventory void, we feel that the market will achieve a steadier growth rate of 3 to 5 percent, which is sustainable and more “normal.” This will be good for buyers and sellers alike. Some sellers are worried about selling because they feel their buying choices are limited since inventory is so tight. It will also be good for buyers because there will be slightly more inventory to choose from and fewer multiple offer situations, which drive prices up, pricing some buyers out of the market.
What’s your best advice for buyers and sellers in the local real estate market?
It really is a perfect time for both buyers and sellers for the reasons I mentioned above. For sellers, inventory is limited, which means if their home is priced well, in good condition and in a location that is desirable they will likely sell quickly and very close to asking price. It’s a great time to sell. For buyers, although home inventory is limited, builders are bringing more product, which means more choices. With rising interest rates, buyers who may be priced out of the market by a rate hike need to make their wish list and begin the buying process, which, on an existing home, typically takes 60 to 90 days minimum from finding the perfect home to closing.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
I’ve lived in six different areas in Northeast Florida since I was 9 years old and have seen so much positive change. I love that we have the benefits of the ocean, the river and the Intracoastal and the outdoor life that comes with all of our waterways. I am so grateful that we are an NFL city. I feel that the Jacksonville Jaguars put our city on the map and we no longer have to answer the question, “So, where exactly is Jacksonville?” when talking with people from outside the area. Between having an NFL team, the PGA Tour headquarters, the oldest city in the nation and a large military presence, we are privileged to call this city home. We are also fortunate to have such a strong medical presence with Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson and UF Health, the only Level 1 trauma program in Northeast Florida or Southeast Georgia. Each of these businesses bring notoriety to our area as well as transferees, further strengthening our economy. The icing on the cake is that we live in sunny Florida but benefit from a change of season, which our neighbors to the south of us can’t say. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!
What do you do when you are not at work?
When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family on the beach, riding bicycles, playing golf or enjoying time with friends or grandparents. We are so fortunate to have both sets of grandparents within a few blocks of our home in Atlantic Beach. We also love to travel, and some people think it is funny that my mother and I live one block away from one another, work together and vacation together, but that’s just the way we like it! Thankfully our husbands agree!
Edited by Jon Blauvelt