Home Happens Here….Why Our Agents Choose Howard Hanna

Cclaudia-b-for-bloglaudia Bartok recently joined Howard Hanna William E Wood, and she offers her thoughts on why she selected Howard Hanna. 

Claudia said, “Life throws you curve balls…my mother, bless her heart, calls it change. ‘Change is the only constant the world gives us, embrace it’. I can hear her now. I made a professional decision to ‘Change’ a few months back. I decided it was in my best interest to be a part of the Howard Hanna Family and Team, both in Elizabeth City and Virginia Beach.

Howard Hanna, you have a great recruiter in Laura Ross!! We sat down for lunch and she graciously and proudly presented what the firm offers, and I was sold! She certainly was influential in my decision, but the marketing products and advertising they offer definitely helped seal the deal. 

Further, I have two wonderful, professional and knowledgeable BIC’s, Darin Martin and Jack Voss! And guess what? They are not my competition :) ! They are solely here to help me and other agents be the best we can be. I’m contacted by each of them daily and am motivated by them at all times. 

Since joining Howard Hanna I’ve attended two sales conferences, inspiration from these great events was unparalleled, and I look ahead to many more motivational conversations with a great company. Real estate can be challenging to say the least, but with a great team like Howard Hanna to back you, there is no room to fail!”

Welcome home, Claudia!


Congratulations to our Fast Start Graduates

image001Congratulations to our Fast Start Graduates!  They worked hard and have shown great dedication in learning this business.  Fast Start is a nine-day immersion program that includes a one-day orientation called Jump Start and eight full days of classroom training over four weeks. Trainees learn what to expect in handling their first transactions, the responsibilities of marketing and industry leadership, teamwork and the strength and support of a non-competing management team.

We look forward to helping them develop thriving careers for years to come!  Be Extraordinary!


Terri Murphy to be our Keynote Speaker at our Southeast Region’s Sales Summit on October 26th

terri-murphyTerri Murphy has been a favorite at Howard Hanna Conventions and other events for many years. For 25 years, she performed at the top of the sales industry and is now a full-time consultant, speaker and spokesperson, coaching sales and marketing companies across the world.

Her energetic keynote at Howard Hanna’s upcoming Sales Summits in three of the company’s different regions will help to kick off an extraordinary fourth quarter. Agents will learn how to position themselves as valuable, blending personal expertise with Howard Hanna tools. Also included in her talk will be tips on prospecting for potential listings, building a distinctive listing presentation, and employing new and creative marketing strategies for listings using Howard Hanna’s unique tools.

Those in attendance will learn how to “Rise to the Occasion” by leveraging partnerships within Howard Hanna to find and service all prospects easily. An “edu-tainer” like no other, Terri’s insights and humor will help attendees learn how to be the go-to choice for any real estate expertise. Practical sales and marketing strategies will help sales associates and managers make an extraordinary impact on their business for the remainder of the year.

We look forward to learning from Terri in her keynote at our Southeast Region’s Sales Summit at the Norfolk Marriott on Wednesday, October 26th!

Becoming Extraordinary: Great Advice from Helen Hanna Casey

Every month, our agents and staff look forward to the wise words from our Company President, Helen Hanna Casey that inspire and focus our attention on ways to become extraordinary.  Below is the most recent message on exclusivity and how Howard Hanna agents are among the most exclusive. Helen Hanna Casey“During my visits throughout the company, I am amazed at the skills all of you possess to negotiate with sellers and buyers and to be hired as their exclusive agent. Your creativity and commitment to your clients amazes me, but I worry that you are often working too hard and missing opportunities to be “Exclusive”.

Let’s start with Exclusivity. It’s defined several ways, but here are a couple:

  • Not obtainable elsewhere
  • Catering to or available to only select people; high class and expensive
  • The one and only

If you want be exclusive, start by defining what makes you special. Check out your resume. Does it talk about you and what you have achieved? Does it talk about your community involvement, international skills, being transferred or a committed life-long resident, what makes you special and “Exclusive”? Remember, every agent on our major broker sites is a Realtor® and belongs to our associations, so it shouldn’t be the first thing about you.


Add the exclusive programs offered by Howard Hanna. The Money Back Guarantee (MBG) is the most exclusive program of all because we really do guarantee the houses we list and sell will retain their value. Only you can affirm a seller’s list price because we guarantee a buyer that we will buy it back at 100% of the purchase price. For both buyers and sellers, it’s a win-win. Don’t forget to use it in marketing your listing. Did you know you can opt to have the MBG on your listings on your web page? Try it.


Company-wide, we offer exclusive programs that can help you achieve your goals, from our partnership with Realtor. com, Trulia, and Zillow to enhancing all of your listings with income advantage, mortgage programs, and so much more. Take the time to remind yourself of all that’s available and how you can use it to improve your ability to be hired by sellers and buyers. Show your clients what properties look like on the top sites and assure them that only you will connect with buyers. Explain what our Income Advantage program is and let them know that you’re secure, so you won’t push them into a deal just to make a commission. Use our lead generation systems and Homefinder to let them know how much exposure their homes will get, or let a buyer know that there is lots of competition.


All of this and so much more is available to help you stand apart and be the most “Exclusive” agent in town.


Nobody does it better than our agents. We Guarantee It. Individually and together we are the best in the business.

Hoping to see you all as I continue my World Tour of Negotiation through the fall. Look for upcoming dates!


Learn, Earn, And More: Advice from Helen Hanna Casey on how to Become The Extraordinary YOU!

Helen Hanna Casey
Helen’s monthly advice column featuring tips, exclusive Howard Hanna technology, and inside real estate knowledge on how to become extraordinary within the industry.

In just a few weeks, it will be back-to-school time. Yet in today’s world, every day can be a learning day. Educational opportunities to enhance your career are everywhere you are and everywhere you go.
Don’t forget your office meetings and training sessions. What I love best about in-office training isn’t just the great information your manager shares, but also what we learn from each other. It can be as simple as a description of a new listing that you then show and sell the same day, or the techniques and ideas that come up in discussions.  It’s a great way to “make new friends and keep the old” while exchanging great ideas.

If you’re looking for new ideas or refreshers, they’re just a click away. Have you visited Hanna University recently? In addition to our regular offerings, you will find new learning and skill-building sessions each month. Click on the “Take a Course” button on Hanna University, and you’ll find hundreds of quick skill-building classes in Sales, Marketing & Technology, and Relocation.

Since we are in Helen’s Whim season, you might take a look at listing sessions: Type “list” into the Search box, and you’ll see 48 classes focused on every aspect of listings. Take a look at Matthew Ferrara’s Six Ways to Improve Listing Presentations (LIST – 106) for a speedy refresher. You’ll also see supplemental reading materials in the Library, with checklists, tips, and how-to guides for getting more listings, marketing them, and turning sellers into raving fans.

We even offer designation courses through our partners at LeadingRE: Click on the “Certifications” button, and you’ll see class “bundles,” each totaling about 2 hours of online work. You can sharpen your skills as a Service Expert, Sales Specialist, Marketing Specialist, and Relocation Specialist – all from the comfort of your home or office.

But wait… there’s more! Our own eBiz Certification will also be available online, with webinars about working effectively with today’s Internet-empowered consumers. So stay tuned to your Hanna emails.

Helen’s “Hanna” World Tour also begins next week with a focus on negotiating skills. Watch for a date and location near you!

This fall, we will have hands-on sessions to enrich your skills. Sales Summits will be held in Michigan on October 5, Pennsylvania on October 6, and the Southeast on October 26. You won’t want to miss our keynote speaker, Terri Murphy. Terri’s always had Standing-Room Only (SRO) sessions at the Hanna Convention. She will energize, entertain, and inspire you.

In New York, we will be releasing some great new tools to enrich your experience. These sessions will be too good to miss out on. Our 2015 Top Producers will be at Turning Stone for the Annual Agent Retreat. There’s no better way to have a big finish to the year than to get a refresher course from one of the best in the business!
Taking the time to invest in yourself with these classes, you not only gain knowledge, but also enhance your profile and increase your professional credibility.

Howard Hanna Welcomes RealtyUSA and Becomes 3rd Largest Real Estate Company in US

3rd largest real estate company

RealtyUSA Merges with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

Becoming America’s 3rd largest real estate company

Pittsburgh, PA (July 13, 2016) – Today at a joint press conference held in Buffalo, New York, Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna, III Chairman of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, and Merle L. Whitehead, President and CEO of RealtyUSA, announced that RealtyUSA has merged into the Howard Hanna family of companies. This merger combines the largest residential real estate broker in New York State with the largest broker in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“I have known and respected the Hanna family for years. Their growth in the last decade has been amazing. A common theme of commitment to our agents by developing the best in products and services for customers and clients will assure our combined success,” said Mr. Whitehead.

RealtyUSA is the #1 broker in the state of New York with 65 office locations covering Western and Central New York, Northern New York, the Capital Region and the Southern Tier. The company has more than 2,200 sales associates and employees and is ranked the 9th largest real estate company in the country with 23,023 closed transactions last year.*

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is the #1 broker is Pennsylvania and Ohio with 205 office locations in the eight states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. The company has more than 7,100 agents and employees and is ranked the 4th largest real estate company in the country with 66,714 closed transactions last year.**

The merger ranks Howard Hanna as the 3rd largest real estate company in the United States. The combined performance of the joint company is $16.2 billion in closed sales volume last year and 89,737 closed transactions. The combined strength of the companies is more than 9,000

sales associates and employees in 270 offices. Mr. Whitehead will become Chairman of the combined company in New York State.

“We always look to move forward,” said Helen Hanna Casey, President and CEO of the family-owned and operated Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. “We made the decision in the mid-1980s to remain independent, with the goal of always being a large regional broker in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Great Lakes regions. And when you find a prominent company that is run

with the utmost integrity and is so like-minded with complementary management styles and great managers, it makes sense to come together. “We’ve been in New York since 2003 in Chautauqua County, and last May Nothnagle Realtors merged with us, adding 32 offices in Western New York, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes areas. Armand D’Alfonso will be President of the entire New York organization.”

Expansion in Buffalo and entry into the next major metropolitan areas of Syracuse and Albany is a logical move into new territory. “RealtyUSA and Howard Hanna agents will benefit from each other’s markets for referrals in areas they do not serve. When we expand our reach, everybody within the Howard Hanna family of companies benefits,” said Ms. Casey.

“RealtyUSA is truly one of America’s great real estate companies, led by Merle Whitehead, who is recognized as a national leader in real estate,” said Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna, IV, President of Howard Hanna Real Estate Brokerage. “Our business philosophy is very similar, and operationally they know what it takes to create the American dream of home ownership for New Yorkers.”

The transition will be seamless for both agents and clients, and the range of services offered

will be expanded for both.

“We will first introduce our exclusive 100% Money Back Guarantee, which gives buyers added confidence to purchase a home. Additionally, we will be expanding our insurance company, adding approximately 15-20 new positions, as well as increasing marketing and technology systems with another 20 positions throughout the company,” added Hanna.

Founded in Buffalo, New York in 1959, the company now known as RealtyUSA emerged as a dominant local, statewide and national real estate leader as did Howard Hanna, founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1957. The two companies have known and worked with each other for decades through relationships in the real estate business and began discussions about six months ago about a possible merger.

There will not be a change to the company name or to local leadership. Both the RealtyUSA and Nothnagle logos will feature the tagline “A Howard Hanna Company.”

For more information, please visit RealtyUSA.com, HowardHanna.com or Nothnagle.com

*Rankings based on the REAL Trends 500 report, May 2016, which ranks the 500 largest real estate brokers in the United States by 2015 closed transactions.

**Rankings based on the REAL Trends 500 report, May 2016, which ranks the 500 largest real estate brokers in the United States by 2015 closed transactions. Franchise closed transactions included.

A Message from Helen Hanna Casey on Multi-Generational/Multi-Media Marketing

Helen Hanna Casey

In the year of celebrating ‘Extraordinary You’ at Howard Hanna, Helen Hanna Casey continues to share her advice with our agents to assist them in growing their business in 2016. Below is her latest message to our agents addressing the all-important issue of multi-media and multi-generational marketing.

We are everywhere our clients are located. There are so many ways for marketing to attract sellers and buyers: with print advertisements, digital advertisements, television commercials, direct mail, signage, and more. With so many options today, it’s easy to get lost in the “medium.” No matter where or how we market to our clients, the goal is the same: to let everyone know that we are the only place to come for their real estate needs.

So how do you distinguish yourself and send the right message no matter what medium you are using? The following are some methods to do so.

  1. Pictures.

How updated is your promotional photo? How often do you look at your listings online at your website, HowardHanna.com? How do those photos show? Is there snow or beautiful flowering trees? Do they show the home’s best advantages?

  1. You are what people read.

Check your web page – what does it really say? A good way to know is to check your reviews.

Gone are the days when you can write an advertisement or description that just says “Charming three-bedroom home!” Talk about something buyers can’t see in the pictures. Invite friends and family to share in the warmth of this family kitchen or “backyard barbecue haven.” Use words to entice clients. Everything you write about the home is an advertisement whether it’s the MLS description, present sheet, postcard and e-card, or print advertisement that gives people a reason to call YOU.

  1. Howard Hanna provides the media platforms.

We are a destination to search for agents, neighborhood homes, mortgages, and more. But you are the center of it all. Make sure your message is loud and clear. Remember – less is more.

Home Happens Here Ad Campaign


Home Happens Here

Last week, Howard Hanna officially launched an all-new marketing campaign that reveals our new trademarked corporate tagline: Home Happens Here.™ 

The message, “Home Happens Here,” communicates to both clients and competitors that Howard Hanna is an industry leader, with an extraordinary combination of agents, services, products, and experience. At the core of the message is that, “We make the dream of home ownership a reality. We make it happen.” As Helen said in an all company email, “Home Happens Here is an aspirational, “feel good” campaign that evokes the happiness and excitement of buying a new home… and the visuals are unmistakably branded Howard Hanna Real Estate.

The Home Happens Here.™ campaign involves print and digital advertisements, television spots, and marketing materials for you, our agents, to utilize in leveraging your own individual brands. The television spots began airing Sunday, April 10, on popular network shows like “The Voice,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” and more. For a detailed list of channels and times the ad will run, check with your regional manager.

The song included in the commercial, “I love being home,” is an original piece produced and recorded exclusively for Howard Hanna

Wise Words from Helen Hanna Casey

Every month, our agents receive advice from the President of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Helen Hanna Casey.   Many of these tips she learned from her father, our Founder, Howard W. Hanna, Jr.  And, they still hold relevance in best business practices today.  Most recently, she shared the lesson: “Take a moment and think of just one more thing to do. Now do it.”  Imagine the difference ‘one more thing’ might do for your business when you think you are finished with your tasks for the day.

Here are a few ‘things’ that she shared might make the difference in the year ahead for every agent in our Helen Hanna Caseyorganization:

1.Brag about yourself. Check out the “Extraordinary You” campaign on GoHanna and customize the marketing pieces to send to your sphere of influence. Then post it on social media, and don’t forget to include it for listing presentations

2.Write a thank you note. Mark Zuckerberg wrote one a day, every day, last year and my Dad has done it every day for 50 years. In our digital age, a handwritten thank you note comes across as a remarkable and thoughtful gift. Even an emailed thank you note is appreciated

3.Check your list of buyers from open houses. Call them and see if they are ready to buy

4.Check out your dashboards and follow up with everyone on the list. There are lots of levels that can be converted.

5.Check your web page: update it to assure it grabs a potential client’s attention.

6. Schedule a 10-minute sit-down with your manager to review achievements and goals, and to share updates.

7.Schedule a 10-minute sit-down with your office Finance Manager to discuss how you can work together to assure success.

8.Check out HannaU for some extra tips.

Thank you, Helen and Mr. Hanna, for the wise words!