We recently announced the exciting appointment of real estate industry veteran Budge Huskey to the ranks of leadership at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty as president. While we’ve shared his impressive career history and accolades including his #10 ranking on the Swanepoel Power 200 report as well as his position on Inman’s list of most influential people in real estate, we sat with Budge to discuss his passions, strengths and vision.
PR: First and foremost, welcome to the company. We’re so excited to have you on board.
Budge: Welcome the opportunity, and indeed so am I. While only four weeks in the role, I’ve already visited every office in the company and met so many members of the team responsible for its success who’ve made me feel welcome. As the real estate business is all about the people representing a company and brand, building new relationships with our talented professionals is my priority.
PR: You’ve been in real estate for over 33 years in numerous positions on many different levels, from private brokerage to CEO of a global real estate brand; what parts of real estate drive your passion for the industry?
Budge: While real estate has become far more complex and competitive over the years, at its core it remains a highly entrepreneurial business based on individual initiative and creativity. It is highly emotional and unpredictable. No matter how long you’re in it, it’s always new and challenging. No one ever fully figures it out, a fact which probably drives most people away from real estate but keeps me engaged. Its lack of predictability is why every single start-up based on a premise that technology is more important than the human element has failed miserably. And it’s why others have shifted from a position of seeking the demise of the Realtor to seeking how they can become our partners and support our success.
PR: With such an unpredictable industry, how do you continue to learn and stay update on new trends and business strategy?
Budge: Devoting the time to pause in a hectic schedule to observe and learn from others is a challenge for all of us. I read, attend conferences, and look beyond real estate to how companies in other industries win the minds and hearts of consumers. But, above all, I learn the most from those who are closest to the customer, the agents, as they will always be the first to spot a shift or employ a new tactic. My job has often been interpreting and spreading the intelligence they possess.
PR: You’ve accomplished so much across many different boards, positions and companies. How have you come to approach change?
Budge: We’re real estate people. We freak out every time we’re asked to change a password. It’s just our DNA. But a fundamental trait in every great salesperson and, in fact, every great business person period, is they’ve done what others were unwilling to do. They have pushed themselves into being consistently uncomfortable. They have failed, learned, persevered and ultimately succeeded. That is the path to realizing one’s potential. I had doubts every time I went to a different level. Those doubts simply had to be overcome through daily execution.
PR: Out of all of the opportunities to continue your real estate career after your previous position, why Premier Sotheby’s International Realty?
Budge: How much time do we have? First, I have worked with Judy and so many members of this team whom I admire and know there is such deep talent across the company. Second, PSIR is an incredible firm with a strong foundation and the momentum which comes from recent expansion. Third, Sotheby’s International Realty is simply the most powerful brand in real estate which resonates with affluent clientele who expect something more from their real estate experience. And last, I can only sell what I believe in, and that includes location. The markets we serve are the markets in which I want to personally live.
PR: How do you hope to inspire or make a difference in the company?
Budge: A meaningful impact may come only after sufficient time is taken to fully understand what makes the company unique and hearing the insights of those who are responsible for its success. Only then my I assess opportunities for future growth and improvement. Judy has established a clear vision for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, and my job is to ensure the right strategy, infrastructure, and people are in place to move us closer to the realization of that vision daily. We must demonstrate growth with a continued commitment to quality. That’s a core belief that both Judy and I share.
Coffee Talks with Budge will be an ongoing series of interviews with Budge. For more information on Budge and the rest of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty leadership team, click here.