You may have never heard of Christy Budnick, but she is suddenly one of the most powerful people in residential real estate. Last week, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, a hulking network of franchisee brokerages, named Budnick its CEO. Budnick replaces Chris Stuart, who took a job as president of Place, a real estate technology platform for both brokers and agents.
Irvine, California-headquartered BHHS has 370 franchisees, which conservatively racked up 270,000 home deals in 2020, per tabulations of numbers reported to RealTrends.
BHHS is a separate entity from the HomeServices of America brokerage, though that brokerage’s CEO, Gino Blefari, also serves as chairman of the board for BHHS. Both franchise and brokerage are a small fraction of the Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a company with a market value of nearly $700 billion.
The daughter of a real estate agent, Budnick first went into finance, working with Bank of America. But she has led BHHS’s Florida Network Realty for the last 19 years.
How can Budnick possibly move from overseeing one franchise to 370? And how will she make her mark? HousingWire recently sat down with Budnick, shortly after her ascension to CEO, and here’s an edited version of that discussion:
HousingWire: Chris Stuart was CEO for 2 ½ years. What did Chris do that you might do differently?