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  • Sigrid Kingsbury manages 40 real estate agents, along with a full support staff, at Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty.
    Photo by Dylan Roche
    Sigrid Kingsbury manages 40 real estate agents, along with a full support staff, at Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty.

Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty Lives Up To Its Reputation

Dylan Roche
View Bio
January 10, 2018

Think for a moment about all the moving parts of a real estate transaction — the listings, the presentations, the paperwork, the closing process. It’s a daunting ordeal for the buyer, the seller or even the agent.

But Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty changes the game by integrating all the elements of the transaction into a seamless real estate experience. A full-service real estate company with more than 50 offices and 1,700 world-class sales professionals, Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty serves markets across the country and internationally.

The Severna Park office, under the management of Sigrid Kingsbury, lists 43 agents on the roster who are licensed in the state of Maryland and have handled transactions not only in Anne Arundel County but also in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Prince Georges County, Howard County and the Eastern Shore.

“As a manager, I can help [agents] achieve their goals, inspire them to do better,” Kingsbury explained, who has more than 40 years’ experience in the industry. “My job is to support and coach my agents, grow our sales team and ensure our clients have the best experience possible.  I coach my agents on all facets of real estate; today that includes social media, technology and lead generation—that’s my job.”

The combined reputations of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and PenFed Credit Union make the real estate company a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re not a mom-and-pop operation,” said marketing director Karmela Lejarde. “We’re a full-service real estate company for both residential and commercial properties, with the power, backing and respect of the brand of Berkshire Hathaway, and the financial stability of a depository institution behind us, which is the credit union.”

This unique combination has contributed toward the company’s growth throughout the region, placing it in the top 1 percent of all real estate brokerages in the country.

The Severna Park office prides itself on its many successful agents, some of whom have come to achieve what Lejarde described as celebrity status in the community. In 2017, Mia Anderson was named Woman of the Year by the American Businesswomen’s Association, and Frank Taglienti, who has worked in the Severna Park market for more than 30 years, “knows the area like the back of his hand,” in the words of Lejarde.

Kingsbury indicated that there are several factors that contribute to her agents’ success, such as a strong support staff. “What makes us different is that my staff supports the agents one on one, preparing listing and buyer presentations, creating brochures and flyers,” she said. “Our goal is for our agents to maximize their time with their clients.”

Agents also go above and beyond with gestures of gratitude to their clients for their business and referrals. One of these gestures is what Kingsbury describes as a “reverse pop-by,” putting a twist on a real estate practice of popping by a client’s house with a thank-you gift. With a reverse pop-by, clients are invited to stop by the office to receive a gift, such as a complimentary pie that Berkshire Hathaway PenFed agents offered their clients this past Thanksgiving. “People are so tickled by a $7 or $8 pie,” Kingsbury said. “They come in with their kids, they hug the agent, and they’re so thankful.” The simple gesture is one of many ways the office shows clients they are special.

The company even offers special programs such as Real Estate Rewards—where clients can save 1.5 percent of their loan amount up to $10,000 through PenFed Mortgage—and an international website that translates property information into more than 10 languages to be viewed by potential buyers in 37 countries across five continents.

Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty takes an active role in charity work, primarily through Sunshine Kids and the PenFed Foundation. Sunshine Kids sponsors activities for children fighting cancer to give them a break from the monotony of a hospital stay.

“We take them to the White House; we take them to Quantico; we get them to a ride down the Potomac River; we  organize trips  to Six Flags America so they can go swimming and enjoy  the rides,” Kingsbury described. “It’s wonderful to see these children getting away from the hospital and getting away from their medical regimen.”

The company’s other affiliated charity, the PenFed Foundation, works to meet needs of military personnel and their families. Most notably, the foundation built a hotel where veterans can stay for free while they’re receiving services from the Veterans Administration.

Individually, many of the Severna Park agents are involved with their own volunteer and charitable efforts, such as Toys for Tots or SPAN (Serving People Across Neighborhoods).

Looking to the future, Kingsbury and Lejarde foresee more growth and success for Berkshire Hathaway PenFed and for the Severna Park office in particular. “This year, we really stepped up and went all in on growing the company,” Lejarde said, indicating that they were able not only to achieve but also to surpass goals for sales and number of agents.

Kingsbury specified that she hopes to have 60 agents working at her office by the end of 2018, and she will aim to help each of them meet their individual goals. “I train them to be million-dollar-income agents, but their goals are what they can handle themselves,” she said. “But I’ll train them to be the best in the world.”

Those who are interested in learning more about Berkshire Hathaway PenFed Realty in Severna Park are invited to reach out to Kingsbury directly. “They can text me; they can call me; they can email me; they can get in the car and come walk in the door,” she said. The office is located at 565 Benfield Road, Suite 100, in Severna Park, and Kingsbury’s office line is 410-647-8000 and her cell is 410-703-0995. Her email address is sigrid.kingsbury@penfedrealty.com.

That invitation is open to anyone buying, selling or even starting work as a real estate agent.

“The reason Severna Park is ideal for a robust office like this,” Lejarde concluded, “is that the agents don’t need to pigeonhole themselves into luxury properties or first-time homebuyers only. They can spread their wings and handle a diverse group and types of houses. They can grow not only their business but their careers.”

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