Connie Yonshimura, a 40-year veteran in the world of real estate, has built a successful career and has surrounded herself with a dedicated team of professionals who have helped make Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Alaska Realty a top contender in this unique real estate market with a commitment to expand the brand across the entire state.
With a passion for writing and a desire to explore the world, Yoshimura found peace and opportunity in the great state of Alaska. After receiving her master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa and learning from experienced authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, she found herself diving into the world of real estate, writing a weekly real estate column. Not long after, she discovered her passion for helping people through the buying and selling process.
As she shifted into the industry and began expanding her skillset, she continued to write her weekly real estate column. “Real estate is every bit as creative as writing a poem. Every buyer is different, every seller is different, every property is different,” she explains. “Each one of those articles has a backstory about how people end up buying or selling their home or feature a particular home. That curiosity has always propelled me in my real estate career.”
Being involved in any creative process is an important part of Yoshimura’s career. In addition to being a licensed broker, she is also a residential land developer and works with builders throughout the construction process. Yoshimura and her team recently completed a 42-lot single-family subdivision in Sandhill Reserve.
“Alaska is a really big stage and it has lots of different demographics in a lot of different industries; fishing, tourism, oil and gas. There’s really quite a variety of buyers and sellers, and opportunities for development…it’s never boring,” she says.
To better serve her buyers, sellers and builders, Yoshimura was in search of more technology and marketing resources. She decided that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was the right franchise for her and her team to successfully meet each of their goals. “Berkshire Hathaway was the only franchise that we were really interested in because of its integrity, because of its financial strength and because of its stability, and it reached folks nationally and internationally,” she says, further explaining that in Alaska, they attract not only international visitors, but also buyers for a second-home destination.
Assisting in the June 2020 transition to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices franchise, Business Development Director Claire James, has helped Yoshimura transform their marketing strategy over the last four years. “Claire really brought us into the 21st century as far as marketing is concerned,” says Yoshimura, on the work James has done with social media, print and digital marketing efforts.
With eight years of real estate experience under her belt and over four years working with Yoshimura, James has propelled the social media and marketing strategy for their brokerage.
“We use our social platforms as a way to educate not only our buyers and sellers, but also the REALTORS® in our office and the general public,” says James. “Our job is to provide market information and local statistics so that people understand what’s going on in our current market.”
By implementing a strategy that revolves around being consistent with posting, and with the help of RISMedia’s Social Media REsource platform, she is able to better manage her time and share more content and resources to the clients.
“With Social Media REsource, we’re able to schedule our posts and there is more ease in keeping that consistency in that space,” James explains. “Before, we were maintaining it along multiple platforms, which became more time consuming.”
Because Alaska is such a unique and exclusive location, James and Yoshimura have both found it hard to collect and share content that fits their market without taking time away from their clients and leads. Social Media REsource has been a consistent source and wide selection of relevant content. “I like the fact that there’s so much content available.” James says. “We’re a very different demographic from the lower 48, so we can pick and choose what really represents our market.”
In addition to content, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alaska Realty also utilizes the listing feature, allowing them to share and promote available MLS listings across their social media platforms and within the consumer content. James explains that in sharing these listings, they are able to reach a wider demographic while also fulfilling their commitment to sellers by marketing their homes on a wide variety of print and online platforms.
“The listings feature makes it much quicker and easier to post properties. All of the information is already written out for you, so it’s a little bit less time consuming. It allows us to post with just the click of a button,” James says.
By utilizing platforms like RISMedia’s Social Media REsource, and continuing to develop new and creative strategies to keep up with the ever-changing real estate climate, Yoshimura and James plan to continue to provide Alaska’s buyers, sellers and builders with top-quality services while reaching new heights in this unique, one-of-a-kind market.