Thursday, February 24, 2011


Las Vegas - Thomas R. Wilkins, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates attended FUSION--2011, the first ever Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® national convention held February 9 - 11, 2011 at the Aria Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Of particular interest was the fact Wilkins & Associates was the first company to join Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® when Reaoloy publicly announced the licensing agreement with Meredith Publishing in July of 2008. Wilkins also attended the formal announcement of the BHG brand in San Francisco at the 2008 Inman Convention.

The FUSION--2011 Convention featured a number of nationally recognized motivational speakers as well as industry leaders including Brad Inman, founder of Inman News, one of the most successful online Real Estate magazines in the industry. Other speakers included Alex Perriello, President and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group; Tom Ferry, author of Life By Design and the Key to Success through a Balanced Lifestyle; "Building your Business Online" featuring Dustin Luther, Gahlord Dewald and Jeff Turner; Rapid Fire, My 10 Favorite Online Listing Tools; Stefan Swanepoel a well-known professional speaker about the 2011 market trends.

The most popular speaker was Up Close with Brad Inman a live interview by Brad Inman conducted by Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. There were a number of other speakers, panel discussions and videos during the two day event.

On Wednesday, February 9, by invitation only, Wilkins had the privilege of touring, one of today's hottest online shopping stores. Zappos was started by Tony Hsieh, who came up with the idea of starting an online shoe store because he could not find his size/color in stock. Friends and family invested $150,000 to get them started. Their unique style of business and cult-type atmosphere for their employees is something that will change the face of online retail forever. Everyone who attended received Tony Hsieh's #1 New York Times bestseller Delivering Happiness--a Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.

Said Wilkins "One of the highpoints of the convention was the announcement that Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® is expanding into the luxury, urban and commercial markets with the creation of three new brand tiers."

The first announcement was Elegant Properties by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® which is BHG's luxury offering. Properties and homes of exceptional quality that are priced at $750,000 or above or priced at the top 10 percent of residential properties in a market place will qualify.

The Elegant Properties division will have their own identity including a new logo and a full suite of sophisticated marketing and sales materials including its own micro-site hosted by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® main website.

Next was Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® Urban Properties which will offer a fresh modern expression of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® brand design to meet the unique needs of residential listings in city center locations.

Last will be BHGRE Commercial which will enable its Brokers and Agents to represent non-residential listings in their local market. The program enables listings online to include office, vacant land, retail, farms, shopping centers, five-plus family homes, hospitality and special purpose properties to be a part of the commercial program. This will greatly expand the Agents lead generation and revenue generation opportunities. BHGRE Commercial will have its own identity and a full suite of materials for Brokers and Agents.

Wilkins owns the local Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate office with the corporate office located at 304 Park Avenue, Stroudsburg and two retail offices, the first in Stroudsburg and the second in Bushkill. Prior to the slow-down of the real estate market, the Wilkins organization had 14 real estate offices. Said Wilkins "Once the market starts to turn, you'll see us starting to expand again. Right now we only have plans to reopen in the Mount Pocono area which hopefully we should be doing over the next couple of months."

Selling homes since 1988, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates services the entire Pocono Mountains, North Pocono/Moscow area, historic Milford and all towns in between. Better Homes and Gardens Realtors handle listing, rentals and sales of primary, vacation and starter homes, as well as estate and farm properties. Buyer services include first and second home buyers, relocation buyers and transferees. Visit Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates on line at

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