Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Candace Adams
This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.
Candace Adams helms the ship of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, Westchester Properties and New York Properties. Having served at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for roughly 20 years, the industry vet oversees 1,800 agents throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Adams has overseen several mergers and acquisitions, including the purchase of seven brokerages and the opening of four new offices in the past three years, such as the launch of the first New York HomeServices location in 2017. Though largely residential, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has been working to build a commercial division and expand its commercial team, such as through the acquisition of the Herb Hirsch Commercial Team.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Adams: I am in the relationship business. Building relationships with my colleagues and clients is the most fulfilling and important part of my job. Real estate transactions require a deep knowledge of process but also of people. So much of our business is based on trust and building personal connections and I’ve found that nearly every successful person in the industry will tell you that your relationships will make or break you in this business.
Bisnow: If you weren’t in real estate, what would you do?
Adams: If I were not in real estate, I would want to do something that would positively impact families and small businesses. The most fulfilling part of my job today is helping to grow and develop people.
Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
Adams: That’s such a hard question for me, because no matter what job I’ve had, I somehow found something I liked about it. I even enjoyed selling Girl Scout cookies!
Bisnow: What was your first big deal?
Adams: My first big deal was probably the acquisition of a company called Beazley, in 2005. It was the largest acquisition I had done to-date.
Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Adams: My biggest failure was [acquiring] a company whose values did not align with our company. It quickly turned into a disaster and many parting of ways. I learned from that experience to trust the core values that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is built on and I apply this lesson to the decisions that I make for the company today.
Bisnow: How do you define “making it”?
Adams: I define making it by being self-actualized, being in control of my life every day in every way. Happiness, peacefulness and sense of security all play into my feeling of making it.
Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Adams: My biggest pet peeve is someone who does not take responsibility for their actions.
Bisnow: Who is your greatest mentor?
Adams: Greatest mentor — so many, I would say my first partner who helped me come into my own professionally.
Bisnow: What is the best and worst professional advice you've ever gotten?
Adams: The best advice I’ve gotten is to be yourself and never compromise that in business or in your personal life. The worst advice would be that all that matters is the bottom line — I have never found this to be true.
Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?
Adams: Time with my family.
Bisnow: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
Adams: My favorite restaurant is The Homestead in Greenwich, Connecticut. The ambiance is just beautiful, and the food and service are fantastic.
Bisnow: If you could sit down with President Donald Trump, what would you say?
Bisnow: What's the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Adams: The biggest risk I have ever taken was opening Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties, in New York City. We were essentially a startup, albeit under the umbrella of one of the most powerful financial companies in the world. One year later I am incredibly proud of the commercial and residential teams we have assembled.
Bisnow: Whose work do you most admire?
Adams: I truly admire the work of my daughter, Kelly Fraser, founder of “Green Apple” college counseling. Her passion and drive to provide the most compassionate, considerate guidance to students of varying skill sets through the college process is amazing to watch. The joy she gets out of helping her students reach their goals is truly uplifting.
Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?
Adams: I am a worrier, so everything keeps me up at night. There are always these small details that [you] forget that make a HUGE difference in the outcome of any decision. I tend to replay the day and then proactively run through my next day … every night.
Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?
Adams: I am passionate about making a positive difference in the world and it starts with my family. We have always believed that doing the right things makes the right things happen. Not to mention our family tagline is “everything happens for a reason.”