Power Broker Insights: Building Upon a Family Foundation

As a third-generation broker, with both his grandfather and father deeply involved in the company business, Steve Fase II naturally gravitated toward real estate. Growing up, Fase watched them working hard every day to help buyers and sellers, and help agents achieve their goals. The impact of building those relationships over the years piqued his interest, and today, Fase is owner and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan and Northern Indiana. 

What was it about the family business that attracted you to the industry?

Steve Fase: I would attend sales meetings, attend open houses on Sundays, and even indulge in small pleasures like sneaking sodas from the vending machine. While the journey wasn’t always glamorous or straightforward, the diverse array of people I encountered along the way sparked a lasting fascination with the field. 

How would you characterize your markets over the past year?

SF: The challenges faced in 2023 had a notable adverse impact on the market. In response, we implemented measures such as additional training and document revisions to address these issues. Over time, both buyers and sellers have been adapting to the circumstances. While lower interest rates are helping buyers afford homes, the persistent challenge of low inventory continues to pose difficulties. In a broader context, our markets experienced a decline of around 20 percent in 2023, making it a challenging year. Despite the initial struggles, we concluded 2023 in a better position than anticipated. January 2024, our stats were better than the previous year, with a boost in our pending report and an increase in listings. 

What strategies are you initiating to succeed as the real estate market resets from the boom during the pandemic years? 

SF: To navigate the real estate market’s transition, we’ve revamped our education and coaching department, which includes some amazing leaders. Our approach includes live training sessions, video tutorials, podcasts and regional meetings. Physical presence is key, and we have never stopped being in front of our agents, their customers and our leadership team. 

Additionally, we’re enhancing our core services and upgrading administrative functions to focus on the customer experience and customer-service needs. Our emphasis lies in our agents achieving their goals, identifying amazing broker-owners in our markets for any potential ongoing partnerships exploring mergers and acquisitions, and honing the strengths of our local leaders. 

What is the firm’s growth strategy in the year ahead?

SF: In terms of growth initiatives, we will continue to focus on organic expansion by attracting professional REALTORS who resonate with our work ethic and uphold our standards of excellence, aligning with the values our company, which was founded by my grandfather, 

father, father-in-law and many more amazing leaders. Our culture revolves around love and serving others, and we are continually striving for growth in all areas of life.

What do you consider your firm’s unique value proposition for your markets? 

SF: Our firm distinguishes itself through a combination of a local market presence, embodying the values of our family, and while maintaining a boutique mindset. We are dedicated to developing and serving our agents and employees in achieving their goals. Recognizing the localized nature of real estate, we prioritize offering the necessary support for both agents and consumers, meeting and exceeding their expectations.

How do you maintain a strong and reasonable work/life balance? 

SF: I maintain a work/life balance by establishing a thoughtful plan and setting achievable goals, incorporating a flexible and manageable routine. Prioritizing both family commitments and professional responsibilities is key for me. At the end of the day, amidst the challenges of managing a brokerage of this scale, I attribute my ability to maintain a work/life balance to God. 

What’s the secret for keeping your brokers happy? 

SF: The secret lies in our commitment to listening to their needs and collaborating as a team to address any challenges that arise, and at the end of the day we simply like to have fun. Ultimately, our collective efforts enable us to provide assistance and support not only in achieving their professional goals but also in enhancing their everyday lives. 

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer your staff? 

SF: If I don’t know, I can’t fix it. The best piece of advice I can offer to our staff is the importance of open communication. Additionally, I advise them to trust their own instincts and decisions and to believe in themselves and their capabilities. 


VITALS: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan and Northern Indiana

Years in business: 71 

Size: 42 offices, 936 agents

Regions served:  All of Michigan and Northern Indiana

2023 Sales Volume: $2,549,867,910

2023 Transaction Volume: 9,213

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