Three generations hone realty, people skills |

Three generations hone realty, people skills

Aly Lawson
Mike Berney, left, is being joined by his son, Josh, in the family business Cari Norcutt began operating 40 years after Mike's father launched it.

Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Josh Berney has joined local business icon Berney Realty on Williams Avenue.

When Bud Berney and his wife initiated Berney Realty in January 1968, they couldn’t have known for sure that nearly 50 years later, son Mike and grandson Josh would be carrying on the Berney real estate business tradition in the Lahontan Valley.

After 40 years of family ownership, Mike sold the business to longtime sales agent Cari Norcutt with the same company name and the same employees. The Fallon Star Press’ Merry Thomas reported the news in April 2008.

Thomas wrote that with this transition Mike was able to step away more from daily operations and focus on clients as well as his family, while Norcutt took the reins and also continued in the tradition of a tight-knit, family-oriented business team.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to own a business with such great history,” Norcutt said. “Bud Berney is the wizard here at Berney Realty that we never had the chance to meet. I swear I feel Bud’s presence often and that he is still a big part of our success.

“We are so lucky to get the continued knowledge and work ethic of his son Mike Berney and now get the chance to work with the third generation, Josh. Very few businesses, especially one that has sold, can say that. I am excited to have Josh as one of my sales agents and am confident he will carry on this great family tradition.”

Mike said he obtained his real estate license at age 19 but didn’t return from college to work at Berney Realty until Bud was ready to retire. Mike said his father’s work ethic of honesty and integrity inspired him — and returning when he was more mature aided his confidence and readiness to enter a career that has given him many rewards, Thomas reported of Mike’s comments.

As Mike contemplates retirement in the somewhat near future, Josh is fully on board at the office. A Greenwave alum and 2017 economics graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, Josh also earned his real estate license in March.

Josh said he’s excited although still getting used to being back in a smaller city than Reno.

“It’s nice to have someone to answer questions,” he said of his father. “And there’s a lot of them,” he added smiling.

Mike said he did the same thing with his dad.

When asked about how complex purchasing a home can be, Mike added that to him, that’s why there are professionals, whether a plumber or a pilot or another type of expert.

Mike also mentioned how offers used to be one page, now 12 or even 20, which he noted can be ridiculous. He added interest rates in the 1980s were 18-20 percent.

“It went from that to just having a terrific company,” he recalled. “Great people … It’s the people. We have so many friends that we would’ve never known.”

Mike said one makes a good living but the people are the reason to do it. He had told the Fallon Star Press that not working a regular 8-5 job and spending a lot of time with a family in a short amount of time — doing something personal and important like choosing a home — you become close quickly and often remain close.

The award-winning team has remained at about 14 agents plus an office manager, and Mike said their clientele is diverse, ranging from retired individuals to new teachers, to Navy pilots or commuters.

“I think we’re seeing a little bit of it,” Mike said regarding the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center’s housing need, adding it will take continued Reno and Sparks home price escalation to start extending that market 30 miles and more.

“That’s going to be interesting to see,” he said.