Winning Photos Share the Joy in the “Art of Living Better”


Local East Bay Brokerage, BHGRE Reliance Partners, Discovers Creativity Brings Closeness

Berkeley, CA (December 18, 2018) – (RealEstateRama) — What started as a simple employee photo contest at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners in its East Bay region quickly became a celebrated event. Its real estate agents and staff submitted more than a hundred pictures capturing “heartwarming moments in time” as part of its “Art of Living Better” contest. While the winning images were spectacular, the contest became a case where life reflected the art: it brought its team members even closer together.

The winning images:
First Place: Lois Harris , Realtor, Oakland  office – Photo: Couple jumping in the water
Second Place: Mark Hardwicke , Realtor, Berkeley  office – Photo: Dog eyeing breakfast
Third Place: Maria Elola , Realtor, Fremont  office – Photo: Two children laughing


“The real estate business – and being an agent – is more than just about selling homes,” said Matt Cord, President & Owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners. “Agents are people and having a balanced life means there is more than just real estate 24/7. Agents have families, kids, dogs, cats — and life is a joy. This photo contest captures living better in a profound way,” he said.


The architect of the photo contest Shelley Altura, Chief Strategy Officer at BHGRE Reliance Partners, was anticipating “a handful of entries” when she announced the contest in the Fall. She was soon deluged with entries. “We called the contest the ‘Art of Living Better’ because we wanted to celebrate what our people do outside the office. What they shared with us are dozens and dozens of genuinely heartwarming moments in time,” she said.


Altura said she watched the contest do something unexpected. “As agents and staff shared their photos, they shared their stories behind the images. When you share your life’s most precious moments with your colleagues – and many of these photos capture these memories – it brings everyone closer. That was pretty magical,” she said.

Honorable Mentions  included:
Arian Diaz,  Realtor, Berkeley  office – Photo: Father and daughter near the ocean
Brenda Walker , Realtor, Berkeley  office – Photo: Wedding in Mumbai
Miranda Fong , Office Administrator, Fremont  office – Photo: Fabric as art
Kristin Lanham , Realtor, Walnut Creek  office – Photo: Dog and Kristin in the backseat of a car
Rose Brudigam , Realtor & Suzie Tinsley, Realtor, Walnut Creek  office – Photo: Rain Hats in Vietnam – both agents are in the photo
Victoria Curtis , Realtor, Berkeley  office – Photo: Skydiving

Winning entries were judged by a team that included fellow Realtor, Michele Landes of the Danville office, who also is a Professional Photographer, and Altura. Images were judged based on a criterion that included Impact, Theme and Artistic Quality. The brokerage provided the winners with hundreds of dollars in gift card prizes.

About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Reliance Partners

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners is a consumer-first real estate brokerage where the customer experience is everything. Its team of 450 agents in 9 offices throughout California’s Sacramento and East Bay regions help people find the right place to call home. Established in 2016, including the acquisition of Mason-McDuffie offices, industry veterans and business partners Daryl Rogers and Matt Cord lead BHGRE Reliance Partners. Its agents are relationship-based professionals who are among the most respected in their communities. Find them in Auburn, Berkeley, Danville, Fair Oaks, Fremont, Oakland, Roseville, Sacramento, and Walnut Creek. See

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Note: More winning photos can be found online at

Media contact: Kevin Hawkins

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