#11 Thoughts on Leadership: Goals for the New Year

By Gino Blefari

“When it comes to setting goals, the law of diminishing returns is as real as the law of gravity.” – The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling

It’s an age-old tradition: The clock strikes midnight. It’s Jan. 1 and we mentally run through our list of resolutions for the new year, ready to conquer all of them. And by New Year’s Eve of the following year, we celebrate our accomplishments, satisfied with the fact that we’ve achieved every single goal we set out to attain, right? Well, maybe.

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How to Handle Impostors

By Stephen Phillips

Like many companies, we have a television in the lobby of our Irvine, California headquarters.  At one time it was continuously tuned to a cable news network, but then at some point our receptionist was tired of hearing about nothing but terrorism and pandemics and she switched to HGTV.  That makes sense to me.  I never watch television news, and I like HGTV.

Recently, I was walking through the lobby when I heard an HGTV promotional spot that stopped me in my tracks.  The ad was for a show named Rehab Addict.  The star of the show, Nicole Curtis, was talking about what she does in remodeling old houses in the Midwest.  She was describing her response to both the successes and the failures, and she said, “I want the good days; I want the bad days.”  I was immediately struck by how much wisdom there is in that simple phrase, “I want the good days; I want the bad days.”

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#10 Thoughts on Leadership: A Holiday Message

By Gino Blefari

In my years of business, I’ve come across some exceptional leaders, men and women who can motivate with a single word, encourage with a single action and inspire without saying anything at all. Still, there’s one leader I’ve yet to meet, someone who I consider the epitome of enthusiasm, leading his employees with cheerful insights and sharing with the public nothing but pure joy.

Who is this amazing person, you ask? Well, the happiest leader of them all … jolly old St. Nick.

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#Technology: How Much Is too Much?

By Kyle Rank

Do you remember when real estate was conducted solely through office visits, phone calls and only with pen and paper? Or perhaps you get a feeling of nostalgia thinking about how you couldn’t wait for the next newspaper edition with your newest listing advertisement?

Business looked different not so long ago. Agents would sketch out their negotiations on a scrap piece of paper. Transactions would start and end with a firm handshake agreement. Some people refer to this era as the “good ol’ days.”

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Build Relationships By Getting to Know Your Clients

By Lisa Schultz

As a real estate agent, acquiring clients is a large portion of your workload.

However, once you’ve found your prospects, obtaining and maintaining those relationships becomes one of your primary responsibilities. Many agents lose clients because they aren’t fully meeting their clients’ needs or expectations. For example, the clients may expect to hear from their agent more frequently than they are being contacted. If they are dissatisfied with the service received or expectations are miscommunicated, the client may choose to do business with someone else.

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Why Are we Here?

By Stephen Phillips

Existentialism: a philosophical system emphasizing the existence of the individual as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.

I heard someone say recently that every business owner needs to ask why their company exists. What need is the business filling? What value is the business creating? Who would miss the business if it suddenly went away? That bit about creating value piqued my interest, because I spend a great deal of time thinking about, and working to increase, the value that HSF Affiliates and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices create for affiliates, agents and consumers. I also think about why real estate networks and brokers and agents exist in the first place. What value does our industry create, and for whom?

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#09 Thoughts on Leadership: Never See Failure as Failure

By Gino Blefari 

This week I was in Washington, D.C. to help celebrate the launch of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty. For those who have never been, Washington, D.C. is a beautiful city steeped in American history; you practically feel like a Founding Father walking the cobblestone streets. It’s also the place where you’ll find one extraordinary 132-room, 35-bathroom, six-story home, designed in the neoclassical style and painted white. (Once a real estate agent, always a real estate agent, right?) Inside this white house, some of the country’s—and world’s—greatest leaders lived and prospered, changing the course of history through their actions and words.

One of its most inspirational residents was arguably Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president. Most people know Lincoln for his incredible triumphs for civil rights and basic freedom but did you know that these accomplishments only arrived after years of failure and rejection? Observe:

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REthink Report Re-launch

At HSF Affiliates and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we have an unofficial motto whenever we create something new—and we’ve created hundreds of new things in the past two years—we say, “Launch thin and iterate.”

What we mean by that is, although we work very hard to make everything as good as it can be before we release it, we also recognize that nothing is perfect, nothing is ever finished, and we will always be working to improve. Our process is launch, learn, improve and repeat. That’s why you will notice today a new format for the Rethink Report. This publication has only been in existence for a short time, but we saw a number of ways to improve it, and we’ve implemented them starting today. We hope you like it. Please let us know.

Stephen Phillips
Chief Operating Officer, HSF Affiliates
President, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

#08: Thoughts on Leadership: A Meal to Remember

By Gino Blefari

My travels this week took me to Charleston, SC, to attend the Real Living Connection conference with the outstanding Real Living Real Estate brokers. After I landed in Charleston, I asked the concierge at my hotel for a few good dinner recommendations. She kindly offered her favorite local spots, among them a steakhouse called Halls Chophouse. Now, if any of you know me well, you know I like my steak; the decision was simple.

So, off I went to find this restaurant, walking along the historic streets of Charleston, lined by little shops and restaurants steeped in good old Southern charm. As I made my way to Halls, I noticed most restaurants were empty but it didn’t catch me off guard because it was, after all, a Tuesday night. I didn’t expect much of a crowd, or even a wait, as I turned the corner onto King Street and spotted Halls up ahead. However, when I walked in, I was surprised to see it was completely packed.

“What’s going on here?”

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