Thoughts on Leadership: NAGLREP in Palm Springs

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Southern California, specifically in Palm Springs for the 2017 National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) 2017 National Convention. Key to my role as CEO of HSF Affiliates is to attend so many events and I have to say, I think the real estate industry does an incredible job putting together its national and local conferences.

It makes sense the real estate industry is among the best. These gatherings are our chance not only to gain new knowledge about real estate but also to make important connections, discover best practices, network with intelligent professionals and at the core, grow our business. In real estate, we rely on no one but ourselves for our ultimate success. If we can’t close a deal, if we can’t nail the listing appointment, if we’re not informed about the market, then we don’t get the business. That’s why real estate conferences are so well-put together and refined. They’re essential for us to become better leaders. NAGLREP is no exception.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: CFOs and Trendsetters

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels took me to Asheville, North Carolina for the annual CFO Conference, which brings together CFOs from among the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network to share ideas and economics trends. Also during the conference, we discussed best practices for how the CFO can better serve his or her company as not only the financial steward of the organization but also as the trusted partner to the CEO and leadership team.

I was excited to be among the CFO community at such a picturesque location though while I spend time on the East Coast, my thoughts remain with those in West, particularly in Northern California where devastating wild fires still rage, one of the worst fires to hit the Golden State, ever. We all send prayers to those affected by this awful disaster, and hope the winds cease soon and the flames are able to be extinguished so recovery can begin. Stay strong, California, we are with you!

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Thoughts on Real Estate: A Crowded Market Spurs Buyer Creativity

By Gino Blefari

For many homebuyers, rising prices and low inventory continue to push the market seemingly out of reach. In the CoreLogic Case-Shiller September report, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco experienced the steepest price hikes with 13.5%, 7.6%, and 7.4% increases respectively since last year. Also, the National Association of REALTORS®  says existing home sales were down 1.7% last month.

Yet despite these market challenges, our research shows that prospective buyers, particularly Millennials, remain positive about the market and are determined to find the home they want. This may be, in part, to the resourcefulness of buyers who have found increasingly novel ways to make their bid stand out.

Our national Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homeowner Sentiment Survey released in September found that:

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A Day at Disney with the Sunshine Kids

By Melissa Kandel

It’s one thing to understand sunshine, know that it brightens darkness, signifies the start of a new day but it’s another to really experience it, warm and shiny in the early morning. You can feel it then as something real and almost tangible, and it’s so much more than just a nebulous thought in your mind, gone as quickly as it came.

That’s probably the best way I can describe my recent time spent with the Sunshine Kids at Disneyland and California Adventure Park, part of the California Fun-Time Fantasy trip that brings the children to various locales on the Golden State’s Southern coast each year. I was volunteering as a representative from the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices corporate office, sent to take photos and document the day.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Altruism amid Tragedy

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in San Diego for the 2017 AREAA National Convention. The conference focused on how real estate can better serve buyers and sellers of diverse backgrounds and I was honored to participate in a panel discussion about the Fair Housing Act, created to ensure homeownership for all. The onstage dialogue was detailed and thoughtful, meant to get to the core of the Fair Housing issue and figure out how we can create a better way to protect renters and buyers from unlawful discrimination.

Next, my itinerary would’ve taken me to Las Vegas for the Zillow Group Broker Forum. The event is invite-only and happens each year, bringing together the nation’s largest brokers to meet with Zillow Group executives and industry leaders to share ideas about trends in real estate. It would’ve been enlightening and informative, I’m sure, but Monday morning I received an email the event was cancelled, and the cancellation was of course the right thing to do.

As you know, Sunday night marked the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history and on behalf of our organization, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the awful tragedy in Las Vegas. This entire week has felt expectedly heavy on our hearts as the country mourns great losses, consoles and slowly, somehow attempts to heal.  

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Congratulations to Deborah Berg, Honorable Mention for the 2017 Good Neighbor Awards

Congratulations to Deborah Berg, agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HWWB, REALTORS®, for receiving the “Honorable Mention” in REALTOR® Magazine’s 2017 Good Neighbor Awards! Berg was also a 2017 Web Choice Favorite, an online competition which saw a record-breaking 93,000 votes! The publication will donate $2,500 for Berg’s Honorable Mention win and an additional $1,250 bonus for getting the next-highest vote totals in the Web Choice Favorite contest.

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Vote Deborah Berg to Win Realtor Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award!

Today is the final day! Please vote for Deborah Berg, agent with Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices HWWB, REALTORS® in Birmingham, MI, who is a finalist in Realtor Magazine’s prestigious Good Neighbor Awards! She runs “the country’s largest rummage sale,” which raises an impressive $225,000 each year to support people in need through 35 non-profit organizations. She manages a force of more than 700 volunteers during twice-annual, week-long sales. Throughout the rest of the year, she oversees the acquisition of furniture and high-value donations. Let’s support Deborah Berg, an amazing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales professional and a testament to what it means to be Good to know™.

VOTE HERE before 5 p.m. CT: … and share this post so Deborah can win the award!

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