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.
The conference began on Wednesday with an Opening General Session that featured Emcee Alec Mapa—who was hilarious by the way—and remarks from NAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger, who is acutely aware of the trends in the real estate industry and how they affect the gay and lesbian communities of buyers, sellers and sales professionals. Additional sessions for the day included: Augmented Reality: Next Frontier in Real Estate; Database – Fundamentals, Frequency and Predictable Financial Return; Lead Generation – Mindset, Habits and Scripts that Create Conversion; Why & How to Use Video to Dominate Your Market; 5 Things You Need to Be Doing in the Top 5 Social Media Channels; a keynote by Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers North America, who discussed lessons learned on his journey from entrepreneur to top-producing agent to leader of a real estate brand. An additional keynote was delivered later in the day by U.S. Congressman Mark Takano. To view the full agenda for Wednesday, click here.
Today, I was grateful to deliver a keynote to the packed crowd on how to create an unstoppable mindset and routine that will lead to a breakthrough in business and an increase in production. As you know, I firmly believe that a powerful, regular routine is one of the key ways to create sustainable success in business and life.
After my keynote, Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, discussed consumer trends and how they impact the real estate market, with a specific focus on the LGBT community.
In fact, every session and every presentation both today and yesterday touched on this all-important group and why they’re so impactful from a sales professional standpoint and from the perspective of the real estate consumer. Here’s a fact: The 2017 NAGLREP Homeownership Survey found 46% of those surveyed believe the entirety of the LGBT community is more interested in homeownership now than ever before.
So, what’s the message? If Teresa Palacios Smith, our VP of Diversity and Inclusion were writing this, she’d say “diversity” and I’d wholeheartedly agree. (Teresa, by the way, was in attendance with me at NAGLREP as we brainstormed more ways to incorporate the LGBT community in our brand initiatives.) If we’re not engaging diverse groups—like the LGBT community—in our markets, we’re missing out on an opportunity to grow alongside an influential sector of consumers. Diversity should always define what we do, how we operate in business and ultimately, the uniqueness of who we are.