Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: The Importance of a Morning Routine

This week my travels found me first in San Diego for Mike Ferry’s Production Retreat. It was an incredibly motivating event and I was fortunate to attend with my good friend, Allan Dalton, former CEO of and current COO of Real Living Real Estate. The enthusiasm of the crowd was electric!

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Thoughts on Leadership: Facebook, Vision and Social Trends

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels first found me in Irvine, at our HSF Affiliates headquarters office for alignment sessions with prospective brokerages, a leadership meeting and a Town Hall with our team. From there it was off to San Diego this Thursday afternoon, where I was honored to speak at my friend Danny Morel’s Vision 2018 event at the Lowes Coronado Resort in San Diego. Additional speakers included Gary Acosta, co-founder and CEO of NAHREP; Cheri Tree, founder and CEO of BANKCODE; Mel Robbins, an international bestselling author; and of course, Danny Morel, renowned author, coach, trainer and host for Vision 2018.

The two-day event is designed to show real estate agents how to build clarity in a business plan, grow sales and income, and create raving fans who buy from the same agent repeatedly and for years to come. The conference also focused heavily on social media and the techniques agents MUST embrace to win listings and grow their businesses.

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Agent Embarks on Bucket-list Adventure

Erica Baker, a 27-year-old agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Annapolis, MD, set a goal of traveling to 30 countries before she turns 30. So far, she’s halfway to her bucket-list goal. With a friend, Baker has so far climbed the Great Wall of China, swam with whale sharks in the Philippines, traversed 82 miles of Mt. Everest and spent hours holding the perfect spot for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Australia.

“I’m a real estate agent, so traveling keeps me the best,” Baker told Capital Gazette. “I’m making sure I feed my soul so that I can help others.”

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The REthink Council Experience

By Cameron Deehr

When I was selected for the REthink Council, I had no idea what the next two years had in store for me or my business. I was honored to be named one of four inductees selected to the council for the 2017-2018 term, and I was eager to begin networking with the other fourteen council members, all of whom I knew would bring something different and exciting to the table. From focusing strictly on the luxury market or working as a buyer’s agent on a team, to sharing the best practices that help build and establish relationships with clients, all of the “know how” the other members have in their specific “niches” is impressive. It also makes REthink meetings ideal for learning at least one  new idea to implement into your own business.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Customer Service Matters for Success

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Northern California, taking meetings, participating in conference calls and digging into the second week of 2018. As an organization, we have very specific Wildly Important Goals (WIGS) to accomplish this year and we’re laser-focused on achieving them.

As part of our 2018 goal alignment, we’re making several changes including switching the name of what was once our Affiliate Assistance Hotline (AAH) to Customer Success Team.

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Predictive Analytics, Big Data and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

By Christ Stuart

In the evolution of analytics, we’ve come quite a long way but to quote Alice Cooper, we still got a long way to go. Imagine the early 1990s, when slow, basic, back-office reporting reigned. Numbers weren’t connected to the actual front-office business and were used mostly to support internal decisions. For argument’s sake, let’s call this the 1.0 phase of analytics.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Routines and Collaboration

This week my travels find me in Scottsdale, AZ for the Executive Leadership Conference put on by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, where the theme was “collaborate.” I’m excited to attend this meeting not only because I perceive collaboration to be one of the cornerstones of great leadership—we cannot achieve our success alone—but also because the conference wrapped up with Walter Scott, who sits on the Berkshire Hathaway Energy board, answering questions from Berkshire Hathaway Energy CEO Greg Abel and audience members. Scott has been named by Forbes as one of the world’s richest people and is a lifelong friend of Warren Buffett.

There were many takeaways from his Q&A but the one that stuck with me was the three most important things that Walter told his kids to cherish: 1. Health (don’t do anything to hurt it). 2. Education (once you have it, you have it for life). 3. Community. Be a giver and not a taker. Be part of the community and understand that once you have acquired great things it’s your responsibility to give back.

Another reason why I’m happy to be in Scottsdale has to do with legendary swim coach Bob Bowman, who helped Michael Phelps win his record-setting 28 Olympic medals and was the men’s swimming head coach for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bowman is currently the head swimming coach for the Arizona State Sun Devils and through mutual connections, I was able to have dinner with him and also visit the ASU aquatic complex.

Bowman has long inspired me by his persistence on the importance of a morning routine. In fact, one could argue that Michael Phelps’ dedication to his routines directly correlated to his status as the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time. Bowman started working with Phelps when he was just a child but recognized early on Phelps could be a champion with the right training and the right routine. Their long history working together brings us back to the theme of collaboration from the Berkshire Hathaway Energy conference.

Phelps followed a morning routine and race-day routine that included a hearty diet, stretches and getting in the right mindset for success. He also trained his mind with positive affirmations and reviewed his goals daily. Phelps once said, “I have my goals somewhere I can see them, so when I get out of bed I know I’m waking up to work on what I’m trying to achieve.”

There’s science behind regular routines that create positive mindsets, too. A study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging found that subjects who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. And Robert Emmons, a psychologist at UC Davis, conducted research to show that keeping a regular gratitude journal can significantly increase well-being and positive emotions.

So, what’s the message? Follow a morning routine with diligence and dedication if you want to find greater success. The philosophy not only works for Olympic athletes but also for leaders in any field. My own routine involves taking my M.E.D.S.—Meditation, Exercise, Diet and Sleep. This routine helps me with my keystone habits that create small wins. I know this helps prepare me to have a great day. (If you’d like a copy of my morning routine, I’d be happy to share it with you. Email me: And when it comes to maintaining your morning routine, always remember the wise words of Artistotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

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