Thoughts on Leadership: Beyond the Basics

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Cincinnati for the National Association of REALTORS® Advisory Group Meeting where speakers included: Lawrence Yun, NAR senior vice president of research; Jeff Barnett, 2018 RES chair and moderator for the meeting; Bill Malkasian, chief advocacy officer, NAR Advocacy Group; Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2018 NAR president; Katie Johnson, NAR senior vice president and general counsel; Eric Eckardt, CEO of Purple Bricks; Jerry Giovaniello, NAR senior vice president and chief lobbyist; and Evan Liddiard, NAR senior tax policy representative and CPA.

Next, I traveled to New Jersey for a Leadership Excellence Forum. I was honored to discuss recruiting at the event, which was themed “Back to Basics.”

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Journey to Somewhere New

By Gino Blefari

This week’s travels took me first to Seattle for AREAA’s 2018 Global + Luxury Summit and next to T3 Summit in Miami, an invite-only think tank for leaders and executives in the residential real estate industry.

I was proud to attend AREAA’s event in Seattle with Peter Turtzo, SVP of international operations for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices; Rosalie Warner, SVP of network services for HSF Affiliates; Troy Reierson, HSF Affiliates director of business development; and Teresa Palacios Smith, HSF Affiliates vice president of diversity and inclusion. As Teresa says, our organization is working tirelessly to ensure that every facet of what we do mirrors the diversity we find in the marketplace. AREAA was an opportunity to enhance that mission through idea sharing, networking and learning about ways to elevate the standards of our industry.

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Dear Fellow Real Estate Agent: Could you PLEASE Communicate?

By Jake Breen

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Thoughts on Leadership: Crushing It

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first working from Northern California and today in Las Vegas for a dinner meeting with Mark Stark, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Mark’s company was represented at our recent Mavericks meeting, a think tank of network CEOs created to discuss the performance of our brokerages. As the saying goes, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

It’s an interesting concept to explore—the idea that measured performance equates to a faster rate of success—especially this week when I’ve had the opportunity to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book, Crushing It. Ultimately, the book is all about how your individual performance can either wade in perpetual mediocrity or, for the inspired leader, allow you to achieve your dreams. If your performance is the latter, then you’re crushing it.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Coming Full Circle

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Indiana for the Mavericks meeting hosted by Craig West, CEO/co-owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Realty. (If you don’t know what the Mavericks are, you can read about the Mavericks here but in short, it’s a small think-tank group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network member CEOs who meet every six months to perform a peer review of the host company, exchange ideas and help fellow members grow.) I always enjoy these meetings because they’re founded in a strong spirit of innovation and collaboration.

During our meeting, we toured a few Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Realty offices and one of them was in Carmel, the fifth-largest city in Indiana known internationally for its roundabouts. Since the late 1990s, Carmel has been building and replacing signalized intersections with roundabouts and now boasts about 100, more than any other city in the U.S.

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What to Know If You’re Just Starting Your Real Estate Career

By Josh Stephens

The time has come. You just finished another episode of Million Dollar Listing and decided that you are ready for a career change. You want to become a real estate agent. Why not? It looks to be easy, lucrative and a lot of fun.

However, the top 1% of real estate agents you see on television are not great examples of what it’s like for everyone in the industry, especially those in their first year as agents. In fact, the amount of people that fail within their first year in real estate far exceeds the amount of agents who succeed. The reasons for this vary but ultimately, it is because of the individual’s understanding about what it takes to be a successful real estate agent.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Retrieving the Win

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me working from Northern California thanks to the fourth Nor’easter that derailed my East Coast plans while on the way to the airport to catch a flight to New Jersey. Snowed in or not, like much of the country, I’ve caught a serious case of March Madness. The tournament is exciting, fast-paced and most importantly, filled with surprising lessons on leadership.

And no match up this year—perhaps no match up in the history of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament—came replete with as many lessons as did Friday’s game between the No. 16 seed UMBC Golden Retrievers and the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, the University of Virginia Cavaliers. If you didn’t watch the game or haven’t yet heard, the Retrievers not only beat the Cavaliers, they blew them out of the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., 74-54.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Take Time to Recharge

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA at our HSF Affiliates LLC headquarters after a busy week in San Antonio for the 2018 Sales Convention. Our annual Sales Convention is always one of my favorite times of the year, a chance to help inspire our network members to innovate, achieve more and grow their businesses through educational sessions, motivational speakers and collaborative discussions. (As I say, in addition to making great connections and learning something new, I guarantee you’ll meet a colleague at Sales Convention who will be good for at least one more deal this year.) But once the event is done, I always take time to recharge.

The concept is powerful yet sometimes overlooked by leaders. We cannot go full force all the time and if we do, we’ll surely wind up burning out or not being fully committed to those particular actions and initiatives (the lead measures) that help us achieve our Wildly Important Goals.

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Tips for Selling Luxury Real Estate

By Onie Bolduc

The key to selling luxury real estate is emotion. You must find out what is driving the desire for each individual buyer to make a luxury purchase. About 99% of the time, it’s emotion driving the purchase but it’s not the same emotion for each buyer.

Luxury, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as “a material object, service, etc. conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance or refinement of living rather than a necessity.” Something luxurious is something above a necessity and the desire to have this luxurious thing—whether it be a house, a piece of jewelry or a high-end car—is driven by emotion. 

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Thoughts on Leadership: A Time to Celebrate

This week my travels found me in the vibrant city of San Antonio for our 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. It was an incredible 36 hours of learning, growing, collaborating, networking, sharing, connecting and most importantly, celebrating. At Sales Convention, I have the opportunity to see people I may only have a chance to network with once a year. Together, we celebrated the success in our network – top agents, top teams, top brokerages – and we celebrated the growth and strategic direction of our brand.

The event kicked off Sunday morning with our broker pre-con meetings followed by our lively Vendor and Exhibitor Showcase. Then, Monday morning was General Session Day 1. Throughout every presentation, we celebrated Sales Convention’s official theme of innovation and explored the concept as a way to create balance between high tech and high touch, the old and time-tested with the shiny and new. I was honored to deliver a keynote about the state of our current real estate union (and where it’s going), which was followed by a keynote on marketing in our attention economy, given by Chris Stuart, SVP of Business Development and Operations at HSF Affiliates.

After General Session, it was off to celebrate our minds, with University courses from world-class speakers and coaches. Finally, Monday night we celebrated, Texas style, at The Rock on Rodeo, where attendees enjoyed a great concert by GRAMMY-award-winning band, Little Big Town.

On Tuesday, we began the day with awards and a deeper dive into our marketing initiatives. If you were at General Session you’d know it was an ode to celebration, complete with acapella singers, joyous award winners and even a Broadway star who serenaded our five-, ten-, fifteen-, twenty-, and thirty-year Legends. The day continued with many more breakout sessions and I was thrilled to see a packed house for my own session, “Mr. Say and Mr. Do.” The session was a discussion with Allan Dalton, a new member of our HSF Affiliates executive team and the former CEO of realtor.com.

Finally, we ended Sales Convention in celebratory form with our Comedy Connection to benefit the Sunshine Kids, where famed comedians had the crowd laughing throughout the night. Raising money for the Sunshine Kids is a cause I will forever celebrate.

In fact, if you haven’t already guessed, celebration is the theme of today’s post because too often leaders forget just how important it can be. Your team and brokerage’s accomplishments deserve recognition. Any achievement, no matter how big or how small, deserves to be celebrated.

When you celebrate your success, you’re inspired to achieve more of it. And when you celebrate success among colleagues and friends, you connect more deeply, forge stronger relationships and build the kind of positive culture that allows for sustainable success. There’s nothing wrong with having fun. If you can do it while also working incredibly hard to achieve your goals, it means you’re striking the right kind of balance in your life. Because to celebrate is to remember the good; it’s a chance to refocus our energies from whatever challenges we face on the road to professional success and recall how very far we’ve come.

So, what’s the message? It’s one I was reminded of in San Antonio and hope you’ll take to heart the rest of this year and beyond. Celebration, just like the kind on display at Sales Convention, is in essence the reinforcement of motivation that carries us through to the next achievement. As Oprah Winfrey once famously said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

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