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 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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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: https://www.realtor.com/goodneighbor/ … and share this post so Deborah can win the award!

Thoughts on Leadership: Clear Your Mind

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels unexpectedly find me working from home, and not, as originally planned, meeting with our network members in Miami for the 2017 Summit Conference. The event was canceled due to Hurricane Irma and its impending destruction and my thoughts are with those in Florida currently dealing with the terrible aftermath of the storm. On behalf of our entire organization, our prayers go out to all of you.

The unanticipated change in schedule did afford me days to fall back into my usual routine, which starts with a 5 a.m. visit to Starbucks, my dog Kona by my feet, writing in my journal and doing my meditation and prayers.

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Thoughts on Leadership: A Time for Change

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in New York City, in particular at the prestigious Harvard Club for RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange, which brings together more than 225 powerhouse real estate leaders from all brands and all sectors of the industry to strategize on how best to meet the needs of today’s consumer.

I’ve been attending this event for more than 20 years and you might ask yourself why I go back to the same conference year after year … Well, here’s why …

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Coaching and Mastermind Groups: A Leadership Program Success Story

By Susan Ireland

One of the biggest drivers to profit in a real estate company is high-caliber leaders. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is hyper-focused on the development and training of stellar agents but knows it’s important to foster great leadership, too.

For years, the business consultant team has used the Operations Review tool to help network members measure certain benchmarks tied to profitability. One key component of this review is the Sales Associate Survey, which includes expectations of leadership, associate satisfaction levels and associate engagement in company tools and resources. Other benchmarks include expense management, agent recruiting/retention and sales associate productivity. In nearly every Operations Review, there was a direct correlation between profitability and strong leadership. 

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Thoughts on Leadership: Wildly Important Goals

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in St. Charles, MO at the Whitmoor Country Club for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Alliance Real Estate Golf Tournament benefitting the Sunshine Kids. Before we hit the green, I met with the Alliance Real Estate team to talk about 8 principles of success and the 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX). I’ve visited the brokerage many times before and each time I’m reminded that Alliance Real Estate has forward-thinking leaders at its helm: CEO/Owner Andrea Lawrence; President/Co-Owner Kevin Goffstein; and Executive Vice President/Co-Owner Bob Bax. It was evident from this meeting that the company is poised for even greater success in the St. Louis marketplace.

After our meeting it was off to a day of golf, and everyone—including actor and Sunshine Kids Executive Director G.W. Bailey who was in attendance for the event—had one goal in mind: Raise money for the Sunshine Kids.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Leading through the Storm

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Northern California, where I’ve been keeping close tabs on the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. I’ve received numerous phone calls, made quite a few myself, emailed network members, and read your emails in return, which detail not only the destructive aftermath of the storm but also the inspiring courage of volunteers who are stepping up from all parts of the country to help where help is needed. Small boats, military Humvees … these heroes are deploying whatever it takes to bring those in harm’s way to safety.

It could be a whole post—or even a book—to explain why the worst situations bring out our very best but it’s certainly worthwhile to examine Hurricane Harvey through the lens of leadership. When disaster strikes, we look to leaders to provide strength, inspire hope, and guide us through hardship toward recovery and ultimately, some kind of resolution.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Business Plan Now!

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Northern California, taking meetings, organizing calls and just this morning, leading a teleconference with Debbie De Grote, founder/CEO of Excelleum Coaching & Consulting all about business planning. For all of us, a business plan is vital because even as an agent we must think of ourselves as a business, and all businesses must have a plan. Remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Some may think it’s strange though to have a business-planning call at the end of August but there’s a reason for this exact timing. During my 30+ years in the real estate business—as an agent, a manager and an owner of a company—I’ve always found that there’s a cash flow problem in the months of January and February. This applies to agents as much as it does to owners.

Why? Because real estate operates on a 90-day cycle, so what we do 90 days before gets paid out 90 days later. This means a lag in business during the fall months will show up in Q1 of the new year. The lag is understandable, though avoidable; it’s obvious to notice right after Halloween a great number of agents go into hibernation. There’s Thanksgiving, the holidays … life gets busy and business gets put on the back burner. (Extrapolate those 90 days during this lull and you’ll understand clearly why cash-flow problems plague us in January and February.)

To get you started, access our Business Planning Essentials by clicking HERE

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