Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties Partners with a Powerhouse Local Brokerage

By Melissa Kandel

In late April, Drysdale Properties acquired Alameda, CA-based Harbor Bay Realty—a longtime market leader in the area. Drysdale Properties President and CEO Gretchen Pearson continues to lead the brokerage while Dennis Pagones, former president and CEO of Harbor Bay Realty, now serves as sales manager of the company’s Alameda office.

The partnership not only deepens Drysdale Properties’ footprint in the East Bay marketplace but also brings together two longtime real estate leaders in a powerful alliance that will expand the reach and resonance of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand in Northern California.

I caught up with Gretchen and Dennis to learn a little more about how this partnership came about, what can be expected from it and how exactly these two innovators see the brokerage growing in the future.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Recharge

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Hawaii, meeting with the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai‘i Realty and spending time with good friends and family. My trip to the Aloha State reminds me of a recent video I shot all about the power of stepping away from the computer, the cell phone, the office and recharging to regain the strength necessary to effectively lead. Many leaders overlook the worthiness in time off—it’s just work, work, work—but the act of regularly recharging is not only instrumental to better leadership … it’s absolutely necessary! Watch this video to learn more …

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Thoughts on Leadership: Powerful Presentations

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Santa Barbara, CA for the 2017 Berkshire Elite Circle Conference, honoring the Top 50 brokerages in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network. It was an experience to be remembered, a celebration of some of our network’s finest leaders and a chance to gather actionable insights from the wisdom of not only these wise real estate innovators but also our keynote speakers, and my good friends, Tom McCarthy and Carmine Gallo. Both Tom and Carmine presented on the topic of … presenting, and delivered straightforward, sharp advice related to the subject.

I believe presenting is such a large part of any business—not just in real estate with listing presentations but for anyone involved in any business. You must always present your story, your product and your brand to others and do so in a way that captures their attention. Given the significance of presentations, I want to share some of my favorite takeaways from everything Carmine and Tom said.

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Travel to Learn

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in the city of St. Louis to meet with the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, an amazing group of real estate professionals who prove with crystal-clear assurance what you can achieve when you have a strong, vibrant culture at your brokerage business.

I have to tell you, being in St. Louis was really an eye-opening trip for me. I’ve long been a fan of the idea that new eyes see old things in new ways and sometimes, these “eyes” aren’t literal eyes but instead places, things and experiences that widen your perspective in ways you never thought possible. Travel, in this sense, is more than just going from one place to another but instead a complete mindset shift and a chance to learn what you otherwise would never have known. For instance, who knew that there’s an area of St. Louis called “The Hill,” home to baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Gargiola Sr., who spent their childhood living across the street from one another on Elizabeth Avenue?

“Not only was I not the best catcher in the Major Leagues,” Gargiola once famously said, “I wasn’t even the best catcher on my street!”

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Thoughts on Leadership: Be Relentless

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Northern California for a lunch with best-selling author and communications guru, Carmine Gallo, then in Southern California—specifically in the City of Industry, CA—for Relentless. The annual event, through interactive educational sessions and keynotes, details ways attendees can navigate daily obstacles while improving their lives both personally and professionally. As always, it was hosted by my friend Danny Morel, also broker/owner at Intero Real Estate Services of Southern California and a real estate coach. I’ve known Danny for almost 20 years, even well before his Intero days and then when he came to own an Intero real estate franchise. Now, he’s crushing it in his brokerage’s market of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, on social media, and through the inspiration he imparts to tens of thousands of aspiring real estate agents nationwide.

Relentless is all about that passion Danny so clearly possesses, and it’s a passion not only to make his own wins a reality but also to help others accomplish their goals, too. I couldn’t have been more honored to join Danny onstage to talk about such an important topic.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Memorial Day 2017

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Las Vegas for the ICSC REcon event and next in Minneapolis for the HomeServices of America, Inc. CEO meeting. Before I describe Minneapolis, I want to first explain ICSC, the world’s largest retail real estate convention with more than 37,000 attendees representing 58 countries. These commercial real estate powerhouse leaders gather each year for deal making, networking and innovative education, and it was incredible to be among so many passionate commercial sales professionals, especially as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices continues to grow its commercial sector nationwide.

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Thoughts on Leadership: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Atlanta for the Relocation Directors Council Spring Meeting then off to our nation’s capital for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo (follow the conversation on Twitter at #NARLegislative) held annually in Washington, D.C. to provide an opportunity for NAR members to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy and the association at large.

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Thoughts on Leadership: Takeaways from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA for meetings with our HSF Affiliates teams and employees. Unfortunately, an injury kept me sidelined from Omaha, NE and the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting over the weekend but I followed along with the progress and commentary that came out of the event, which provided enlightening insights into the mind and mastery of the Oracle of Omaha, Mr. Warren Buffett.

I’ve spoken before about the serendipitous connection I feel with Mr. Buffett—I was born in a town where everything was called “Berkshire,” my mom was born just 12 days apart from the famous investor and like Mr. Buffett, she used to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her kids—and so it should come as no surprise that I research and review his philosophies on leadership, life and business quite closely. Here are some major takeaways gleaned from what he revealed at Saturday’s meeting:

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Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: T3 Summit

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Westlake Village, CA for the 2017 T3 Summit, a premier real estate event that brings together leaders from around the country to take part in hearty discussions about the current state of our industry and how to best move the needle forward and bring about positive, progressive change. More than 30 CEOs and C-level executives join Stefan Swanepoel, chairman/CEO of the T3 Summit Group, onstage during the conference, sharing their unique experiences and how they’ve overcome challenges specific to residential real estate. I was humbled to have been asked to be among this group and honored to share my life’s story with the crowd.

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Balance of Old and New

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Northern California working from my home office then in Denver for the 2017 Real Trends Gathering of Eagles conference. This year marks a special one for the annual assembly of our country’s brightest and most innovative real estate leaders, as Real Trends is celebrating 30 years in business. Since the start of 2017, Steve Murray, editor and president of REAL Trends, Inc., has been publishing articles all about what the milestone means not only for the company but also for him. Murray said this in a recent story about the anniversary: “Things have changed—and not changed—since that first edition … It’s funny to think how the world has stayed remarkably similar over the past 30 years.”

Here are some fun facts he shared about the real estate industry when REAL Trends first began:

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