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

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.”

Thoughts on Leadership: See You in San Antonio

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me first in Northern California and next in San Antonio, where preparations are underway for the 2018 Sales Convention, which commences Sunday, March 4. Our theme this year, as you know, is innovation, and I’m honored to be delivering a keynote speech about the definition of innovation and the ways in which innovation is—and should be—ever-present in our businesses and lives.

As a preface to what I’ll soon be saying onstage, one of the main questions I’ll seek to answer is how we as an organization can strike the appropriate balance between high-tech and high-touch to propel our brokerage network and its members forward. How can we juxtapose an ever-evolving digital landscape with a growing renaissance to connect beyond the computer screen and the smartphone to add much-needed humanity back into our personal interactions?

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Thoughts on Leadership: The Importance of Preparation

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me first in Dallas to rehearse for the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention and next in Northern California where I continue to get ready for our upcoming event, happening March 4-6 in San Antonio. Our theme this year is “Innovation” and the topic plays well with the serious preparation happening for Sales Convention.

In my mind, innovation and change cannot happen unless you’re fully and totally prepared for the changes taking place. It’s always interesting to me when something major is happening—a big change, the launch of an innovative endeavor—and people wish you “good luck” with regards to this new development. Of course, the well wishes are always appreciated (as leaders, we must forever be humble and grateful for the support we’re given) but luck in the context of effective leadership is an interesting thing to study.

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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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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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REthink Council Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Introducing the 2018 National REthink Council

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, today named its 2018 National REthink Council, a group of 15 top-producing, motivated young agents from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerages around the country.

“We understand the importance of investing in the future of real estate,” said Gino Blefari, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices president and CEO. “The REthink Council provides us with such an opportunity and enables us to tap the collective intellect of very bright, young professionals. Their input helps us shape strategies and decisions, and it gives us a leg up on how younger consumers and professionals feel about real estate.”  

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Thoughts on Leadership: Leading through the Storm

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Southern California for meetings at our Irvine HQ. For my message today, please watch the below video and remember that strong leadership is great to have when things are going well but it’s an absolute necessity when faced with overwhelming challenges. In fact, it’s one of the only ways to overcome them.

Case-Shiller: Home Prices Rise 6.2% in September

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index jumped 6.2% in September, beating the 6.1% increase expected by economists polled by Reuters.

David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones indexes managing director, said the index is rising “at the fastest annual rate since June 2014.”

Added Gino Blefari, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices: “Home prices are rising across the country for many sound reasons. We have a healthy U.S. economy and an unemployment rate at its lowest level in nearly 17 years. With wages gradually rising and mortgage rates still near historic lows, people are feeling more confident and are looking to buy homes. A tight supply of homes has also contributed to home-price increases but we see a silver lining here. As home equity grows for existing homeowners, we believe more people will list their homes, which should bring greater balance to housing inventory and the market overall.”

Thoughts on Leadership: Innovation and Planning

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in San Antonio, TX for 2018 Sales Convention planning. As you know, I’m a huge proponent of planning. Last year during my keynote onstage at Sales Convention, I even quoted one of my all-time favorite sayings by Dwight D. Eisenhower: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”

Also, for those who haven’t read it, I wrote a post all about business planning here.

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