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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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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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.”

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: 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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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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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Innovative Real Estate: New Name, Timeless Values

By Melissa Kandel

It’s no secret Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Innovative Real Estate in Denver is a brokerage powered by the concept of innovation—the word appears in the very title of the company. But to hear Broker/Owners Scott and Lora Nordby speak about what innovation means to them, the term takes on a meaning all its own.

“When we were attempting to figure out who we wanted to be, innovation was the direction we wanted to go,” explains Lora Nordby. “There were so many agents who had lost the care for their clients, and so many consumers who had been manipulated by a real estate transaction; we wanted to be able to turn those potential home buyers and sellers around and make them realize we’re an industry of assistance and information sharing, which for us was a very innovative idea.”

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Thoughts on Leadership: Face-to-Face Leadership

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA at our HSF Affiliates LLC headquarters for a Sales and Service conference. The conference brought together our sales, service, operations, education and business consulting teams for a collective, three-day event filled with presentations, team-building activities and idea-sharing. As you know, I’m a firm believer in setting Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) and not just setting these WIGS but also limiting them to only the very most important achievements you need to get done. These were our two WIGs for the meeting:

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Thoughts on Leadership: Collaboration and Success

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Lewes, DE to meet with the fantastic team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty and spend time talking to Gallo Realty’s leadership team, including Broker/Owner Andrew Ratner. We sailed along the historic Lewes Canal, we dined outdoors at an incredible, 3-acre property owned by Chris Holt, COO of Gallo Realty’s The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group. We also discussed principles for success, time management and how to create an unstoppable mindset to win in business … and in life. All in all, it was time well spent  and I couldn’t be prouder of the great work the Gallo Realty team is accomplishing in their marketplace.

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Thoughts on Leadership: A Franchise Sales Philosophy

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Denver, CO for the HSF Affiliates Franchise Sales Team Meeting. As it happens, Denver International Airport (DEN) has been named the most on-time airport in the U.S., and the city is known as the most educated in America, boasting the highest percentage of college graduates. What better location could we choose for a conference bringing together our punctual and skilled sales team members?

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