Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
I have spent the last three days at the National Association of Realtors conference in Orlando, Florida. Although I am no fan of Orlando, which seems to me like a place without a place, the conference was, as it always is, a fascinating experience in a number of ways. The amount of new technology on display is dazzling, and not just for real estate professionals. Online document management and e-signature applications will be altering the way business is transacted in the legal community and the venture capital and hedge fund worlds as well as in real estate deals of every stripe. It makes me realize, yet again, what a backwater our ultra sophisticated home town remains for the real estate professional and his clients. The rest of the country has sprinted ahead of us in listings search and client interaction software, while we in Manhattan have remained in a minimally competitive environment which has stifled competition and innovation. At last this is about to change, as the RLS, our local version of an MLS, will launch before year's end, opening our city to the enormous grab bag of applications which have been enjoyed by the rest of the country for years.
In addition to the technology, there were some great facts, both general and specific, and a few nuggets of real wisdom imparted by the speakers at the many sessions the Warburg team attended. Here are four of my favorite facts gleaned from the presentations:
- nationwide, the average age of realtors is 55. Nationwide, the average age of buyers is 31. Do these age groups speak the same language?
- the average mobile user looks at her device over 300 times per day!
- in the past year, the frequency with which e-mail was opened on a mobile device increased by 34%,while the frequency of desktop openings decreased by almost 10%
- 28% of the average worker's day is spent reading and responding to e-mail. (I would argue that the percentage is probably higher for real estate professionals. But for everyone, the amount of time we spend manipulating our mobile devices when we should be interacting or speaking with others, especially with the person sitting directly across from us at a restaurant table, is appalling. We have all reverted to the 18 month old stage of parallel play!)
And finally, my favorite bit of wisdom, expressed by real estate coach David Knox in his training for real estate managers: remember that people ASK for advice but what they actually WANT is feedback. Too many sales managers, when asked for advice by the agents who report to them, actually give it! This is a poor idea for two reasons: first, advice almost always inspires a defensive reaction (especially in men). Almost no one actually likes being told what to do. Second, it doesn't breed self-reliance to TELL someone what to do. Feedback, on the other hand, consists mainly of questions rather than statements. "What do you think a good solution would be?" "How might she react if you suggest that?" I find, when I remember to practice the art of giving feedback, that the person sitting across from me almost always already knows what they should do. My role is to reinforce and refine this response.
Although in theory I know that feedback is the way to go, it always helps to be reminded. Giving advice makes ME feel good, because I feel I have solved the problem. But this ego gratification pales in comparison to the benefit, for both me and my team, of giving feedback. Feedback builds confidence and competence in the people around me. As a spouse, as a parent, as an instructor, and as a business owner, this lesson is my most important take away from the week-end in Orlando.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog
For the past fourteen years Luxury Real Estate, and John Brian Losh – President and CEO, have produced an opportunity in the Fall for member-Brokers to gather in various luxury locations throughout the United States to share best practices and to expand relationships with the elite Realtors from around the world. This year’s Fall Conference was held in Bachelor Gulch, Colorado at the Ritz Carlton with the entire Luxury Real Estate staff creating an unforgettable experience for the attendees. Jim Walberg has participated in the last five Luxury Real Estate conferences and has found them to be an invaluable contribution to the growth of his real estate companies.
- Media Fragmentation: In the age of the internet, where does print fit into your marketing plans – hosted by Nick Antonicello from Unique Homes Magazine.
- The Mechanics Of Creative Listening: How to listen better, hear more, and find what matters most! – hosted by Matt Smith, improv actor and corporate trainer.
- The Unabashed Pursuit Of Market Leadership: How to become the Break-Away brand in your marketplace – hosted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel from Napa Consultants.
- The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Real estate evolution; How to get through today and prepare for the future – hosted by Liz Christoffersen Empowering Consulting Group
- Changing Realtor Roles In A Changing Environment: Tracking Realtor involvement on a National and Global level – hosted by Bonnie Smith Allen from Exclusive Mountain Retreats Real Estate.
- The Virtual Luxury Real Estate Office: How to create and Implement your very own profit center – an international luxury real estate office! Hosted by Michael Marquette from Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, and Jim Walberg from Caribbean Islands Realty.
- Redefining The New Luxury: What the new definition of today’s Luxury means to you and your customers. Hosted by Dan McCarthy from Network Communications, Inc.
Besides the daily high level seminars, the annual Luxury Real Estate Awards banquet is held at each of the Fall conferences. Each year Luxury Real Estate honors their top members in various categories. The highest award is the Lifetime Achievement Award given to the member who has set the example of excellence for the real estate industry, their career, and is truly a legend within our industry. This year’s award was given to Tom Anderson from Washington Fine Properties, which he founded in 1999 and is currently the president.
There were several other significant awards presented, with one of them being received by Jim Walberg – the 2009 Global Real Estate Networking Award. This award is presented to the individual who has created the largest real estate network within the luxury real estate world.
Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate (LuxuryRealEstate.com) is a global network of over 1,500 luxury real estate brokerages that is by invitation only. It provides an annual reference guide for luxury real estate agents worldwide to connect their practices, their Buyers and Sellers, and it is made easy because of this member-directory that is published each year. Each member is carefully selected based on the company’s established reputation for performance, experience with high-end properties, and quality service. We are very fortunate that The Bay Area Team and Caribbean Islands Realty were invited three years ago to be members of this prestigious group. Click here for more information about LuxuryRealEstate.com and how it can benefit your real estate needs.
By: Jillian Parker
SEATTLE – (June 25, 2009)- Matt Smith, internationally renowned communications facilitator, and improvisational theatre expert will be facilitating his “Unmasking Potential” training at the 14th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference held in Vail Valley, Colorado September 13-16, 2009.
Matt Smith has studied and mastered the theory of improvisational theatre in which he uses his skills gained to perform effective training workshops. The focus of the session will be on effective communication and how to overcome the obstacles that interfere with successful communication among members of an industry. Through this interactive hands-on workshop, the members of LuxuryRealEstate.com will work towards answering a key question: What strives do we—as individuals and groups—need to make to ensure effective communication? Mr. Smith describes his workshop as “interesting, interactive, challenging” and foremost, “fun.” He consolidates his performance, writing and teaching experience in developing successful trainings based on improvisational theatre theory in: Teambuilding, Creative Brainstorming, Stress Management, Managing Change and Conflict Resolution.
Mr. Smith co-founded the legendary Seattle Improv and Stark Raving Theatres with Ed Sampson where they created numerous shows and monologues including, Beyond Kindness, My Last Year with the Nuns, Helium and award winner Here/There. He has also had influences in on the film and television screens in shows such as Outsourced, Spiderman, Sleepless in Seattle, Whiteface, Northern Exposure, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Almost live! Mr. Smith’s clients include REI, Microsoft, Bank of America and Boeing. His teaching experiences in workshops and intensive trainings have included universities such as Duke, Stanford and University of Washington.
LuxuryRealEstate.com, a 2009 Webby Award Honoree, is the most-viewed luxury real estate specific website in the world. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network includes 1,500 of the world’s finest real estate companies with properties in 98 countries. Participation is strictly invitation-only by CEO/Publisher John Brian Losh. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network is governed by the Board of Regents.
SEATTLE, WA - (May 2009) - The 7th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat was recently held Sunday, April 26th to Wednesday, April 29th, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Keynote Speakers were Mary Whipple, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, and Peter Tongue, Metaphysics and Management Consulting Expert.
The Conference was hosted by John Brian Losh, Chairman and CEO of Luxury Real Estate, (LuxuryRealEstate.com and Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate), a membership-driven luxury brokerage assemblage based in Seattle, Washington. The network includes the most prominent global luxury brokers and meets three times each year, nationally and internationally, to discuss current real estate trends.
The recent conference in Las Vegas covered multiple topics of great interest to those who serve the high net-worth demographic. An ongoing theme, covered at each of the conferences, is the state of the luxury market around the world. In addition, discussions focused on coping with Short Sales and Foreclosures, expanding real estate business through social networking, and being creative and fearless in a down market.
The highlight of the event was a Black Tie Dinner and Awards Presentation, honoring the career of Shari Chase with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award is given twice annually to the Luxury Real Estate member who has set an example for the real estate industry and displayed excellence throughout their career. “Known for high-profile properties and clientele, her firm continues as one of the industry’s pacesetters,” states John Brian Losh. “What others talk about – Chase does.”
LuxuryRealEstate.com is the most-viewed luxury real estate specific website in the world. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network includes 1,500 of the world’s finest real estate companies with properties in 98 countries. Participation is strictly invitation-only by CEO/Publisher John Brian Losh. In Ultimate Homes’ 2008 issue, the network represented more than twice the number of top 1,000 most-expensive properties in the country than any other network. The Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network is governed by the Board of Regents.
The Four Seasons was the venue where Jim Walberg participated in the 7th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Conference as a panel member of Effective Social Networking & Blogging Tools For Realtors.
Imagine being with some of the brightest and best minds in real estate for three days! Well, that is what the Luxury Real Estate’s Spring conference was like this past week. The sharing of best practices with such a high caliber of professionals and business owners is an enviable experience for any Realtor. I was not only privileged to be a delegate at this conference, I also gathered some incredible business ideas that will continue to improve the customer experience for our clients, and grow our business in this shifting markets.
The featured presentation was the panel on how to use internet tools to dramatically expand your real estate business by increasing your lead generation results - the Strategies & Tactics of Top Real Estate Professionals regarding social networking, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Victor Lund from the WAV Group was the moderator. Jon Larrance from Perry & Company, Bruce Hiatt from Luxury Realty Group and me from The Bay Area Team, were the panelist. The interaction with the audience demonstrated that it was THE topic that they wanted to explore most in the 2009 world of social networking.
In addition to the various breakout sessions during the conference, one of the keynote speakers was Mary Whipple, the Olympic Gold Medalist from the 2008 Games was the featured presenter before lunch. It was an inspiring presentation about the steps required for the U.S. women’s eight rowing team to prepare and win the gold metal. She translated the attributes to accomplish such a feat to what it takes to have a successful real estate Brokerage.
Tuesday night was the elegant black tie evening honoring Shari Chase, founder and president of Chase International, with the LRE Lifetime Achievement Award presented by John Brian Losh. The impact Shari has made by growing eight real estate offices in the Tahoe, Reno, and now London, has created a result of over a billion dollars of real estate sales through her company. At this evenings elegant evening I had the pleasure of sharing dinner with Jose Ribes from Spain, and with Bente Matdsen from Luxury Real Estate.
The closing session of the conference featured Peter Tongue as the keynote speaker. The subject of his presentation was Heart-Centered Real Estate. Peter’s message was focused on tapping into the acknowledgement of higher energies that attract good things into their lives - embracing abundance, awareness and positive energy. It was another example of how Luxury Real Estate always delivers quality member services.
The last day of the Luxury Real Estate International - Paris Conference was focused on current and future technology critical to the international real estate community, and what are some concepts for exit strategies for selling a real estate company.
Victor Lund, one of the partners of the WAV Group, was the presenter on technology tools and trends. The research he did for this presentation was impressive. I would recommend you visit their website and learn more about the services they provide real estate companies around the world. I had several discussions with Victor and his fellow partners about how the success of Caribbean Islands Realty can even be expanded.
John Brian Losh was the facilitator for the last two sessions of the conference. The first session was about how one valuates a Brokerage, and if one is ready to retire or move on to a new adventure how can it be sold. There was a very lively discussion on this topic. Several of the comments from the participants were focused on they could not imagine retiring. There is something unique about owning a real estate company that allows one to serve clients as long as one is able and is still finding it a satisfying and profitable experience.
Mr. Losh wrapped up the conference with a time of reflecting on the profitable ideas that we will be taking back to our real estate businesses. There was a LONG list of ideas and tools that will be serving all of us in 2009. Some of my final thoughts from the Paris conference were:
- Some of my personal take aways from the Paris conference are focused on the extraordinary quality of the LRE members. Meeting new LRE friends and expanding friendships with those I already new was worth the price of admission.
- Each of us have unique businesses, and very specific local real estate markets in the as part of the Luxury Real Estate international membership. One can gather all the latest greatest “stuff” for our businesses, however the bottom line is it still is all about personal relationships. People do business with people they trust and actually enjoy working with.
- The ultimate power of the Luxury Real Estate network is still generally untapped. The more relationships we have within Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate the more we are able to leverage our global real estate services and sell more properties.
From Australia to Poland, my real estate businesses have been expanded because of my participation in this important international conference in Paris. AND…did we have some amazing fun in Paris exploring restaurants, and even some fun cave vin bars. Actually, the fellowship time was where the long lasting effects of the Paris conference will benefit all of the delegates. My next adventure was to Geneva after Paris. Stay tuned…more to come.
By Jim Walberg of Caribbean Island Realty
Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate International Conference - Paris, France. Day 2 - all day seminars and networking opportunities
After Wednesday night’s cocktail reception and formal dinner, the real work of the Luxury Real Estate Paris Conference began. With delegates from 14 countries in attendance - from Australia to Poland, Day-2 of the conference focused on how we can expand our real estate company networks in order to create a more global presence in each of our local markets. The Hotel du Louvre was the perfect venue for the work of the conference. It was agreed by the delegates that the international members have barely scratched the surface of what is possible when all of us expand our sharing of information, experiences, and our luxury listings.
Day 2 of the Paris conference opened with John Brian Losh welcoming the delegates from 14 countries. What an impressive group of professionals who have come together to share their best ideas. The 60 delegates had the opportunity to introduce themselves and give a brief assessment as to the condition of their real estate markets given the world economic crisis. It was again a reminder that ALL real estate is local. We also had the chance to highlight one or two of our top listings that may be of interest to a room of Realtors from around the world.
Day 2: The first conference session was titled Your International Marketing Plan - Marketing Your Listings Abroard. Michael Audet from the WAV Group was the moderator, with myself - owner of Caribbean Islands Realty , Olivia Hsu Decker - owner of Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty - California, USA, and John Brian Losh - founder and president of Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate, Seattle, Washington, as the panel members. The second session of the conference was titled Developing Your Global Brand - Perspectives From International Companies. Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group was the moderator, with myself, Ann Chiasson - owner of Sea to Sky Premier Properties - Whistler, Canada, and Ole Jespersen - owner of IRG International Realty Group, Portugal. Some of the highlights that were a part of the open discussion were;
- In the midst of the global economic crisis we need to change/adapt or die.
- Personal relationships are still the key to serving our customers at the highest levels.
- The Internet is merely the beginning of connecting to people - but it is THE critical tool to master given how people want to start a relationship with a Realtor.
- Make sure your business is leading with revenue regarding any financial decisions. Running out of money is why good businesses close their doors. Cash is KING.
- The business and marketing tools provided to the Luxury Real Estate membership are vast in order to assist all of us in the expansion of our businesses. The key is for each of us to understand what they are and then implement them.
The day ended with me having pages of notes, and a significant expansion of my professional and personal global network. It has already opened many new doors for the marketing of our Caribbean real estate projects. We then enthusiastically moved on to the nightlife of Paris. Until my next report…fair winds!
By Jim Walberg of Caribbean Islands Realty
I was invited to speak at the Luxury Real Estate International Conference in Paris this month. London was my first stop.
We are spoiled with 85F degree weather in the Caribbean almost 365 days a year! Europe in January is COLD. The Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate’s 4th Annual International Conference was this month in Paris, and I was invited to be one of the presenters. Before the conference I traveled to London for a few days visiting one of the ten families that make up my “European family”. It is amazing to step into the pace of Europe with London as the first stop. It is one fast paced city!
My time in London was generally walking this beautiful city - from Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, to the museums and art galleries. Another reason why I was in London was to meet with one of the partners of Deloitte - an international consulting firm for the top corporations of the world. My friend is in charge of their international real estate division. My meeting was to gather information regarding his view of what is predicted for Caribbean real estate markets in the midst of the global financial meltdown. It was a very insightful hour with him.
What we are seeing the past six months in Caribbean real estate sales is an abrupt slow down in sales that require a mortgage. And, the European buyers have almost disappeared. If you recall the Russians started showing up last year in the Caribbean and they are no longer visible. The real estate product that is predicted to thrive is the Fractional Deeded Ownerships, and the Residence Club products. The HOT market is expected to continue in the Dominican Republic. It was very useful to have this conversation given that we have already noticed these trends.
No matter what the economic conditions in the world we will still figure out a way to make lemonade out of lemons regarding real estate sales. Until my next report…fair winds.
By Meghan Barry
The praise keeps pouring in from our conference in Philadelphia. Don’t miss an opportunity, register today to join us in Paris or Las Vegas!
It was such a pleasure to attend the conference with you and the rest of the folks at LuxuryRealEstate.com. The great energy, humor and sharing that went on was a breath of fresh air in this current market climate. I hope to see you again in Las Vegas.
-John Roach, Paragon Real Estate Group
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