The truth of the real estate industry is that while real estate has always woman-powered, it hasn’t always been woman-led. That’s continuing to change and the California Association of Realtors® is at the forefront of that, showing the way not just through their own executive structure but through the creation of the WomanUp conference.
Over 300 men and women gathered in Pasadena, California to share wisdom, wit, and guidance for how to get to the next level in life and leadership. Women have unique gifts to bring to the table but they often hesitate to step up and ask for that next big role -- the only way for this to change is through support, advocacy, and bringing those fears out into the light.
Panels focused not just on tips from decades of success but also the very real things that we can learn from failure. Dealing with failure is at least as important as handling success in terms of life and business. The speakers on the panels were open with their failures, whether they were about getting overextended in business, not daring to dream, or coming back from a tremendous defeat.
If there is anything the conference showed it is that each woman is different. Women are not all nurturers, not all relationship-centered. Some are bold and fearless, some need time to make the leaps. One thing that most women do share is the ability to create partnerships that have true and lasting value. Women seek affinity and have the ability lift each other up.
Mentoring and coaching featured prominently in the course of the conference. For many women, being mentored is extremely important. But equally important is being a mentor, being of value, offering your guidance and your experience. The mentor relationship has benefits on both sides.
Success means many things to different people. It’s not always money, it can be time, or freedom. For many women the path to leadership hasn’t always been direct. What the conference shows is that there are many women ready, willing, and able to take on the mantle of leadership.
Is there anyone who doesn't enjoy special treatment?
This is the truth of who we are, we all want to feel cared for, understood, known, and listened to. We tend to think of VIP experiences as being lavish expensive things but great service isn't necessarily about the expense, it's about the care.
In a recent article on Inman about maintaining your network, our CEO and founder Audie Chamberlain explained how those little things that delight clients, those small touches, mean more than you might think.
Audie cited a couple of examples of real estate agents he knows who don't just focus on the transaction, they think about the transition, doing everything they can to make sure their clients settle in to their new homes well.
Audie calls it “over-the-top love” and really it's about paying attention to the other person, putting yourself in their shoes, and thinking of how you would like to be treated.
The sad fact of great customer service is that it's the first thing that gets lost when things get busy. Focusing on volume often means forgoing the details.
Today is attention is our most valuable commodity and the most precious gift we can give. Want to make someone feel like a VIP? Write down somewhere 3 facts about this person that you know are important to them. Next thing time you plan to contact that person in any way, review that list and make sure your outreach keeps in mind what matters most to the person you are connecting with.
Great hotels use a similar method to suprise and delight regular guests but it's a tip anyone can use to make their connections stronger and more meaning-centered.
When we believe in a company, we take on their mission as our own.
This week our CEO, Audie Chamberlain is in China with Concierge Auctions taking part in events in two different cities and learning more about how the Chinese buyers feel about luxury real estate. Chinese buyers enjoy auctions and have set records for wine, art, and jewels. Luxury auctions are driven by value and by excitement and Concierge Auctions is hosting their first global auction on June 28-29 (and hosting a special event in Hong Kong). The China Portfolio Sale represents some of the most noteworthy properties that Concierge is bringing to market this year.
In a recent podcast with Michael LaFido, Chad Roffers, Chairman of Concierge Auctions, called the company the Ferrari of real estate. It's true that an auction is a powerful engine for driving the sale of a property. Consider that average auction with Concierge generates 300 inquiries and 25 to 75 showings (a year to three years of showing behavior for many luxury homes). If a seller wants to divest themselves of a luxury property quickly there is simply no greater method.
Real estate auctions sometimes have a different perception compared to other luxury auctions even though the process is very similar. One difference with Concierge, and one reason we are so proud to represent them, around the country and around the world, is that they always include the agent in the transaction.
Go big or go home. Be relentless in your approach and flawless in your execution and success will follow you. Concierge Auctions proves this every day. That's why we fly halfway around the world to stand at their side. It's what partners do.
The podcast revolution hasn't just been great for office entertainment, it's also a way to learn more about our industry. Real Trends launched their new podcast this week which has us thinking about some of our favorites:
Secret Lives of Real Estate: The new podcast from RealTrends is great because they are short interviews with leaders who don't talk real estate but real life.
Listing Bits: Our friend Greg Robertson's Vendor Alley has always been a source for information on real estate businesses. Listing Bits takes it to the next level with fun and informal conversations at conferences with people who are changing the game in the real estate tech space.
Office Hours: Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff talks with other CEOs and other notable folks about the real challenges of leadership.
Industry Relations: When Rob Hahn and Greg Robertson get together, look out! It's a no-holds-barred look at the pitched battles in real estate. Zillow, Upstream, the inner workings of NAR, it's all here.
Bigger Pockets: We've known Josh Dorkin for years and no one has created a more comprehensive resource for the average real estate investor. The podcast features interviews with investors of all kinds. If you've ever wanted to get deeper into investing, this podcast is pure inspiration.
Onion Juice: Neil Mathweg is all heart, and that's part of what makes this podcast so much fun to listen to. This podcast always delivers real takeaways for real estate agents to put to use immediately.
"Where are you guys?" said a client of ours. "It sounds like you are in a quiet sealed room."
We laughed because we were actually in two separate rooms on opposite sides of the vast sprawl of Los Angeles. On any given day, we can be together in the same room, in the same city, or across the country from each other. Since our founding we've learned that flexibility is even more of a perk for us than we thought it would be. It's allowed us to care for our families, to pursue goals, and yes, knock a few cities off our bucket lists.
Don't believe the picture above. Flexibility isn't about idyllic beaches all the time, it's about having control over your own time. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) flexibility for us may mean a 12-hour day of work for clients. But it's a choice we make because we enjoy the work. We joke about TGIM (thank god, it's Monday) because work is our happy place.
We've never met an entrepreneur who didn't put in the hours. It's the nature of building something from scratch. Flexibility for us and for our team means we let the work and not a preset schedule define our flow. The way people work is constantly shifting. We've gone from work-life balance to work-life integration, a world of interlocking gigs and projects.
Flexibility isn't new. We forget that the regimented eight-hour work day is a relatively new phenomenon across the span of time. When we challenge what we know, that's the time in which we are able to see what is truly possible.
Last week, our CEO was at Real Trends' Gathering of Eagles, and what stuck with us is how committed the real estate industry is to changing and growing with the times. Executives and leaders from around the country who are already pressed for time always make sure to attend this conference. Why? Because we grow the most when we learn from others who are at the top of their game.
It isn't always easy when technology, demographics, and economics are constantly shifting, but those dedicated to learning and adapting always seem to come out ahead. Education isn't something that happens when we are young or in a few brief intense updates, it's an ongoing comittment to knowing you can always be that much better.
Learning isn't easy. These days everything is fighting for our attention. Learning takes time and also the right mindset. It's also not always linear. What makes us better isn't just focusing on our agenda, it's being able to listen to people outside of real estate, to share a conversation with someone who shares their passions not just for growing their business but for improving their lives and the lives of others around them.
We think of leadership as external, leading the troops on to victory, but often it's internal first, it requires determination, courage, a long-range plan, and the ability to change that plan when situations change.
Thank you to all the eagles who shared their wisdom with us last week and to Steve Murray who is always so generous with his time and wisdom.
The Lion & Orb team, despite loving all things housing and home, aren't known for their mad DIY skills. However, on Friday, we joined Giveback Homes on a Habitat for Humanity jobsite for a day of construction. While we may not know a lot about joists and foundations, we know a lot about what it takes to build something special. There are quite a few similarities between building a house and building a successful PR campaign.
Follow the plans:
You don't build a house without plans. Plans aren't something glanced at once and forgotten, they are checked every day, along each step of the journey. Don't wing it. Our pre-planning for some campaigns takes months.
On a job site it's hot, it's dirty, it's easy to lose focus. But one of the most important rules of construction is to stay aware. Know where your co-workers are, know exactly where you are in the task at hand, and know your own limits so you don't make foolish mistakes. Awareness is something as a company, that we stay firmly grounded in. Our clients joke that sometimes we know their next move before they do, that is because we listen.
Respect is crucial in any job and on a construction site it's critical to listen to those with knowledge and exptertise. Respect for the power tools is pretty vital too. We used palm nailers in our build and they are very helpful but can be very dangerous. Treating the tools of any trade, whether they are physical tools or words and images, with respect for the force they carry, helps ensure a better outcome.
Kindness and consideration are part of our core values. One of the reasons so many of our clients work together is because they share those values too. Kindness may not be a thing that springs to mind when on a construction site but we saw it all day long in the ways that people made hard work easier for each other, bringing water, sharing the burden of lifting something heavy, singing, telling jokes, and praising jobs well done.
We can't wait for our next build day with Giveback Homes! If you'd like to join a project, please visit www.givebackhomes.com to see when they will be building near you. The next build day is scheduled for April 29 in Denver, Colorado.
The way we look at it, we don't get hired, we partner.
We referred to it as the love-love test when we began in 2015 and it hasn't changed much since then. When we consider working with someone we consider two factors very carefully:
1. Do we believe in the prouduct and the mission?
2. Do we like the people, are these people we would want to spend time with regardless of money?
Once we satisfy those questions, anything is possible. We have complete confidence not just to work with the company but to introduce them to other clients, to our media friends, and to the world at large. The most successful real estate agents we know live by the same credo, they are relational and not transactional.
This week we announced our partnership with Adwerx, a company that we've followed for the past couple of years. We've seen the team at conferences, we've shared a stage or two, we've seen their work with other brands we know and trust. When they came to us, it was an immediate yes. We can't wait to see what comes next. Every product they've shared with us showed us two things: 1) they are absolutely devoted to being on the leading edge of digital advertising and 2) they are obsessed with delivering results for their clients.
Also this week, two of our dearest friends and clients, Concierge Auctions and Giveback Homes announced their partnership to deliver a home built for every home Concierge Auctions sells. This is the culmination of a long-held dream, to create a true one-for-one model in real estate. For every home sold, a family in need gets a safe new home to call their own. We couldn't be happier not just for our clients and their groundbreaking partnership, but what this will mean for the future.
With great partners, the potential is, quite simply, limitless.
We had an amazing time in Miami at this year's Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Conference week. There is no other real estate conference that gathers so many independent brokerages from all around the world. We met with folks from Costa Rica, New Zealand, and all around the U.S.
This year we had an ace up our sleeve, a wizard of a photographer, AJ Canaria from Planomatic who attended the conference and shot many of the events, including our panel on Cutting Through The Noise shown above.
One of the best ways to grab attention is an arresting images or video. With drones, advances in smartphone photography, new apps and new toys on the market, there are so many ways to make beautiful images.
We will never lose our love of words. Words are essential to what we do, the building blocks of communication. That being said, the days of submitting a long press release without images or links are mostly gone. The long release still makes sense for data-driven news but even then a few well-placed graphics make everything more palatable.
We learned more in one week than we can share on a single post but one thing we came away with is that today's brokers and agents use every tool at their disposal from intense research into the details of a property to hiring a poet to capture the special nuances of a resort destination to crunching data to determine not just where things have been, but also where they are heading.
Some people prefer words, some prefer images (just ask us, the Lion and the Orb have very different ideas) but today's smart real estate company is multimedia and multimodal in order to cut through the noise and deliver the true essence of value.