Global

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. 

 

Listening in

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. 

Flexibility is the new corner office

"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. 

Eagles

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.

Build

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. 

Pay attention:

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:

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:

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. 

Partnership

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. 

Words and Images

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. 

 

Lion & Orb Heads To New York City

The new year is already off to a roaring start for us and our clients. Some highlights:

--ReferralExchange launched a new report that proves referrals can make up over 10% of an agent's income

--Hawaii Life ended 2016 with another successful Worthshop and the acquisition of an Oahu brokerage

--Concierge Auctions continued to spread the word that auctions are a vital part of real estate's present and future

--Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® capped off another big year adding 49 prestigious firms from all around the world

Up next, our annual trip to Inman New York. This year we are making it even more exciting by combining attendance at Inman Connect with Hacker Connect and Luxury Daily First Look. If you are anything like us, you know there's nothing more vital to your business than learning from and connecting with the brightest minds in your industry.

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Our itinerary include Audie's participation in a panel of Giving Back on Tuesday with Giveback Homes. Our clients Pam O'Connor of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and Laura Brady of Concierge Auctions will be speaking on the leap into leadership Thursday on the Boston Logic Stage at Inman Connect at 2:30 p.m. These are two of the most inspiring leaders we know and they will be joined by Chris Myers of Houlihan Lawrence who will provide the brokerage perspective. This one is a must-attend. 

Of course it wouldn't be Lion & Orb if we didn't come bearing gifts. We have a fresh batch of our popular T-shirts to share as well as laptop stickers and a precious few of our limited edition snapback hats. 

We look forward to sharing those little moments that make Connect so special as well as  attending some of Inman's famed parties, and of course connecting with friends old and new. If you will be in New York City 1/16-1/20 and would like to meet with Audie and Deidre or any of our clients, please reach out to press@lionandorb.com.

Inman Influencers 2017

 We're not going to lie, we love lists. End-of-year lists, best of lists, lists of the young and successful, as well as the mature at the top of their game, lists are a way of focusing the energy of an industry in a specific direction. 

The Inman Real Estate Influencer List is an annual recognition of real estate professionals who shape and change the industry. Influence can take many forms, it can be a conversation, it can be a leadership decision, it can actions taken, and not taken. Influence is a thing not measured in a moment but considered over time.

We are happy to congratulate our  clients for being recognized as Influencers:

  • Matt Beall of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  •  Laura Brady and Chad Roffers of Concierge Auctions
  •  Pam O’Connor of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
  •  Paul Boomsma and Stephanie Pfeffer Anton of Luxury Portfolio International™
  •  Errol Samuelson of Zillow Group
  • Lisa Fettner of ReferralExchange
  • Greg Robertson of W + R Studios
  • Ben Bacal of Roofshoot
  •  Caroline Pinal of Giveback Homes

What do these people have in common? Yes, they are our clients, and yes, they are in real estate, but more than just being in real estate, they are passionate about it. We love the industry and we are lucky enough to work with people who feel the same way. And oh, yes, our founder, Audie Chamberlain was named an Influencer too. 

The list will be feted in New York City at Inman Connect. The conference is an annual gathering of over 3,500 CEOs of top real estate franchises, technology entrepreneurs, marketing executives, top-producing real estate agents and brokers and executives from top-tier financial service companies and takes place January 16-20 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City.  

This year's event also includes Hacker Connect, a chance to delve into how technology is changing real estate on Monday January 16.  Audie Chamberlain will be speaking on Tuesday January 17 at 3:15 as part of a panel on giving back in real estate and sharing moments from his recent trip to Nicaragua to build a house with Giveback Homes.  

If you'd like to meet with Audie in New York, please email press@lionandorb.com.

Goal Setting versus Road Mapping

It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to what we want to accomplish in the new year. A new year traditionally carries with it optimism and hope that we can do more, do better, and move forward.

Goals are awesome. In our work, we are honored to sit with our clients and friends and map out where they want their businesses to be. One of our favorite questions to ask is what we call the genie question. If a genie could grant you a wish for your business, what would it be? We get some amazing answers from this. We cultivate the BHAGs (the big hairy audacious goals) and we cheer like crazy when our clients achieve them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — 'A goal without a plan is just a wish.'

A goal without a plan to get there, quickly loses steam. Every goal worth achieving needs a roadmap, a series of next steps and actions along with a list of resources needed and clear ways to measure success. 

For us as a company, we’ve taken a page from the Getting Things Done playbook, mapping out each project followed by next steps and resources needed for each project. Each project is mapped out on a whiteboard (moving a project to the physical world helps make it more real) and then individual actions live in a bullet journal and list app, we’ve been using WunderList. We've also been reading this book which is a great guide to the manage of incremental change. 

This week as we submitted annual reports for our clients we reflected on our first full year in business. We traveled to 10 conferences and visited 25 cities and placed 228 pieces of content in the media for our clients. The numbers are more about more than what we did but about who our clients are and the friendship we share. Together we've summited some impressive hills and planned for many more in 2017. 

May your roadmap lead you to greatness in the coming year.