When members of Partners Trust founded Leverage Global Partners in 2012, the goal was simple, create a network to nurture independent brokerages and help them maintain a competitive edge over other brokerages.
Four years later with a global reach and over $1 billion in referrals, Leverage Global Partners brought together network members for the first Leverage conference, Navigate 2016 April 11-13 at the beautiful Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. As F. Ron Smith said in his opening remarks: “You can’t navigate your business or your personal life without a really good crew.”
A good crew was essential for this conference and Leverage team members Annalisa Povlock, Emily Desai, Tom Forbath, Morgan Northway, William Shetler, Jenny Mueller, and Marissa Boladian paid attention to every detail to make sure that Leverage members were able to have time to relax, network, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings through activities such as golf, yoga, and hiking.
The event brought together the leaders of independent real estate for panels on not just the details of the business of real estate but the finer points of leadership. Each day began with a keynote speaker from outside the real estate industry who had vital lessons to share.
Learning From Outside The Industry
On the first day Robert Santelli, author and executive director of the Grammy museum spoke about the changes in the music industry and how some of music’s most enduring icons, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen learned to adapt to the changes and continue to grow their following. Music has gone through massive disruption in the past few decades but what remains is an emotional connection to music. Once people experienced this through records and records were the main driver of revenue, now music festivals and concert experiences drive both emotion and revenue. Real estate too, is an industry that has experienced major disruption, but what remains is the value of owning a home.
The second day keynote was Mark K. Updegrove, journalist, historian, author, and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. Mark shared leadership lessons from six presidents that he has interviewed. Clare Booth Luce famously said once that every president is remembered for one sentence. As a leader what will your sentence be? This relates to core values as Updegrove explained by exploring the lives and careers of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. In real estate, core values are essential and it is one reason that independent brokerages are thriving.
Core Values and Leadership
Leadership and core values were messaging that resonated throughout the conference. “It’s important that you acknowledge everyone from the top producers to staff, from the part-time receptionist to the $4 million a year agent,” said Jeff Sposito, President of Rockliff Realtors in a panel on leading with your greatest strength. He shared how he recently held a luncheon just for agents new to the firm in the past year so he could get to know them better.
James Nunemacher, CEO of Vanguard Properties, spoke about the Masters program he has created to teach the essentials of real estate. The program requires a commitment of both time and money from the participating agents but also gives them a thorough grounding in how the company delivers a quality real estate experience to its clients. This program includes mock listing presentation which can be challenging. Partners Trust offers similar training through the broker war room series. “Role play is painful but it’s what made me a great realtor,” said Scott Carmody, Partners Trust Brentwood Office Manager. “It’s the best tool to become a better realtor.”
In the afternoon Partners Trust CEO and Founder Nick Segal took the assembled agents and brokers through the basics of Value Conscious Negotiation in a session that was well attended and served as a thorough introduction to this profoundly effective way of educating real estate agents on how to deliver even more value to their clients.
Marketing and Technology in a Changing World
One of the most fascinating parts of the conference was hearing brokers and agents share their marketing and technology plans. Leverage rolled out a brand new website at www.leveragere.com and shared beautiful marketing materials from their Creative Services Division. Leverage and their creative team know that both print materials and technology are essential for effective marketing and this is something that the members of the Leverage network understand very well.
Vanessa Bergmark of Red Oak Realty shared her strategy of using print ads, print and digital neighborhood guides, and video to create a comprehensive resource for promoting the value of Oakland real estate. For Raj Qsar of The Boutique Real Estate Group, video goes hand in hand with a technology platform that includes not just property websites and agent websites but seller lead sites that work with social advertising for maximum results.
Attendees are already looking forward to Navigate 2017 as Leverage charts a bright course for the future.