Inspiration and Innovation Brings Clarity in an Uncertain Market

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This year’s Leaders in Luxury, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Members Only event, brought home a thoughtful yet insightful agenda while adding the genius of improvisation to a setting where splendor and elegance united in perfect harmony at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

In her opening statement, Institute President, Diane Hartley, addressed the concern of many participants that real estate is in a pattern of change. But unlike some of the current negative sentiments, she believes that 2019 will be the year of opportunity and a defining moment for those with the agility to be innovative and adaptable to the market.

An array of speakers including leaders in luxury real estate, technology, marketing, statistical analysis, economics and creative sales techniques were blended into a well-rounded, complementary ensemble.  They not only encapsulated innovation into their own presentations but addressed HOW agents could incorporate them effectively in to their businesses.

Marketing Award for Excellence

The Institute’s Marketing Award for Excellence is presented at The Leaders in Luxury each year, recognizing Members who are raising the bar in the industry with innovative marketing for luxury homes. This year Leaders in Luxury attendees were invited to submit entries in the following categories:

  • Social Marketing – a demonstration the best use of social media to market and sell a property.
  • Personal Branding – a showcase of the best marketing strategy to grow a personal luxury business.
  • Innovative Marketing – the best use of data-driven marketing in a luxury market report to acquire new business.

This year’s finalists demonstrated inspiration and innovation in their presentations and all attendees voted on their choice for the winner.  The Institute congratulates the finalists:

Lora Brumett, RE/MAX Ability Plus, Lafayette, Indiana (finalist, social marketing)
Herman Chan, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, Berkeley, California (finalist, personal branding)

Zar Zangeneh, Luxe Estates & Lifestyles, Las Vegas, Nevada (finalist, personal branding)


And the winner:

Jordan Ayan, Keller Williams Sonoran Living, Scottsdale, Arizona (winner, innovative marketing)


The Institute went beyond the expectation of providing an event solely filled with outstanding speakers, and jumped into the theatrical technique of improvisation. An afternoon workshop, led by the experienced actors and instructors from The Groundlings Theatre & School, gave participants a new perspective on tapping into their innate communication skills.

“I have a new appreciation for improv, not just the professional acting talent, but what an important difference it can make in changing how we perceive and then react in immediate situations and moments of stress.”

Lisa Echea, Compass, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

In our Featured Story on October 28th, we showcased the opportunity of learning these techniques and how they can “Add Stardust to your Business?”.  Ryan Serhant – a New York Real Estate Broker, former actor and current Million Dollar Listing New York Star – featured the value of improv workshops as a sales training tool in his book, Sell it Like Serhant.  

He explains how the art of Improv adds value to a real estate transaction, because it teaches you to truly listen before reacting, learning “yes and” rather than using “yes but” and developing the ability to feel confident and comfortable in situations that are unexpected or just plain difficult!

“The workshop with The Groundlings was invaluable. In a shifting market, we must be able to shift.  Improv teaches this. More importantly, it emphasizes listening, then responding.”

Kofi Nartey, Institute Trainer, Compass, Beverly Hills, CA

The event also featured presenter and facilitator Matthew Ferrara, whose skillful questions and insights allowed for the sharing of stories that were as diverse as they were unique, while ensuring that their core messages focused on addressing how to engage and embrace change at a different level of consciousness.

A Market Shift “From Great to Good”

Lesley Appleton-Young, Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS®, gave the attendees a new view:  From Great to Good.  In a masterfully in-depth review of the real estate market, she highlighted the variables that impact a market, including inventory, pricing, job growth, home equity, inflation, and personal wealth, and coined our current situation as “Great to Good.”

She stated that, “investment in real estate needs to be viewed over the long term not just compared to the last month – an only then will a clearer story become obvious.” The following graph represents the smaller but increasing price gains.

The luxury market is often considered a barometer during times of change, but right now, only listing prices are decreasing, not the final selling price.


The dynamic Tony Giordano closed out the event with an insightful presentation about how to implement various social media platforms successfully to generate a new audience of affluent buyers and sellers.

“Tony’s presentation was powerful and direct. His book Social Agent 2.0 is an effortless and straightforward read, with detailed reasons on the how and why agents can be more effective with social media platforms.”

Lucio Bernal, Institute Trainer, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Palms Springs, CA

Diane Hartley, concluded this signature event with a heartfelt thank you to all the participants, speakers and organizers, but not before recognizing the serious situation so close at hand with over 250,000 Californians being forced from their homes due to the worst fires in the State’s history, and the tragic shooting in Thousand Oaks.  On everyone’s behalf, she kindly donated a portion of their registration fees to each fund.

For more information about becoming a Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, attending events such as Leaders in Luxury visit us at


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