Leadership Lens: Higher standards, now more than ever

Vanessa Bergmark is the CEO/Owner of Red Oak Realty in Oakland, California. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation partners with local non-profits to make a difference, and has distributed grants totaling more than $1,170,000. We recently sat down with Vanessa to ask her views on the current state of real estate leadership …

What you should know before you start a brokerage

From identifying your “why” to finding the perfect strategic partner, Gretchen Pearson (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties), Vanessa Bergmark (Red Oak Realty), Colleen Badagliacco (Legacy Real Estate and Associates) and Judi Keenholtz…

The No. 1 driver of indie brokerage success

After losing out on an affluent listing, Ben Hirsh made lemonade by transforming his business into a media company. In the wake of shrinking office spaces, Chuck and Angela Fazio said “that’s not us” and poured $8 million into an exquisite 20,000 squar…

Special Report: Indie brokerage strengths and threats

Modern consumers love their craft breweries, coffee shops and retail boutiques. But they also can’t say no to the convenience and scale of the robust Amazon Prime. In the real estate industry, you could say there’s a comparable David-and-Goliath competition between the nimble indie brokerages and giants the likes of Keller Williams Realty, Century 21 Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Re/Max and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Though they tend to be smaller, to label indie brokerages as underdogs based on size might be a stretch. As one independent Kentucky broker put it: “Craft is cool right now. We feel that consumers trust independent brokerages more.” …

33 high-return promotional ideas that clients will love — and remember

Can “coozies.” Keychains. Notebooks and pens and flashlights and bottle openers. The world is packed with generic promotional items that include a spot for slapping on any real estate agent’s name and logo, ready to ship off to your sphere of influence…

How to re-recruit your existing sales force

“You have a company that, quite frankly, very few agents leave,” said Sherry Chris to Red Oak Realty’s Vanessa Bergmark at Broker Connect, part of last week’s Inman Connect New York event …

Finding your niche: Serving clients in the entertainment, sports and tech industries

Vanessa Bergmark in conversation with Peter Lorimer, Darlene Hutton and Justin Fichelson …

Building luxury: How developers think about their product

Vanessa Bergmark interviews Jay Belson, Andy Ardila and Nick Vanderboom to find out. Watch the video …

Connecting with the consumer: Marketing real estate in the digital age

SAN FRANCISCO — Whether you consider your product as a real estate agent to be your website or the service you provide to your clients, marketing yourself genuinely and with innovation in mind is what sets you apart from the rest of the pack …

Vanessa Bergmark and Kevin Hamilton on taking the ‘Field of Dreams’ approach to recruiting

“Recruiting is an organic process,” say Bergmark and Hamilton. “We take the ‘Field of Dreams’ approach: ‘Build it and they will come.’ Red Oak finds recruits by either meeting agents at events and discovering they’re a good fit, or having our agents do the initial recruiting for them (no incentives required).” …