Gen Blue + “New Life” = Your Business

         Alexander “Xander” Jacob, a Gen Blue inspired “Minion” with his “True Blue” parents,               John & Ashley Houseman, at only 20 hours old. (Photos by Kristina Stotlzfus Photography 2015)

This is truly one of the most special blog posts I’ll ever have the opportunity to write. Not because its content is made up of some profound wisdom or tips and tricks of our trade, but because this post was premeditated while this beautiful baby, Alexander “Xander” Jacob (whom we refer to as our Minion, in which I’ll get to in just a moment), was being knitted together in my womb. I had 9 months to think about this post and how the birth of this beautiful boy not only has so many parallels within our business life, he is a direct result of Coldwell Banker Generation Blue in Hollywood last October.

Literally. Think about that for a moment without me giving you the talk about “the birds and the bees”…

Last year’s Gen Blue was the 2nd one for the books for my husband John and I, as we also attended the one in NYC in 2013 (a-maz-ing). As parents of then 2 children, and like many of of other Gen Blue’ers, this is what we’ve been using as our annual excuse for a “vacation”. Yes, we attended sessions, met some fantastic people within the Coldwell Banker world, and we’ve managed to sneak in a day or two to explore, see the sights, and simply just get away from life from home for a brief moment. (If you’re anything like us, you looked up the Cubs schedule before your flight. You know who you are!) What we weren’t expecting, was life. New life, and adding new life to our business.

You’re thinking, “‘adding new life to your business?’ What does that mean and how could that benefit me?”. It’s simple. Gen Blue (as it did for us) will exceed your expectations on so many levels, you will have SO many takeaways, ideas, new connections, that you have NO choice but to utilize them to help to help you grow, strengthen and/or revitalize your business for the better – you’ll be adding new life – a breath of fresh air to your business.

My husband came to Hollywood as a “referring agent”, my travel companion and eye candy while we toured the California coast. He left the west coast as my business partner, master of CMA’s and my buyers agent extraordinaire. Something happened at Gen Blue for us, our business and our family. Here’s just a few of too many things to list that changed the way we do business because of attending the Generation Blue Experience.

Manager & Broker Sessions
So, my first session sounded really awesome but ended up being directed specifically towards Managers and Brokers – neither of which I am. Rather than leaving, I stuck around to see what Matthew Ferrara had to say and let me tell you, I WISH my broker (sorry, Don! Glad you ARE coming this year!) would’ve been in attendance. Although I’m used to the wildly awesome Prezi presentations that Matthew usually gives, this was so information packed towards managers and brokers bringing in new blood, structuring their business, and other manager-y things to make them successful, I was wondering WHY this wasn’t a packed house?! If you’re a broker or manager, there’s some knowledge to be had at Gen Blue tailored just for YOU!

Agent Sessions: Marketing, Organization, Social Media & Team-Building
Ooh, my! If I could name every speaker and panel that we attended at Gen Blue, you’d be tuning me out, because I could write a book on what I learned in 3 days! The inspiration we gained and ideas we came away with literally changed our life. Between listening to Jessica Edwards, Chavi Holm (Team Diva) and Danny Hertzberg (The Jills) talk about team building to hearing some cutting edge marketing tips in other sessions, we were so on fire to restructure and build our business that making this career change for my husband never would’ve been a reality had we not made the trek to Hollywood.

The General Session
Last year we took over Dolby Theatre (you know, where they host the Academy Awards?) and Gen Blue kicked off with some crazy pumped up action by some of our fearless leaders (Budge, Mike and Sean), an American Idol-esque rendition of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” sang by Renee Savoy and was lead by the one (and only) ever-so-famous Jane Lynch. This year, Gen Blue is taking over The Chicago Theatre with more awesomenss from our leaders and an epic Lip Sync Battle between 3 Gen Blue’ers in attendance (still a few days to enter, click here)! I said it, epic. So much epicness in one theatre, experiencing in person is the only way to go.

The Speaker Line-up
Although the stellar speaker line-up for Chicago is still yet to be announced, let me tell you… Don’t. Miss. This. A few of the headliners last year were Tom Ferry, Zan Monroe, Matthew Ferrara and Katie Lance, plus many (many!) more. If you’ve never heard of them, Google’em. If you’ve heard the names but never looked into them, don’t wait another minute to hear their goodness. If you’ve heard of them and know of this awesomeness that I’m trying to convey, don’t fret, this year in Chicago it will be even MORE fantastic and you will learn even more than you ever have before so you need to be there!

The People
One of my favorite things about being on the Social Squad is meeting some of my other True Blues that I’ve connected with online IRL (cyber code for “in real life”). Having relationships online is fun, but there’s nothing like having the opportunity to connect with 3,000 other Coldwell Banker agents world-wide IN-person. Don’t ever underestimate the power of relationships that you build with agents from coast to coast (or even Monaco!), as you never know where your next referral may come from. Meeting other agents, managers and brokers in person also gives you the chance to share, learn, and take away some of the most amazing tips that have helped them to be successful by hearing their personal trials and experiences. The relationships you’ll create and build at Gen Blue will last you a lifetime – you can’t build if you don’t go!

The Party
I don’t know if I should compare last year’s closing party to being like “a kid in a candy store” the size of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or the excitement of Christmas Eve x’s infinity. Coldwell Banker – I KID YOU NOT – shut down an entire theme park just for Coldwell Banker Gen Blue attendees. Yes, thousands of agents, managers and brokers alike had the time of their life at Universal Studios Hollywood riding rides, having a massive dance party with DJ MARY MAC, food and beverages galore until we closed the park down. It was pretty exclusive, True Blues only. This year, I can not WAIT to see what they do, as we are taking over Soldier Field as our final “hurrah” to the best few days of your business life in 2015.

As promised, back to the Minion (if you don’t know what that is, they just made a Minion Movie). New life. Gen Blue. Tying this baby (no pun intended) all-together. Our littlest man (we now have 3!) was born just shy of 9 months after our Gen Blue Hollywood Experience. Again, I’m not going to reiterate the talk you probably had with your parents in your teenage years, but it’s the truth. Baby “Xander” is our little Universal-Studios-Gen-Blue-Closing-Party-inspired Minion. This was the trip of a lifetime for us, as my husband went to California for vacation and came back as a member of our team. The Generation Blue Experience was just the “experience” he needed to bring our real estate business to the next level – isn’t it time for you to do the same?

Sign up your broker, your manager, your assistant, prospective team member and yourself by clicking here, you won’t regret it!

Meet John

We are pleased to announce that as of November 1st, 2014, Ashley has welcomed her husband, John Houseman, to form the team titled “Houseman & Co.”!! Together, they will have the opportunity to help serve their buyers and sellers  – both local and far- with twice the marketing power, quality service and of course selling and finding just the right homes for customers!!

More info and links to connect with John on social media to come very, very soon!

Houseman & Co Profile Pic