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3 April 2008

Diary of a California Road Trip … Day 2

Posted by Sherry Chris

Whenever I’m asked to share an important piece of business advice, here’s my response: Develop a network of business friends and remain committed to helping each other build upon your dreams and exceed your goals. I’m fortunate to have Brad Inman as one of the people in my network. When news about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate broke out, Brad suggested that two of the people whom I should brainstorm with were Pat Kitano and Kevin Boer of Domus Consulting Group. Some of you will know Pat from his Transparent Real Estate blog, and Kevin as the broker/owner of 3 Oceans Real Estate.

Both of these guys are well known in the blogging world, but there’s a lot that most people don’t know about them. For example, in a previous life, Pat was a Wall Street investment banker and a Silicon Valley consultant. He also holds an MBA from Columbia. Kevin was a consultant with McKinsey and Company, has an MBA from Yale, and is well known as an expert in online marketing strategies. Their knowledge of social networking and Web 2.0 strategy is very impressive. I caught up with the two of them for breakfast on Day 2 of my recent California Road Trip. We shot a short video in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco after breakfast. Immediately following the shoot, the hotel security tried to confiscate my camera. Apparently, you have to ask permission prior to filming in a hotel lobby! Thank goodness that part did not get filmed … Take a look at this clip of Pat, Kevin, and me.

Later that morning, Camilla (our new head of marketing) and I hopped on a plane to LA to visit Genex, the digital media company that is building our consumer-facing Web site and extranet. We needed to meet with the Genex team on various aspects of the site launch. Designing and building a Web site/search engine is a nerve-racking experience at the best of times, but even more so, when you add in high expectations, a tight deadline, and no beta launch. You must make quick decisions that you remain confident with, and always keep in mind that today’s best portals are an ongoing work in progress.

People who design and build Web sites tend to be a little different than the mainstream. I say this as a compliment, because very few individuals have the creativity, dedication, and patience to be successful in this field. They need to work in an environment that is comforting – an environment where they can work all night, if necessary. Because when the creative juices are flowing, you don’t want to stop. Walter Schild, the CEO of Genex, has created just that type of environment for his team. Not only do they have all of the usual amenities: lots of Diet Coke and a cappucchino machine, but they also have a secret weapon – the staff are encouraged to take their dogs to work! Words can’t describe what this is actually like, so I pulled out my camera. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t think we’ll see dogs running in the halls of Realogy anytime soon. Check it out …

9 thoughts on “Diary of a California Road Trip … Day 2

  1. We should borrowed a page from Genex and brought our dogs with us to the breakfast meeting! That way hotel security wouldn’t have given us any trouble.

    Seriously, though, it was great meeting both of you and talking more about the initiatives you have planned. The BHG brand is one with a lot of potential!

  2. Hi Pam, nice to hear from you! I will look forward to seeing you at Inman in a few months – by that time we will have just launched – I look forward to your feedback. We have been working with Pat and Kevin for the past sevaral months – they have and continue to be great strategic partners with this launch, and our relationship will continue to grow.
    Sherry

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