“I thought I was coming to a business conference. It feels more like a rock concert.” – Joel Goodrich.

It’s not every day that more than 1,200 of the Bay Area’s top real estate professionals gather in one room – let alone alongside Apple’s former Chief Evangelist, a hip hop drum band and a television star.

But that’s all in a day’s work here at Coldwell Banker. On February 20, the San Francisco Bay Area region was treated to a dazzling, fast-paced and informative show as the brokerage formally kicked off the new business year with the 2015 Coldwell Banker Business Conference (CBBC15).

The all-day event at the glamorous San Jose Fairmont, entitled “Innovate. Inspire. Excel,” got off to an electrifying start with an intro by ‘America’s Got Talent’ speed painter David Garibaldi. Attendees were on their feet clapping and dancing along as David’s brush strokes and splatter paint transformed into the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Painted Ladies and the Coldwell Banker logo. As an unexpected twist, the painting was later auctioned off during the event with the proceeds going to Coldwell Banker’s new charity partner for 2015, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The new partner was announced along with an emotional video that expressed why this important foundation was selected.

Coldwell Banker San Francisco Bay Area President Mike James was on hand to motivate the crowd to excel in the new year by highlighting Coldwell Banker’s 2014 successes and his vision for 2015. In a more candid moment, Mike answered questions during an impromptu Q&A session. Coldwell Banker also announced its top agents last year and a number of key initiatives and major technology platform rollouts designed to keep the company on the cutting edge of real estate technology.

In keeping with the innovate theme of the day, The Katy Team and Joel Goodrich shared their personal “Agent Stories.” Katy Anderson and Katie Krembs (aka The Katy Team) from Coldwell Banker Oakland-Piedmont were recognized for their innovative marketing strategies and shared some of their #TradeSecrets. One thing we love about the Katy Team’s business plan is that their entire marketing approach centers around their client’s stories. By flipping the script on traditional real estate marketing, the Katy Team is rocking the Bay Area market and serve as a model to inspire others.

Also inspiring is Joel Goodrich, a sales associate in the Coldwell Banker San Francisco Pacific Heights office. One of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most prominent luxury real estate agents over the past 22 years, Joel has listed some of the most expensive homes in America. But the road to the top wasn’t easy. Joel’s amazing story was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle last November and it was an honor to hear his firsthand account.

Former Apple Chief Evangelist and tech guru Guy Kawasaki inspired the crowd as the keynote speaker. His speech, “Enchantment,” explained how to influence people’s hearts, minds and actions. The goal is not to get your own way, but to bring about voluntary, enduring and delightful change. The power of enchantment enables you to maneuver through difficult decisions, break entrenched habits, defy the wisdom of crowds, and get colleagues to work for long-term, mutually beneficial goals.

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According to Guy, if you want to excel in business – and in life – it comes down to a mantra of: Competence. Trustworthiness. Those are definitely three words we can live by!

Finally, to close things out, attendees were once again brought to their feet by tantalizing sounds – this time from a hip hop drum band – who help Mike James lead the standing-room only crowd to a thousand person champagne toast amid balloons falling from the rafters of the ballroom.

All told, it was an amazing day that we wish we could relive again and again. In fact, we’re already thinking about next year’s event!

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Check out our CBBC15 Facebook album for more photos of all the CBBC15 action.

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