Alain Pinel Realtors Hosts Luxury Consumer Summit

Top luxury experts and real estate professionals come together to discuss working successfully with today’s luxury consumer

Alf Luxury Event

Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) hosted The Luxury Consumer Summit last week, an event that educated real estate agents and managers on how to increase their business with the luxury consumer and effectively deliver outstanding customer service experiences that set them apart.

Held at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, real estate professionals from San Francisco, Marin, and beyond came together for an intimate luncheon that featured Alf Nucifora, the Chairman and Founder of The Luxury Marketing Council chapters in San Francisco and Las Vegas, as the keynote speaker, as well as two panels.

Nucifora spoke on the topic of today’s luxury consumer and what they are looking for in their customer experience.

In his presentation, Nucifora said, “Let’s look at the product. What do our affluent customers demand? The most important thing they want is the ‘experiential’ halo over the product or service. Every category you can think of, it has to be experience driven.”

The Luxury Consumer Experts Panel followed Nucifora’s presentation. Moderated by Rainy Hake, APR’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, panelists shared experience from industries outside real estate, offering a fresh perspective on how the luxury consumer can be approached.

Larry Altschul, Senior Vice President of Customer Development at MGM Resorts International, joined the event from Las Vegas and spoke on his experience working with “whales,” high net-worth gamblers, sharing several stories of his clients’ outrageous requests. Greg Minor, General Manager of Ferrari/Maserati of San Francisco, spoke specifically to the Bay Area marketplace in terms of who the luxury consumer is and how to capture their business. Sharon Osen, Chief Marketing Officer of Perricone MD, provided insights into what agents can be doing with the resources they have to find client information, organize it in a manageable way through a CRM tool, and put it to use in order to generate more business. David Friedman, President of Wealth-X, emphasized the crucial nature of compiling this information and how to use specific data to target groups of potential clients.

The second panel was moderated by Michi Olson, SGMS, APR’s Vice President of Global Business Development & Relocation, and was geared specifically to real estate. The panel consisted of top agents from all over the country, including Jeff Hyland from Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, Pat Choi from Choi International in Honolulu, Brian Lewis of Halstead Properties in New York City, and Quetzal Grimm from APR Woodside. All the panelists echoed the theme of treating the luxury consumer like a real person rather than an exotic spectacle, being authentic and true to yourself in all that you do, and going above and beyond to make their wishes a reality.

“As a luxury brokerage, it is crucial to stay relevant and understand the needs of our affluent clients so that we are able to provide them with the exceptional customer service they have come to expect from Alain Pinel Realtors,” said Hake.

Alain Pinel Realtors Names New Vice President of Training

Firm Continues Hiring Fresh Talent in Top Management Positions

Bard Williams

Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the largest privately-owned residential real estate company in California, has named Dr. Bard Williams as their new Vice President of Training. Williams has a long history of creating, managing, and delivering successful, visionary professional development programs along with experience in marketing and sales for some of the largest technology companies in the world.

Williams began his career as a teacher while simultaneously developing sales and communication skills selling residential real estate. After more than 10 years as a professional educator and earning a doctorate from the University of Georgia, Williams was recruited by Apple to manage relationships with leaders in government and education, creating programs to help educators and administrators learn to teach with technology. Williams was later promoted to senior management where he managed marketing and training teams. Williams left Apple to start a successful education and technology marketing company, Techthree, working with companies including Adobe, Palm, and Hewlett-Packard, along with several universities. Just prior to joining APR, Williams spent five years as Director of Marketing at TiVo where he managed marketing relationships with key partners such as Netflix and Comcast, supported retail marketing worldwide, and managed a team of field trainers. Williams has published more than 14 books, mainly on the topic of teaching with technology.

“Bard’s background as an educator coupled with his expertise in teaching with technology makes him a valuable addition to the APR team,” said Rainy Hake, COO and Executive Vice President. “His visionary professional development programs will bolster and strengthen our ever-evolving technical, sales, and career development training – an already robust curriculum that sets our agents apart as the most educated in the field.”

Hake, the youngest COO of the top real estate companies in the nation, has also recently brought in new Vice Presidents of both Marketing and Technology to steer APR’s notable brand. In 2014, Hake hired Tom Flanagan from Rhode Island’s Residential Properties Ltd to oversee the firm’s changing technology, and earlier this year brought in Heidi Ditloff from Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate in New Jersey to apply her strategic insight and leadership to APR’s award-winning marketing.

“APR has a strong brand with a clear vision. I welcome the challenge to take an already excellent training and development program to the next level,” said Williams. “A demonstrated commitment to innovation coupled with bright, motivated agents and staff made this an easy decision. I look forward to helping the entire APR team continue on their learning journey with a keen eye on innovation and continuous improvement in their already exemplary customer service.”

Alain Pinel Realtors Welcomes New Vice President of Marketing

Bay Area Firm Hires East Coast Marketing Executive


Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the Bay Area’s largest independent residential real estate firm, has named Heidi Dittloff as Vice President of Marketing. Dittloff brings 19 years of sales and marketing experience, most recently as Marketing Director for Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate in New Jersey, and will oversee all marketing projects at APR, including the firm’s print and digital campaigns, communications strategy, and advertising initiatives.

In Dittloff’s previous position at Gloria Nilson & Co., she oversaw the implementation of a new luxury division, refined brand strategy, and oversaw all marketing components for the firm’s 21 offices that span seven counties in New Jersey and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Prior to working in real estate, Dittloff also held a number of marketing and communications positions in the banking and publishing industries in New York City and New Jersey. Over the years, she has been elected to numerous boards and committees including Christies International Real Estate marketing committee, and in 2013, was named Marketing Director of the Year by the Shore Builder’s Association of Central New Jersey.

“Heidi’s reputation as a leader in the industry and her proven track record of overseeing the successful implementation of diverse marketing strategies make her an ideal fit for Alain Pinel Realtors,” said Rainy Hake, COO and Executive Vice President. “I look forward to applying her strategic insight and leadership as the APR brand continues to evolve in the ever-changing landscape, while maintaining our status as the Bay Area’s leading luxury real estate firm.”

Hake, notably named the youngest COO of the top real estate companies in the nation earlier this summer, has aggressively been courting top level executives from across the country to steer APR’s notable brand and its legacy as an industry leader. In 2014, Hake hired Tom Flanagan from Rhode Island’s Residential Properties Ltd to oversee the firm’s changing technology as Vice President of Technology.

“Joining an organization with such an impressive reputation and a clear vision for the future, through innovative digital and expansive global marketing strategies is very exciting,” said Dittloff. “In a time when real estate marketing is changing quickly, especially in the Bay Area, I look forward to bringing my leadership and APR’s vision together to continue to offer our agents and clients the truly premier services that APR is known for.”

Jim Pojda of Alain Pinel Realtors Awarded “Mentor of the Year” by Buffini & Company

Local Director of Career Development Honored by Largest Real Estate Coaching Company

Jim Pojda, Regional Director of Career Development at Alain Pinel Realtors, was honored with Buffini & Company’s coveted 2015 “Mentor of the Year” award at their annual MasterMind Summit. Each year, the award honors one out of the 5,000+ Certified Mentors in the Buffini & Company Peak Producers Training Program for his or her high-level commitment to impacting and improving the lives of real estate agents. Buffini & Company is the largest real estate coaching and training company in North America.

“Agent success is the driving force that keeps me motivated each day and I’m grateful for all that they do to inspire me as I watch them develop and grow,” says Pojda, who has mentored over 100 agents through the Peak Producers program in the past four years. Peak Producers is a 16-week comprehensive business-coaching program to help agents prepare to be professional business owners and produce at a consistently high level.

“We believe one of the greatest things a person can do is to be a great role model and lift others up, helping them reach their full potential and create a truly great business,” says J’aime Nowak, Director of Corporate Development at Buffini & Company, “This is what Jim exemplifies and we are grateful for his tremendous advocacy and great service to his agents and our industry.”

As Regional Director of Career Development in the South Bay for APR, in addition to Pojda’s mentorship through the Peak Producers Program, he also coaches newly licensed agents through APR’s signature Master’s Success Program. Through the 1-year training program, Pojda has helped over 150 agents learn the skills to create successful businesses; totaling over 250 agents that he’s personally trained, coached and mentored between Peak Producers and the Master’s program since 2010.

“Jim has been a dedicated trainer, mentor, and inspiration to many of our agents and I’m not surprised to see his passion rewarded,” said Rainy Hake, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of APR. “We pride ourselves on providing superior training for our agents, and Jim has been an integral part of ensuring we have the highest caliber of agents with the tools necessary to provide exceptional service for our clients.”

Alain Pinel Realtors Names Rainy Hake Chief Operating Officer

Bay Area Firm Appoints Youngest COO of Top Real Estate Companies in Nation


SARATOGA, California — Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), California’s largest independent real estate broker, has promoted Rainy Hake to the office of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), making her the youngest COO of the top residential real estate companies nationwide. Effective immediately, Rainy will oversee all of the day-to-day operations of the company, including managing the Marketing, Technology, and Training Departments, as well as leading the company’s strategic vision. Paul L. Hulme will remain President and CEO.

Rainy has been an invaluable member of APR since 2003, holding a number of roles including Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs and her most recent role as Executive Vice President. As a member of the executive team, Rainy has led the strategic roadmap for the firm in all areas of operations. During her tenure, APR has increased its national ranking from 11th to 5th largest in the nation based on sales. In the past two years, she has overseen an increase in profits by 26%, greatly outperforming the market.

“Rainy’s contributions to the firm are immeasurable. She has helped introduce new innovations and modern marketing practices in our ever evolving brokerage,” said Hulme. “She has proven through her strategic leadership, diligent performance, and service that she possesses the experience, energy, and creative ingenuity to ensure APR remains the Bay Area’s premier real estate company.”

Rainy is a licensed broker with nearly 20 years of luxury real estate experience and is a member of FIABCI-USA International Real Estate Federation and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). In addition to her real estate experience, Rainy has also acted as an international brand strategy consultant for some of the world’s leading business brands including L’Oreal Paris, Wells Fargo Bank, and McCann Worldwide. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Business Administration in International Marketing and Strategic Planning from the University of Oxford, England.

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