The postcard-worthy beauty of Kelowna’s vineyards and famous lakeshore recently provided an idyllic backdrop for the sixth Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® Certification Course of 2018. As British Columbia’s gateway to the stunning Okanagan Valley and one of Canada’s most livable places in Canada (according to MacLean’s Magazine), Kelowna was the perfect marketplace to unveil the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program, given the region’s recent luxury real estate rise.
“This was our first time establishing a major brand presence in Canada with our network’s highly-charged up and enthusiastic Canadian affiliates from all over the country,” Craig Hogan, vice president of luxury marketing Coldwell Banker®, told us from his hotel room at the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort in downtown Kelowna, right on sparkling Okanagan Lake. “The program was so well-received by everyone who attended, and the excitement and energy was high each day.”
Lauren Muehlethaler, director of luxury marketing for Coldwell Banker®, joined Hogan in the charming wine country enclave for three days of education and networking. Nearly 90 agents attended the course at the beautiful Delta Hotels’ Grand Okanagan ballroom from all over North America: Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, California, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and beyond.
Instructors Lucio Bernal, Wendy Walker and Craig Hogan shared their deep well of knowledge on everything from how to properly market a luxury listing and how to negotiate with a challenging seller to how to deliver a succinct value proposition message and more. Following the rigorous training course, the group gathered at Oak + Cru Social Kitchen and Wine Bar, a stunning waterfront restaurant with an indoor/outdoor patio, for brick oven pizzas, signature hand-crafted appetizers, and networking cocktails.
The next day started bright and early at the Laurel Packing House, an original packinghouse built in 1917, set in Kelowna’s bustling Cultural District centered around studios, galleries, theaters, museums and fine restaurants.
The space was warm, rustic, beautifully lit, and created the perfectly intimate atmosphere for the CBeyond experience. There were string lights all over the ceiling, baskets of hand-picked Kelowna cherries at the center of every table and just the right amount of energy buzzing throughout the room. Jennifer Odorizzi, Coldwell Banker Horizon’s Managing Partner and a Kelowna native, brilliantly emceed the day and arranged for a great roster of network talent to take the stage and share expert tips with the audience of more than 150 engaged agents. Matt Ferrara kicked off the day with an inspirational keynote presentation, and was followed by a series of wonderfully well-thought out presentations and BLUE panel talks.
Luxury Estate & Wine Tour
Later that evening, host Odorizzi,took the group on a luxury estate and wine tour. There was no shortage of unbelievable scenery, striking architecture, sunshine and ample networking opportunity for all who attended. The night culminated in a private tour of the lakeside Mission Hill Winery in the Okanagan Valley, which Muehlethaler proclaimed, was “one of the most geographically and architecturally stunning places” she’s ever seen.