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Following our session was the fireside chat featuring “Blockchain and Real Estate” presented by Evan Cohen. This was a deep-reaching insight into the future and the application of blockchain theory to real estate. Many of Chicago’s top residential experts know about BitCoin, which is based on blockchain technology. This has the potential to engage investors who may have been ineligible to participate in larger real estate investments and it offers significant savings and security over traditional financing methods. I think many in the audience was in as over their heads as I was. Evan made this an excellent introduction to the topic and revealed that there is much to learn about this powerful technology.

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Bonus Lesson

Sustainable Design & Construction Value Equation - Nate Kipnis

Sustainable design and construction value equation. Presenting at the same time in another space, Nate Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning (www.KipnisArch.com), was presenting “The Value Equation for Sustainable & Resilient Real Estate: Will Your Home Become Obsolete?” While I was unable to take-in this valuable session, I did hear just how valuable it was from many of Chicago’s top residential experts. We all have a great option to go back a view this on the “On-line On-Demand Education Session.” (www.PHS19.com)

To wrap up the 3rd Annual PowerHouse SMART Luxury Conference, Chicago’s top residential experts gathered in the Wood-Mode Lifestyle Design Center (www.wood-mode.com) for a jazz cocktail party. Toni Callahan’s Jazz Guys provided entertainment throughout the night. We put into practice what we learned throughout the day. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference. Hope to see you all there.

Come see the other photos on the PHS Facebook page

Photographer: Claudio Vergara, Andino Photography (www.andinophoto.com)

PowerHouse SMART (www.PowerHouseSMART.com) – Wendy Cohen

3rd Powerhouse SMART Annual Luxury Conference Co-Chairs:

Rebecca Pogonitz – GOGO design group (www.gogodesigngroup.com)
Michael Norpell – Wall to Wall (www.NorpiesWallToWall.com)

With themes like “begin with the end in mind”, this session bore similarities to many of the workshops and mastermind groups that I’ve attended in the past. One of my favorites is the Jack Nicklas method of envisioning a shot in reverse. Picture the ball going into the cup, then see the ball in flight, and last, envision striking the ball. Repeat that sequence, adding detail to each of the steps. This has proved enlightening and powerful clarity for Chicago’s top residential experts.

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Lesson #3

Power Connection - "Meet the Experts"

Meet the Experts” Power Connection lunch. Power Connections are an in-depth networking exercise, usually over lunch for Powerhouse SMART members. This session is modeled after that experience, where members have an extended opportunity to share about their businesses and experiences. It was generously hosted by New Style Cabinets (www.NewStyleCabinets.com) in their showroom at the MART. This is a guided conversation (by yours truly) with a panel of expert Powerhouse SMART members (Chicago’s top residential experts), sharing their insights on the topic of collaboration. On the panel (in no particular order):

The panel shared and discussed their experiences in collaboration, including the challenges and successes. Strong communication emerged as a primary need for successful collaboration, as well as honesty, and leadership. One of the most powerful distinctions was to recognize that we all have a partner with whom we work, but a truly collaborative team must be active participants with one another. It is not enough to do only your own part. You must also think about your role amongst the rest of the team. Ask yourself, what can I do to facilitate the work of those, both upstream and downstream from my tasks? This solidifies the team and makes them aware of the issues surrounding their part of the work. In the end the client and the project benefit from a smooth, professional operation, devoid of the typical finger pointing which often occurs without the collaborative mindset.

Lesson #4

Keynote: Creating your Personal Brand - Diane Primo

Personal Branding. The second keynote address of the day “Creating Your Personal Brand” by Diane Primo of IntraLink Global, Inc. (www.IntraLinkGlobal.com) a next-generation PR and social content agency. Diane illustrated the power and benefits of developing one’s own personal brand. She also shared some of the obstacles that many people face. We not only benefit personally from an enhanced brand but so do the companies and initiatives that we represent. We can all be influencers to some degree. By expanding our network and working collaboratively, we can also amplify our brands and our passions. Diane uses a slate method to help clients to develop and enhance their brands. This is an outline used to gather and organize pertinent information.

Lesson #5

New Technologies: Virtual Design & Construction

New Technologies: Virtual Design & Construction. A personal favorite of mine as well as for Chicago’s top residential experts. I was asked to share my insights on the latest trends in Building Information Modeling (BIM). For this session, I wanted to share how we use BIM to include and collaborate with additional designers to enhance the quality of the design and experience for the client. I consider the builders to be a crucial member of this collaborative team, so I invited John Hallgarth of ContraBIM (3DConstructor.com) to join me for the presentation. John has developed an integrated conduit to draw out the data found within the model and translate it into an effective estimating spreadsheet. This is a process that begins in the very early design stages to help establish a realistic budget. Then, it is refined as the design is developed further, resulting in a highly accurate estimate that synchronizes along with any design changes.

Traditional design methods typically result in siloed designs according to each phase, with little integration between them due to the difficulty in sharing design development. In this modern design scenario, we include the interior designer(s) and landscape architect(s) during the early concept development and promote design awareness between each design phase to promote collaborative design. We then integrate all of the design product into a unified presentation, so that the client can experience how each of the design components relates to each other and is not forced to imagine these relationships. We achieve deeper meaning and more mature designs in this way. Chicago’s top residential experts understand the power and value that this provides.

This unified design team offers significant advantages to the client as well as the design team. Going beyond the “pretty pictures” oft associated with BIM, we offer greater control over the project budget and schedule. Tapping into the “I” (information) of BIM reveals powerful data buried within the model and not accessible using traditional design methods. By tracking the estimated construction costs during the development of the design, we prevent budget over-runs and the devastating experience of having to eliminate meaningful elements late in the game. Our presenters and design collaborators for this case study:

Following our session was the fireside chat featuring “Blockchain and Real Estate” presented by Evan Cohen. This was a deep-reaching insight into the future and the application of blockchain theory to real estate. Many of Chicago’s top residential experts know about BitCoin, which is based on blockchain technology. This has the potential to engage investors who may have been ineligible to participate in larger real estate investments and it offers significant savings and security over traditional financing methods. I think many in the audience was in as over their heads as I was. Evan made this an excellent introduction to the topic and revealed that there is much to learn about this powerful technology.

Bonus Lesson

Sustainable Design & Construction Value Equation - Nate Kipnis

Sustainable design and construction value equation. Presenting at the same time in another space, Nate Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning (www.KipnisArch.com), was presenting “The Value Equation for Sustainable & Resilient Real Estate: Will Your Home Become Obsolete?” While I was unable to take-in this valuable session, I did hear just how valuable it was from many of Chicago’s top residential experts. We all have a great option to go back a view this on the “On-line On-Demand Education Session.” (www.PHS19.com)

To wrap up the 3rd Annual PowerHouse SMART Luxury Conference, Chicago’s top residential experts gathered in the Wood-Mode Lifestyle Design Center (www.wood-mode.com) for a jazz cocktail party. Toni Callahan’s Jazz Guys provided entertainment throughout the night. We put into practice what we learned throughout the day. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference. Hope to see you all there.

Come see the other photos on the PHS Facebook page

Photographer: Claudio Vergara, Andino Photography (www.andinophoto.com)

PowerHouse SMART (www.PowerHouseSMART.com) – Wendy Cohen

3rd Powerhouse SMART Annual Luxury Conference Co-Chairs:

Rebecca Pogonitz – GOGO design group (www.gogodesigngroup.com)
Michael Norpell – Wall to Wall (www.NorpiesWallToWall.com)

Chicago's top residential experts gather for annual conference

The Powerhouse SMART 2019 Luxury Conference presented at the Merchandise Mart “the MART” this week and along with more than 300 of Chicago’s top residential experts, I learned invaluable lessons during the five sessions featured during the event. The conference themes were “Inspiration, Collaboration, and Education.” I had to awake early (4 am) to put the finishing touches on my own presentation and in anticipation of the dangerous icy conditions from the previous evening’s freezing rain. Fortunately for us further South, the ice was not as bad as had been forecast. Our friends to the North were not so lucky. Long delays for them.

Lesson #1

VIP Networking Breakfast

Networking and Relationships. The day kicked off with a VIP breakfast for the speakers and panelists featured throughout the day's events. Some of Chicago's top residential experts, talented designers, builders, and developers were on hand and in a sharing mood. Networking and relationships are what this business is all about. In this venue, it is most important to find out how you can help others. What do Chicago's top residential experts need to be successful? How can you show the attitude of gratitude? It is tempting to catch-up with old friends and to see how they are doing. Better to seek out new faces and make connections with those you already know.

Lesson #2

Keynote: Strategic Visioning
Christopher Howard

Strategic Visioning. The official event began with our keynote speaker, Christopher Howard, and author of books: "Instant Wealth: Wake Up Rich!" and "Turning Passions into Profits: 3 Steps to Wealth & Power." This keynote, "Chicago's Break-Through to Success", focusses on empowerment through strategic visioning. Using specific goal setting and visioning, we learn how to focus on the goal, in a specific timeline and experience the power of being able to envision this timeline in the future. Chicago's top residential experts can look back into history from the future and then into the extended future, recognizing how the path has changed, bringing into alignment and illustrating the path needed to achieve our goals. We use CREATE to form our goals:Concise and clearRealistic, short-term milestones. Extend as successes buildEcology or ecological, safe for me and othersAs if now, write in present tenseTimed, toward positiveEnd step, or evidence procedure.
The formula for setting one's goals, "It is now (future date). I am / I have (end step)"

The formula for setting one's goals, "It is now (future date). I am / I have (end step)"

Recommended reading:
Entrepreneurial Transitions: From Entrepreneurial Genius to Visionary Leader – Roy F. Cammarano
Photo Reading – Paul R. Scheele

With themes like “begin with the end in mind”, this session bore similarities to many of the workshops and mastermind groups that I’ve attended in the past. One of my favorites is the Jack Nicklas method of envisioning a shot in reverse. Picture the ball going into the cup, then see the ball in flight, and last, envision striking the ball. Repeat that sequence, adding detail to each of the steps. This has proved enlightening and powerful clarity for Chicago’s top residential experts.

Lesson #3

Power Connection - "Meet the Experts"

Meet the Experts” Power Connection lunch. Power Connections are an in-depth networking exercise, usually over lunch for Powerhouse SMART members. This session is modeled after that experience, where members have an extended opportunity to share about their businesses and experiences. It was generously hosted by New Style Cabinets (www.NewStyleCabinets.com) in their showroom at the MART. This is a guided conversation (by yours truly) with a panel of expert Powerhouse SMART members (Chicago’s top residential experts), sharing their insights on the topic of collaboration. On the panel (in no particular order):

The panel shared and discussed their experiences in collaboration, including the challenges and successes. Strong communication emerged as a primary need for successful collaboration, as well as honesty, and leadership. One of the most powerful distinctions was to recognize that we all have a partner with whom we work, but a truly collaborative team must be active participants with one another. It is not enough to do only your own part. You must also think about your role amongst the rest of the team. Ask yourself, what can I do to facilitate the work of those, both upstream and downstream from my tasks? This solidifies the team and makes them aware of the issues surrounding their part of the work. In the end the client and the project benefit from a smooth, professional operation, devoid of the typical finger pointing which often occurs without the collaborative mindset.

Lesson #4

Keynote: Creating your Personal Brand - Diane Primo

Personal Branding. The second keynote address of the day “Creating Your Personal Brand” by Diane Primo of IntraLink Global, Inc. (www.IntraLinkGlobal.com) a next-generation PR and social content agency. Diane illustrated the power and benefits of developing one’s own personal brand. She also shared some of the obstacles that many people face. We not only benefit personally from an enhanced brand but so do the companies and initiatives that we represent. We can all be influencers to some degree. By expanding our network and working collaboratively, we can also amplify our brands and our passions. Diane uses a slate method to help clients to develop and enhance their brands. This is an outline used to gather and organize pertinent information.

Lesson #5

New Technologies: Virtual Design & Construction

New Technologies: Virtual Design & Construction. A personal favorite of mine as well as for Chicago’s top residential experts. I was asked to share my insights on the latest trends in Building Information Modeling (BIM). For this session, I wanted to share how we use BIM to include and collaborate with additional designers to enhance the quality of the design and experience for the client. I consider the builders to be a crucial member of this collaborative team, so I invited John Hallgarth of ContraBIM (3DConstructor.com) to join me for the presentation. John has developed an integrated conduit to draw out the data found within the model and translate it into an effective estimating spreadsheet. This is a process that begins in the very early design stages to help establish a realistic budget. Then, it is refined as the design is developed further, resulting in a highly accurate estimate that synchronizes along with any design changes.

Traditional design methods typically result in siloed designs according to each phase, with little integration between them due to the difficulty in sharing design development. In this modern design scenario, we include the interior designer(s) and landscape architect(s) during the early concept development and promote design awareness between each design phase to promote collaborative design. We then integrate all of the design product into a unified presentation, so that the client can experience how each of the design components relates to each other and is not forced to imagine these relationships. We achieve deeper meaning and more mature designs in this way. Chicago’s top residential experts understand the power and value that this provides.

This unified design team offers significant advantages to the client as well as the design team. Going beyond the “pretty pictures” oft associated with BIM, we offer greater control over the project budget and schedule. Tapping into the “I” (information) of BIM reveals powerful data buried within the model and not accessible using traditional design methods. By tracking the estimated construction costs during the development of the design, we prevent budget over-runs and the devastating experience of having to eliminate meaningful elements late in the game. Our presenters and design collaborators for this case study:

Following our session was the fireside chat featuring “Blockchain and Real Estate” presented by Evan Cohen. This was a deep-reaching insight into the future and the application of blockchain theory to real estate. Many of Chicago’s top residential experts know about BitCoin, which is based on blockchain technology. This has the potential to engage investors who may have been ineligible to participate in larger real estate investments and it offers significant savings and security over traditional financing methods. I think many in the audience was in as over their heads as I was. Evan made this an excellent introduction to the topic and revealed that there is much to learn about this powerful technology.

Bonus Lesson

Sustainable Design & Construction Value Equation - Nate Kipnis

Sustainable design and construction value equation. Presenting at the same time in another space, Nate Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning (www.KipnisArch.com), was presenting “The Value Equation for Sustainable & Resilient Real Estate: Will Your Home Become Obsolete?” While I was unable to take-in this valuable session, I did hear just how valuable it was from many of Chicago’s top residential experts. We all have a great option to go back a view this on the “On-line On-Demand Education Session.” (www.PHS19.com)

To wrap up the 3rd Annual PowerHouse SMART Luxury Conference, Chicago’s top residential experts gathered in the Wood-Mode Lifestyle Design Center (www.wood-mode.com) for a jazz cocktail party. Toni Callahan’s Jazz Guys provided entertainment throughout the night. We put into practice what we learned throughout the day. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference. Hope to see you all there.

Come see the other photos on the PHS Facebook page

Photographer: Claudio Vergara, Andino Photography (www.andinophoto.com)

PowerHouse SMART (www.PowerHouseSMART.com) – Wendy Cohen

3rd Powerhouse SMART Annual Luxury Conference Co-Chairs:

Rebecca Pogonitz – GOGO design group (www.gogodesigngroup.com)
Michael Norpell – Wall to Wall (www.NorpiesWallToWall.com)

Contact Information

Mark E. Benner, AIA

Mark Eric Benner – Architects, Ltd.

17225 Ferndale Avenue

Northbrook, IL  60062

info@MEBArchitect.com

Call me: 847-412-0692

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