Some of the best and brightest young real estate professionals gathered in Oakland last Friday for the first 40 Under 40 networking event for local REALTORS®.

The 40 Under 40 event was organized by Kimiko Ages, manager of Coldwell Banker’s Berkeley office, and the brainchild of Coldwell Banker’s Orinda manager, Val Cook-Watkins.

The two managers decided to hold the event as a way to celebrate, support and recognize the next generation of leaders in the local real estate industry. It offered the opportunity for young agents to share ideas and listen to a panel of top producers, all under 40, share their secrets to success.

Some 45 young real estate professionals attended the sold-out luncheon event at Picán Restaurant and many more were on the waiting list to attend. It was partially sponsored by Princeton Capital.

Cook-Watkins got the idea for meeting after hearing two talented young agents at a recent company business conference.

“They did an amazing presentation on how they use social media and next generation tools in their real estate practices,” she recalled. “I talked with them about the terrific younger sales agents in the Orinda office, and we all agreed we should get everyone together to meet and share ideas.”

The sales associates represented almost every Coldwell Banker office and came from as far away as Sebastopol and San Jose. Two other managers from the company, Kathy Carpiaux from Castro Valley and Doug Devine from San Francisco-Market Street, also attended as well.

Ages said there was a lot of energy in the room with discussions, panel presentations, networking, raffle prizes and lots of take away information.

“Over and over, the panelists talked about how important integrity, appreciation and honesty are in this business,” she said. “This generation doesn’t think yelling and hard-line negotiations are helpful during a transaction. They appreciate agents who ‘leave the drama’ outside and work together to get the deal done and then say thank you to everyone involved including escrow, inspectors, agents and most importantly, the client, As business coach Lorna Hines says, they want to be in their real estate lives, forever.”