I’m a big believer in the old adage, ‘the more you learn, the more you earn’ – and you never stop learning and growing and Inman Connect is always one of the best places to do just that. I had the pleasure of speaking and presenting at Inman Connect NYC this past month and as we’ve done in years past, I wanted to share a few of my top take-aways and also those from some of my dear friends, colleagues and Inman ambassadors.
Watch the video above to hear and see some of my key take-aways.
A highlight for me this year was hearing Diana Nyad’s keynote. Her story of struggle and overcoming the incredible odds of swimming from Cuba to the Florida coast was inspiring and very emotional. I always love how Inman brings in speakers from outside the real estate industry to teach and to inspire.
I also enjoyed hearing more about VR (virtual reality) especially from the folks at the New York Times and Google. VR has been something that has been discussed off and on at many Connect conferences – but this may be the year VR becomes mainstream. It is incredible to see the work the New York Times is doing with VR as well as AR (augmented reality.)
Hearing from Scott Shapiro from Facebook was a big highlight for me as well and really solidified so much of what we teach in our #GetSocialSmart Academy. Scott shared that one out of every five minutes that people spend on mobile are spent on Facebook. He talked about how important it is to create “thumb-stopping” content in the Facebook Newsfeed and how consumers are much more likely to take action on an ad at their fingertips on their mobile device than many times on TV.
If you are an Inman Select member, many of these presentations will be available but I also broadcasted a few of them. You can catch the replays here:
- Diana Nyad keynote on perseverance and beating the odds!
- VR discussion with the New York Times and Google
- How to drive high value web traffic with Rand Fishkin (from Moz.com)
- How to crush Facebook marketing with Scott Shapiro (FB exec) *note: this live stream is inside our FB group, so you may have to join our group first to access the live video*
- My presentation at TechConnect on 5 quick tech tips in 5 minutes! (thank you Tracy Freeman for broadcasting this)
Of course, in addition to all the great sessions and meetings I had with clients – one of the best parts of Inman Connect are always the one-on-one time with dear friends! In advance of Inman Connect I made plans for a few small get-togethers including taking in the Broadway show “Chicago” with a few amazing ladies (such a great show!) and a dinner with some of our #GetSocialSmart Academy members. As much as I love social media, there is nothing like face-to-face time!
Here are some additional take-aways from some of my dear friends, colleagues and respected industry peers. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage – these take-aways are well-worth the read!
Bret Calltharp, Director, Consulting & Special Projects, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate @jedirealestate
“I don’t feel we saw any strikingly new trends at ICNY – more of a continuation of the topics discussed at ICSF (Inman Connect San Francisco) and since. Walking through the vendor alley I saw VR, analytics and IDX sites with CRM backends predominantly. I think the industry has caught on that we don’t see lead generation issues as much as we see lead conversion issues.
As technology continues to improve, the lines between relationships and “automationships” will continue to blur. Ideally these innovations should allow agents to better manage their time and their ability to leverage themselves to create new business.
Brad and the Inman team delivered an inspiring lineup of speakers again this year – standouts for me include Diana Nyad, Jim Garman from Go Realty and Rand Fishkin.”
Jacy Riedmann, Vice President, Amoura Productions @socialmediajacy
“I really enjoyed hearing The New York Times discuss how they went through the process of introducing VR. They made it a point of discussing not just using a new tool for the sake of saying you used the tool, but rather selective use to keep it more effective. Not every moment is made better by being VR immersive, and if it’s used too often, it will lose its effectiveness and become a fad. They suggested ask yourself, “Is this made better by being made immersive?” It reminded me a lot of QR Codes. That was a new technology that had a large potential but was over used or incorrectly used to the point that it became a “flash in the pan” idea for most industries.
I could see VR being used to create immersive experiences that a buyer would not be interested in. Would I want a 3D experience of a messy property? Or to be introduced to a flood of 3D properties that weren’t created properly? If we give our consumers ideas that are half baked, we will lose the potential selling power of that tool in the future. A few showcase properties that were created very nicely could definitely have potential draw, or even more out of the box ideas like a chance to experience the neighborhood or some of its most popular areas like a park, golf course or clubhouse could be rewarding. Also, The New York Times helped to further bust the myth that videos and experiences should be rushed or kept under two minutes. They said people kept their interest for over 6 minutes on these experiences. When someone is looking to make a major investment in a property, they’ll gladly stay tuned longer to see the features.”
Seth Price, Vice President, Placester and Author of The Road to Recognition @sethprice
“This is a really exciting time to be in real estate, we’re finally seeing a maturation of the marketing tools and leveling up of the agent mindset.
There’s a sophistication today as more and more agents are in the camp of digital native and we have all the tools to deliver profitable marketing experiences to the consumer. I think what we’ll see in 2017 is a continual drive towards simpler tech solutions so individuals can focus more on brand distinction and creating value on a human level: Having all of the tools work together, to deliver the right message to the right prospects in a way that supports the brand position.
It was clear from the sessions at the conference, that agents are looking for simple execution, everyday value. I think this requires accessible, non-technical tools for agents to attract and understand the small data, that valuable business intelligence that surrounds the buyer and seller interaction. We’re all fed up with technology that gets in the way of building a successful relationship with the customer. The road to recognition will never be instantaneous, but the path is clearer than it’s ever been.”
Elaine Dixon, Associate Partner/REALTOR®, Partner’s Trust Malibu @elainehanson
“The people at this event never fail to inspire, renew, and refresh my outlook, not just on my business, but on life itself. So much sharing of ideas and generous support offered by the family that is this community. Inmanville inspires!”
Laurie Weston Davis, Owner/Broker/REALTOR® at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners @lauriewdavis
“So a few things that stood out to me as an ambassador for the event are that this was the biggest Connect event ever! Also, I thought it was cool that about 40% of the attendees were first timers. There are a lot of new folks, which is great.. they bring new ideas and new connections! I loved Diana Nyad’s presentation- she is an amazing speaker and her story is so inspiring! There was a ton of content for everyone in the afternoons with the Learning Labs and Breakout Sessions.
For me personally, I found a few things in Startup Alley that I am going to test out. I was happy to see that there were some new twists on old ideas that will actually solve a problem I have as a Broker and Agent. There were some fun new things too! We are playing with VR at my company and looking at ways we can implement it to help our agents.”
Sean Carpenter, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker King Thompson @seancarp
“I continue to be amazed at the ROI I get from attending Inman Connect events. The benefit to my professional life is worth thousands but the benefits I gain personally are priceless. The early mornings and late nights for one week is an easy exchange for the years of stories and the lifetime of relationships.”
Jeff Lobb, Founder & CEO, SparkTank Media @jefflobb
“I am excited to see some technology and marketing evolve. A few great shifts happening is the power of an email address and your database can start turning an old lead into a hot one by leveraging “big data” and determining when that person is most likely to move with companies like Revaluate (disclosure: a client of Jeff’s.) Another shift is driving the cost down of an immersive 360 tour where you can do that virtual walk thru of a home using a Ricoh theta S 360 camera and the company ImmoViewer’s software can give the consumer a great walk thru experience from their desktop or mobile device where ever they are. I see this as the next virtual open house , capturing leads, previewing the home without leaving the office and at any time of day.”
Peter Brewer, Digital Media Consultant and Trainer/Speaker at ThatPeterBrewer.com @thatpeterbrewer
“Over the last 8 years, I’ve loved watching the pendulums sway at Inman events from ‘it’s all about the tech’ to ‘it’s all about people,’ with little middle ground offered by some of the loudest advocates from both camps.
The difference I felt at this year’s NYC event is that the drive for a higher adoption of tech is no longer coming from inside the real estate industry. It’s now being driven by the consumer and specifically ‘the new kids on the block’ – the millennial consumer. (According to RE/Max, around 41% of residential transactions in 2015 involved the oft-maligned millennial!)
What does that consumer driven demand for adoption of tech mean?
It means that laser-targeted, tailored, contemporary marketing, the adoption of multi-channel communication, and a high focus on word of mouth referral, versus the way too common, Agent focused, ‘me, me, me’ marketing, ceases to be optional for those agents who seek to survive, let alone prosper beyond 2017.
And to those Agents, Salespeople, Brokers who are my vintage (mid 50’s), who thus far have treated the ‘bright and shiny’ as ‘shite and briny,’ I’m predicting your days are numbered if you don’t meet the needs expectations of your new consumer..
Your 2017 Business Plan is this easy:
- Use that Database and make it about them, not you.
- Get trained on Facebook ads and invest some serious cash on them. Now.
- Learn Facebook Live Video, and do it. Nike says it well: No excuses. Just Do It.
- Get Testimonials. Earn Advocates. Develop ‘Brand You’ Ambassadors.
- Wash Rinse, Repeat.”
Kala Laos, Broker/Realtor JK Realty @kalalaos
“Inmaning; verb; the process of learning and connecting with brilliant industry leaders in real estate and technology. As I was inmaning, the most exciting part was learning about the emerging technologies such as robots, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and autonomous cars. What I took away is sitting back and taking a ‘wait and see’ approach is the best way to put you out of business. Let me be clear, technology shows up to keep us in business. We must be early adopters of these technologies and embrace the unprecedented space in time where these new realities are emerging. It fuels my fire to be the game changer and early adopter of these innovations. I believe any time there’s massive change, there’s massive opportunity. For that I’m thrilled and working 12 hour days to push my company forward.
My favorite speaker was Marki Lemmons. That beautiful human lit up the room with her positivity and can do attitude. She dropped several nuggets that will help me in my business like, “Be booked, not busy.” I love this because it highlights that if you fill up your schedule with your agenda, you can accomplish your goals. Marki did an excellent job of reminding us that in order to achieve our goal, we have to own our time and be booked, not busy.
Brad Inman continues to be a source of inspiration. He told an endearing story of his family and the town they pioneered. It was a purpose and passion to connect good people. Exactly what he’s doing now. Thank you to Brad for his vision!”
Julie Ziemelis, Owner, Ziemelis Communications @julieziemelis
“In past years, Connect has shown us a plethora of “shiny objects” of tech tools to make lead generation, the transaction and relationship building easier. This year the theme I picked up on was ways to fully understand the capability of the tools we already have and how to be more efficient so there is more time in the day NOT spent on tech, but on relationships. Another theme courage. The courage to be authentic on video, the courage to try new things and creating a culture that rewards and encourages bravery in all forms.”
Laura Monroe, Vice President of Industry and Strategic Development, RealSatisfied @lauramonroe
“Inman Connect New York, for me this year, was well rounded and full of inspiration in all the areas of personal development, motivation, bravery, and diversity. It was refreshing and I sensed a returned focus on understanding “what do I have right now that will work for me, and what obstacles do I need to get rid of” before I make some new decisions. Executing with excellence, not quantity – and being OK with that.
There is a lot going on in tech – AI, Integrations, merges – and leadership in brands, MLSs and brokerages see a national collaboration happening, which gives them time to reflect and pause and REFINE communication and training with agents before moving too fast. Which is GREAT news, but get ready, I think there are big things happening behind the curtains.
But as always, the people that Inman brings together is second to none. The way conversations, and dinners, and parties, and singing solidifies relationships, brainstorm sessions, note-taking, and learning makes every single Connect one to remember. 2017 is no exception!”
Nikki Beauchamp, Global Real Estate Advisor, Engel & Völkers New York City @nikkibeauchamp
“There were so many impactful speakers at Connect. My favorites were the keynotes by Sallie Krawchek and Diana Nyad. It is wonderful to hear from speakers that are not real estate specific, but to learn from their stories – discipline, determination, success, and failure.
There was a recurring theme in many presentations/speakers of touching on the humanity and empathy in business. I’m intrigued to hear more about the impact of the sharing economy on the real estate markets, both commercial and residential, and the influence of hospitality with both.
A week filled with insights to digest and integrate into the business plans going forward.”
Tiffany Kjellander,CEO & Franchise Owner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate PorchLight Properties @tkjellander
“I think VR and AI were running themes at ICNY – which is interesting. I think they are emerging technologies, and will play a bigger role in our industry specifically – in the future. Right now the adoption isn’t there – it isn’t for your average buyer of the average home in an average market. But both ZillowGroup & Realtor.com are starting to innovate with VR – which means it’s coming.
I felt like this ICNY was really all about execution. I saw three products I’m going to implement – the first is RealMailers a direct mail company whose Founder, Michael Rossi – actually sells real estate. The product has super reasonable price points and beautiful dashboard with property data that allows its users to zero in on a neighborhood or farm area, and uses property data to drill down specifically to homes that have 3 beds & were built in or last sold in the year 2005, so Basically it makes it a breeze to farm for listings. If you want to send out just sold a or just listed postcards – you can do that too – use their templates or upload your own.
Also, another product that I was impressed with is Preclose. This product automates the transaction – from client acquisition to beyond the closing – it triggers reminders and alert based on your workflow, all the while – keeping the client informed as the deal progresses. The Preclose Team is working on integrations with other systems and they are super responsive.
I also met with Mike Abeyta, the co-founder of Realty Connection. This is a brokerage product aimed at recruiting, and requires a subscription with Broker Metrics, and it uses SMS and BombBomb to foster relationships with agents you’d like to work with. I love it.
Whew, those were some great take-aways! I’d love to hear from you – if you were at Connect, what were your big take-aways? Leave me a comment below or send me a Snap (@katielance1 on Snapchat.)
P.S. We are going all in with video in 2017 and we’d love for you to check out our new vlog – The #GetSocialSmart show – check it out here!