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 (#ICNY) this past month, and as we’ve done in years past, I wanted to share a few of my top takeaways and also those from some of my dear friends, colleagues and Inman ambassadors.
This year I had the good fortune to be onstage four times. I spoke onstage at Agent Connect on Tuesday (new topic: How to Create a Lead Magnet), I spoke on the #ICNY main stage about the new Facebook updates and what it means for real estate, and then I spoke in the SmartZip learning lab about creating a strong content and social media plan.
Lastly, I had a blast hosting a live Q/A onstage with Molly McKinley (from Relola) and Seth Price (from Placester.) If you missed any of my presentations, you can click here to see my slides!
Other highlights for me this year were:
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- Watching #GetSocialSmart Academy members Christine George and Katie Clancy share their knowledge and insights from the main stage. It was so incredible to watch them tell their stories and inspire the audience.
- There’s nothing like spending precious time together with dear friends to Connect!
- It has been so rewarding to see our Academy members grow personally and professionally. This was a full circle moment for me!
- I also loved seeing my good friend Jason Frazier take the stage for the first time in a live discussion in the marketing track. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jason and getting to know him over the years and he has such a great tech and marketing mind.
- This year I made an effort to get together each day with a handful of friends and colleagues that I really wanted to spend time with, break bread with and get to know better. As much as I love the big parties at these conferences, there is nothing like truly connecting with someone over a meal. Hosting our annual #GetSocialSmart Academy dinner was especially fun for me. One highlight from that dinner was going around the table and having each of us share our “one thing” — our one big area of focus for the year ahead. This turned into a fantastic collaborative conversation!
- Also, this year for the second year in a row I helped to get a small group of ladies together to see a Broadway show. Last year we saw Chicago and this year we saw Wicked, which was just breathtaking and incredibly moving.
- Bucket list — check! Seeing Wicked was such an incredible experience!
- We also had the good fortune of having a backstage tour which was something I will never forget! I think it’s so important when we go to these amazing places for conferences, that we take time (if possible) to do at least one thing “non-work related” and just enjoy the city!
- On the main stage, I loved hearing from Sally Kohn from CNN — she gave a presentation about the state of the world we are in and talked about where we have been when it comes to the real estate industry and some of the tough issues this industry faces, like gentrification. She reminded all of us that we all have the power to do more than just feel bad or guilty, but that we have a responsibility to do something. I also loved hearing from former Twitter CEO Dick Costello and his thoughts on the future of social media.
I also loved hearing from Maelle Gavet from Compass. Compass was all over the #ICNY agenda and it is fascinating to see how they are disrupting this industry in a way that is making a lot of people in real estate nervous!
Here are some additional takeaways from some of my dear friends, colleagues, ambassadors and respected industry peers. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage — these takeaways are well-worth the read!
Katie Clancy, Realtor/CEO at The Cape House, William Raveis Real Estate, @TheCapeHouse
“Over the next 10 years look for a weakening of the unwieldy traditional brokerage and of the transactional agent. We are entering The Age of the Indie Broker, but it’s not just a size thing. The big winners will be the ones who connect with their customers on a deeper level, deliver more efficiently than the rest, and can resist impulse but adapt quickly.”
Christine George, President Marketing and Business Development, RE/MAX Leading Edge, @christinecarlo
“One of my biggest takeaways was the ever increasing need for affordable housing. I loved Amy Bohutinsky’s story about her grandparents who made $20k/year and purchased their first home for $20K. These days people are spending upwards of 50% more than their annual salaries on home purchases and renters who are spending more than 30% of their income on rent are unable to save enough to purchase a home. It’s a very real problem facing our industry.”
Susan Lewis, Director Of Learning And Development, LAER Realty Partners, @susanlewis
“I think one of my focus takeaways is trust. Raj and Laurie talked about trust when you are thinking of expanding your team. We learned about NAR’s Trust Stamp – who are you – should I trust you (free to everyone who is a member of NAR.) Also Simon Sinek said, if you ask how someone is doing, care enough about their answer to listen. Building trust will build relationships.”
Kristi Kennelly, National Speaker, Move, Inc, @Kristi_Kennelly
“Big picture take-aways for me: Be a video marketer whether you go Live on FB, record video with or helpful to buyers, sellers or local business owners, make or respond to posts or inquiries with video, just implement. (Helpful tool, Lumen5.com) Be a micro-targeter and explore predictive analytics and refine FB and Instagram paid strategies. (Leverage Custom and Lookalike Audiences on FB. Learn how to retarget.) Be hyper personal and hyper local when possible with content that educates, informs or entertains. (Helpful tool, Relola App.) Lastly, you don’t have to be perfect. Experiment and double down on tactics/strategies that show traction. Oh, and see a Broadway show with your pals.”
Jacy Riedman, Vice President, Amoura Productions, @socialmediajacy
“Hot topics this year were really centered around technologies for getting cleaner results with your current data, embracing Facebook’s new social media algorithms instead of calling it a death rattle, seeing if adding agent and client friendly incentives to 3D tour technologies can give them staying power and keep it from being another QR Fad (something brilliant but often used in the wrong way until everyone burns out), and of course…cat videos for increasing happiness (which were mentioned no less than 3 times on stage , but I’m biased..).”
Dan Smith, Author, Speaker, Strategist, @bydansmith
“As a “coach” my big Inman takeaways might be a bit different than others. First, I realized that I should stop expecting to work with my clients for life. I simply can’t be the “total solution” for their business needs. Sure, in some specific areas I can provide them with a strategy better than anyone else, but another “coach” will become necessary as their needs change and it then becomes my job not to convince them to stay with me but to instead to help them find that next right person. That was a big ego aha for me. Another take-away was that with all the tech and automation happening around us, it’s actually easier than ever for agents to differentiate themselves from the rest by doing the easiest of all activities and simply build stronger personal relationships.”
Joseph Magsaysay, Team Leader of The Impact Team powered by Keller Williams, @theguymagsaysay
“With all the technology that is available right now to Realtors, relationships will always be the CLOSER of all closers. Relationships will always matter. Embrace disruption. Embrace disruptors. Always find a way to adapt, and if you believe in yourself, disruption should not scare you. Real Estate is about collaboration and not competition.”
Andrea Geller, Broker Associate at Hot Property® The Chaz Walters Group, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, @andreageller
“Capital Connect Understanding how the venture capital money coming into our industry will impact the industry including brokerage and agents. Most agents probably think that it’s not something they need to know about but they do. Its impact reaches down to the very core of the transaction. What we can learn about branding and marketing still seems to be the number one topic that we crave to learn more about. The most effective way to reach the consumer is constantly changing.”
Kristin McFeely, REALTOR, NAR – GREEN, Coldwell Banker Preferred, Old City, @phillyhomegirls
“My biggest takeaways from the conference are in relationships I’ve made. Dinner with the Divas and Sharon and and getting to meet you, Nikki, Gwen, Linda and Andrea was fantastic. Lunch with a fantastic agent from Chicago one day and a broker in Manhattan another. I love being around the best and the brightest in the industry and I feel smarter when I leave. I am inspired by the people, not the shiny objects and I am excited to get back to work in Philly! My team member, Deirdre Affel says: My head is exploding with ideas and inspiration. This conference was exactly what I needed at this moment in my career. It doesn’t hurt that you can’t get a bad meal in NYC! :)”
Alexandra Filiaci, Social Media & Content Manager, Coldwell Banker, @ahf803
“As a second-time Inman Connect attendee and first time ambassador, I had a great experience at ICNY 2018. What struck me the most was the incredible speaker lineup Inman had this year. There was a great balance of real estate-heavy presentations and speakers whose careers didn’t have anything to do with the industry, but were still able to inspire the crowd with their stories of perseverance & determination. My favorite quote was from John Henry, a stylist & entrepreneur who said “’the way you do anything is the way you do everything.’ I’m taking that with me into this week & every day going forward!”
Bill Flagg, Team Leader, The Bill Flagg Team, ERA Queen City Realty,@njreoking
“I had two big takeaways: there is “Riches in Niches” from John Henry’s talk and there is a lot of work to be done in the area of Fair Housing and education and training for those who have not faced discrimination in the course of their lives. From Sally Kohn’s talk on Civil Discourse (Real Estate and Hate).”
Lee Arnold, President/Broker, Benchmark Property Management @benchmarksocal
“My take-away is, “stop overthinking things and just start. Do something and tweak it as you go. Start!” Also, start new businesses to compliment the business. I’m totally looking into starting a cleaning and landscaping business.”
Katherine Waters Clark, Realtor, RE/MAX Leading Edge,@yourhousegal
“I loved so many of the presentations! (Former Doorman John Henry stood out for his respect, integrity and hustle!) I loved the opportunities for open dialogues and longer conversations with Valerie. Overall the messaging that resonated for me was this: Engage. Be Purposeful. Tell Your Story. Know YOUR Why. Know Your ONE thing. Go all in On That!”
Chelsea Peitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Group 46:10 Network, @chelseapeitz
“Outsiders are the new insiders. The big guys of real estate like Realogy and Redfin are looking for teams who are ready to disrupt. They may not be the biggest names or sell the most, but they have the right attitude and the chutzpah to make bold moves. Disrupters don’t usually walk in with a big blinking sign that says ‘watch out I’m taking over.’
“They’re subtle and focused and when you notice, it’s probably too late. This year marks the separation of “social” and “media.” If you’re banking on your open house postings to bring in and convert leads, you’re mistaken. If you’re hoping that your new listing post will create a memorable brand, good luck. Tomorrow’s consumer absolutely expects that you are the star of your own show. It’s not about ego or fame, it’s simply about connecting in the most human way possible. Show your face and get on the screen.”
Rett Harmon, Principal, Century 21 Novus Realty, @rettharmon
“I was honored to participate as an ICNY Ambassador and uniquely this was my first Inman conference. I have attended over 50 real estate industry conferences and presented at over a dozen of them on various topics in the past 8 years. This was one of the most well organized, diverse and valuable conferences that I have ever attended.”
Marci James, Social Outreach Director, realtor.com®, @marcijames
“The amount of content at this year’s Inman Connect event was massive. Something that I heard repeated by more than one speaker/attendee is the desire to leverage technology in order to serve more clients. One of the biggest hindrances to technology development is the industry’s unstandardized data, so we have a huge challenge in front of us, as we work our way toward more standardization.
“For me personally, the biggest takeaway is always the new relationships I create and the existing relationships I deepen. Inman Connect attracts the brightest people in the industry and I love meeting them. I literally gained 10 pounds because I used every single meal as a networking opportunity! I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day with some of the most ingenious minds at Connect. These friends, old and new, inspire, challenge, and support me in ways that go way beyond Inman Connect.”
Debra Trappen, Empowerment Consultant , Speaker, Educator, d11, @debra11
“I was honored to attend and speak at #WomanUP on Wednesday at ICNY. The sessions were packed with women sharing their sassy stories, successes, and secrets with vulnerability and passion. My biggest takeaway was this: Women are no longer waiting to be invited to existing tables.
They have been politely (and aggressively) asking for many years and are simply tired of waiting. They are defining and designing their own inclusive tables, inside their own boutique brokerages, and working together with enlightened men and women to build the brilliant brokerages of tomorrow. The post event happy hour with my Power Women group was electric. These women are excited, empowered, and ready to bring their very best to the table – wherever it may be. I predict the definition of “industry leader” or “influencer” is going to dramatically shift with this collaborative generation of women in leadership.”
Molly McKinley, EVP of Marketing, Relola, @mollymckinley3
“We’ve come full circle regarding marketing. With so many companies focused on solving tasks, it all serves the highest purpose of building valuable, mutually beneficial relationships. Automation, Ai, and all the shiny things should ease time so the real estate agent can focus on delivering remarkable service and showcase their local knowledge.”
Nikki Beauchamp, NYC Real Estate Sales |Global Real Estate Advisor with Engel & Völkers, FIABCI-USA, @nikkibeauchamp
“I found the question and answer with Simon Sinek to be impactful and interesting – have really enjoyed his books and talks since hearing his TED talk. I wasn’t sure what to expect from commentators with opposing viewpoints but it turned out to be fascinating how several speakers went back into history to illustrate where we are now and how to move forward. Also noticing that more leaders are speaking more directly about their personal backgrounds and how that shaped their perspectives in life and business.”
Whew, those were some great takeaways! I’d love to hear from you – if you were at Connect, what were your big takeaways? Leave me a comment below or Snap me! (@katielance1 on Snapchat.)