Takeaways From Inman Connect NYC

Wow, what a week last week in New York. From the Real Estate Bar Camp on Tuesday to two and half full days of Inman Connect + parties it was an exhausting trip.

Now that I’ve recovered and survived three full days of meetings here at Redfin here’s my quick take on things:

  1. Transparency is key: Gary Vaynerchuk’s talk on personal branding and transparency was the highlight of the trip for me. It really resonated with me and got me really excited for what we want to do with Redfin marketing going forward.
  2. The economy may get worse. There were lots of speakers talking about the economy and the current state of the real estate market. From Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times) to Robert Shiller (professor of economics at Yale) the overwhelming opinion was that we haven’t seen the worst yet. What has me puzzled is that I came back to work to find we’re hitting new highs in website traffic and every week are setting new records for home tour requests.
  3. Redfin is leading the way. In his welcome address Brad Inman had a Top 10 List “A Roadmap to Recovery” with several points where we’re trying to lead the way and many others we want the industry to get behind:
    • We’re overhauling commission: our agents our paid on customer satisfaction not commission (#1)
    • We’re trying to be more efficient: we refund 50% of our commission back to the customer (#3)
    • We’re providing better “micro data”: from our neighborhood pages to our blogs we’re trying to give our users more data for the areas they want to live in. (#6)

    And there are other fronts we’re leading the way on that people aren’t yet talking about like surveying customers after every interaction.

  4. Growing disconnect between brokerages and their agents. The big brokerages are cutting costs while their agents need more help than ever. I talked to one agent who worked for what I thought was a very progressive brokerage but she says they don’t understand social media at all. I talked to a few other agents who went so far as to leave their big brokerages to start their own. It sounds like agents need a website where they can easily compare, contrast and rate brokerages so they can easily figure out who gets it and who doesn’t.
  5. Agents love Twitter. Watching what everyone was Twittering on #icny changed the conference for me. It made it easy to connect with new people, track down where the parties were and find out what people thought of the speakers in real time.
  6. Lots of great people. I met TONS of great people still very enthusiastic about real estate: Stacey (OC agent), Jeff (XBroker), the guys from Dwellicious, House Chick, Kirsten (Seattle agent), Rob (Onboard), Andy (East Bay agent), Walkscore guys, Ginger (Marin agent), Heather (Virginia agent), Mike (Altos Research), Jay (Phoenix agent), Wellcomemat guys and on and on.
  7. Agents can party hard. I was blown away how crazy hard everyone partied three nights in a row but would still be at the conference looking good at 9 AM no matter how much they drank.

See some of you at Seattle RE Bar Camp and the rest at Inman in the summer.

Discussion

  • http://greencitystyle.com Kirsten

    Wow, that Kirsten agent you met sounds particularly cool. ;-)

    I’m totally with you. Transparency is key, and this year we’ll see more information out there regarding real estate than ever before. Those of us in the industry better be ready to share with the consumer and to help them navigate all that data if we want to prosper.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Connect with the rest of us!

  • http://www.notorious-rob.com Rob Hahn

    Matt -

    Was so great to meet you at #icny. And for the record, agents got nothing on Redfinites (at least as represented by you) on partying and showing up at 9am at conference. :)

    -rsh

  • http://www.housechick.com Kelley Koehler

    Matt – pleasure to meet you too! That 9am comes around awfully early…

  • http://www.PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com Jay Thompson

    Matt – *great* meeting you and chatting. Really enjoyed our talk at the Googleplex!

  • http://www.LoCoMusings.com Heather Elias

    Matt,
    Was great to see you again! Great wrapup on the conference, you hit the mark on what I thought was important…very interesting to sit in on a panel and see via twitter how others were reacting to the discussion in real time, rather than waiting until after to dissect it. =)

    Looking forward to seeing you at the next one!
    ~Heather

  • http://www.ERAHouston.com Thomas Johnson

    “Agents can party hard. I was blown away how crazy hard everyone partied three nights in a row but would still be at the conference looking good at 9 AM no matter how much they drank.”

    Glenn: Lookin’ good at 9AM because, by then, as commissioned self employed folks, they had already spent an hour or so online keeping their business going. Real Estate agents are powered by alternative fuel, mostly biofuels.

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