Inman Connect, July 2018 Conference De-Brief
I recently attended the Inman Connect Conference in San Francisco and while I was away, many agents were asking me whether it was something they should attend in the future. There was also what the Inman daily newsletter seemed to make “breaking news” coming from the conference to every agents inbox, so many agents were asking me what it was like to be there, whether they should be and what some of the newsworthy announcements meant for their businesses.
So, in an effort to answer this questions as well as answer the overall question, “should you take the time and money away from your business and family to attend one of the Inman Connect conferences,” listen to this episode of the Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent podcast!
Based on other conferences, both in the real estate industry and outside of it, that I’ve attended in the past, I was expecting the Inman conference to be much more education focused and focused on specific tools and strategies that I could take back and apply to my own business. That was not the focus of this conference, so if you are looking for techniques or strategies you can apply to your business that you haven’t hear anywhere else, this is not the conference, at least for now and I’m not sure it is the Inman organization’s goal to have this be a educational seminar type of conference.
Instead, the focus of the conference seemed to be, “what does the future of real estate behold for the major players in the industry and how will all that trickle down to the agents.” As part of that conversation, technology and it’s intersection with real estate was a big theme at this year’s conference.
While there seems to be some panic rippling through the industry, it’s worth noting that the technology isn’t fully developed or matured. We don’t quite know what it’s going to be or what it’s going to be able to do – or more importantly not do. Technology as a whole, but particularly in discussing the needs of our industry, is ever growing, ever evolving and always in flux.
So, what does the future of the real estate industry hold? One of the best metaphors I saw was to the financial industry. There may be those who wish their real estate agent moved a little bit quicker and they may be more inclined to take a Do-It-Yourself approach to home buying or selling with a heavy dose of technology involved. They might not get the best outcome when they’re doing it themselves because they’re not experts but they might save money and time. Then again, there will always be people who need advisors and want to make smart decisions with a little hand holding. Those people will be willing to pay for the services that a smart, adaptable real estate agent can offer them.
There seemed to be a lot of fear when I spoke to agents and even from the speakers on stage at the conference. This question of what does the future of real estate look like and how will technology played a role seemed to make many people think that the role agents would be dissolved or commissions would go down.
Who knows if any of that will be true, but there are three things I know for sure:
1.) The real estate has been changing for a long time, change in our industry began with the development of the MLS.
2.) There is nothing to fear as an agent about your future if you can always be answering that question, “why should someone choose you among all other agents and why should they buy or sell a home at all.” If you can answer that, your future is not only safe as an agent, but you’ll thrive.
3.) Agents always have a huge opportunity at their fingertips in times of change. There will be those that embrace it and grow their businesses and there will be those that leave the business. The same thing happened during the “crash” of 2008. My business grew, many agents were out of business. You have to know which side of this change you are going to be on. You have to choose.
So, should you go to the Inman conference? It depends on what you are looking to get out of it. If you are looking to learn how to grow your business or for an education like, no. But, if you want to be in the roof with the major heads of every brokerage and the leaders in this industry, yes. And that is very valuable to be a part of.
Just a quick shout out to the folks at Inman, especially Brad Inman for being a great source in our industry for moving the ball forward. I love what you bring to the table, I love how your push our industry and are really the only voice of news within our industry other than our own National Association of Realtors. Your presence makes us all better agents and is shaping the future of real estate. Thank you for what you do every day to help us all grow and become better agents.
If you do decide to attend a conference, here are some Pro Tips:
-Know that Inman, like any conference, is an investment and you get out what effort you put in.
-Be sure to download the app for lots of helpful information on speakers and what topics are being covered when and who is speaking where
-Talk to people next to you. It’s fun to hear their perspectives, I learned so much from my fellow attendees!
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