There are a number of attendees who have already written their Inman Connect NYC 2015 takeaways, but I’ll throw my hat in the ring. If you don’t know what an Inman Connect is, it’s a real estate conference put on twice a year by Brad Inman and Inman News, with a myriad of keynote speakers from inside and outside the real estate space. I’ve been honored to have been an Inman Ambassador for both the San Francisco and New York City events over the past several years. (You can take a look at the Inman Connect NYC 2015 schedule here. The featured image for this blog post came from the Inman Connect Facebook Group.)
Here are 6 of my takeaways:
(a) Customize your clients’ experience as much as possible – be attuned to and track what they like, what their preferences are, and send them information based on the information you collect. (Recently, on NAR’s Facebook forum, someone shared their client care information form that they use to tailor their clients’ experience.)
(b) Emerging 3D technology is a huge wow for agents and clients alike – don’t be afraid to market it if you have it, and reach out to companies like Matterport to help your marketing really stand out from others. Other 3D technology to consider – 3D printers and virtual reality using tools like Samsung’s Gear VR.
(c) Know where you can compete and where you can’t – as an individual agent, you can’t compete with some brokerages and their money (or technology), but you can distinguish yourself from those organizations in showing what you can offer over and above what they offer. It’s a “concierge experience” world now, and some agents aren’t as motivated to consistently provide that level of service. Figure out your point of difference and rise above.
(d) Leverage others’ investments for your own good. Know what your broker has invested in and use that to your best benefit. Know what competing brokerages have invested in, and decide how you can use that to your advantage. How many clients use the Zillow app or Trulia app to search homes but still come back to you to actually buy or sell a home? If you can help them use apps more effectively, you’re still showing YOUR worth as an agent and providing an invaluable assistance to your client.
(e) Don’t count rentals out. There was a lot of talk about how real estate agents (and brokers) have successfully built businesses on the back of rentals, and how loyal people are if you continue to follow up once you’ve helped them get into a rental property. Even if that’s not the primary focus of your business, don’t just discount a potential tenant or landlord because you “don’t do rentals.”
(f) Think about how you can most positively affect your client experience throughout the transaction…before, during and after. How can you increase communication with the lender and your client? What about the title company? How can you strip away the real estate mysteries for your client so they feel comfortable throughout? And then what can you provide them AFTER the transaction that continues to keep you a part of their life?
These were my main takeaways. There was also chatter about emerging technologies, debates about the possibility of a nationwide MLS and a slew of up-and-coming companies to investigate – more than enough for 100 blog posts!
If you’re interested in attending the next Inman Connect event, it’s never too early to sign up! The next one will be held in San Francisco from August 4-7. Maybe I’ll see you there?