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Inman Connect 2020: What You Need to Know

industry news Feb 04, 2020

Last week we had the honor of attending Inman Connect 2020 in NYC. It was a week filled with insights, inspiration, and of course, some New York pizza 😄🍕🗽

We made sure to take notes and capture the best moments of the conference so we could share our top takeaways from the event.

If you weren't able to attend the conference, here's what you need to know:


Technology Will Continue To Shape The Real Estate Industry

Technology is nothing new in real estate. For years, we’ve been seeing chatbots, iBuyers, drone footage, and virtual tours playing an important role for real estate agents, property managers, title companies, and consumers alike, and this was a central topic at Inman Connect. 

Brad Inman opened day 2 of the event providing his perspective:  tech is a benefit to agents, and not a threat.

“I’ve never been as excited as today. A technology wave is coming and is going to make things better for the consumer and better for you, the agent.” - Brad Inman

We also saw a prime example of a brokerage incorporating cutting edge tech in a tour of eXp Realty’s virtual campus from CEO, Glenn Sanford. Whether you like it or you don't, you have to agree, it's pretty cool 😎

Video is More Important Than Ever

At almost every session we attended, the importance of video in 2020 and the foreseeable future was a common theme. 

Bradley Nelson, CMO of Sotheby’s International Realty, shared that HGTV has eclipsed CNN in viewership. “Real estate content has become an entertainment category for many consumers," he said. We’ve seen this trend for a while, and when it comes down to it, people love looking at beautiful houses, especially in video format

However, when Kendall Bonner, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Capital Realty, asked the crowd in her session how many were using video, less than half the room raised their hands. 

She encouraged real estate agents to use video, and also strategies to get results. "The biggest mistake that agents make is not including text or closed captions," said Bonner. 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound, making it essential to include captions when in your videos and video ads.

It's apparent that there is a huge opportunity for real estate agents to take advantage of this trend in 2020 and produce their own content to share with eager online audiences. If there's one takeaway from the conference we can leave you with, it's this: agents who use video will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition and come out on top.

Social Media Sells

Social media marketing has been around for years now, but many agents still haven’t doubled down and fully taken advantage of its potential for building a brand, generating leads, and earning new clients. At Inman Connect 2020, the value of social media to agents was practically screamed from the rooftops.

Nick Bailey, CCO of RE/MAX, LLC shared that he actually got 75% of his business from social media. You heard that right- 75%! 

When Ryan Serhant, NYC broker and star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing, hit the stage, everyone's phones came out, which lead perfectly into his main points. “Social media is the biggest gift we have as salespeople," he said. "I can connect with people I've never even met before. It's crazy, nuts when you think about it."

At Tech Connect on Tuesday, Gregory Youngblood, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Matterport, urged real estate agents to turn their focus to Millennials, a powerful force in the buyer market. “37% of buyers are millennials, you have to reach out to them where they are," he said. Where do millennials spend all their time? Social media. If you're not catering social media content to reach a millennial audience, you will miss out on a substantial chunk of the market.

Be a Leader in Your Business and Life

Finally, one of the powerful takeaways from Inman Connect this year was that it's not always the best moments that define us. It's the toughest situations, our failures, that have the power to shape us into great leaders.

Abby Wambach, US Soccer star, activist, and author urged us to see failure as something positive. 

She described the proudest moment of her career was as not being the leading female goalscorer in the world, but rather how she reacted to being benched in the 2015 Women's World Cup.

"It’s ok if life benches you sometimes. What’s not ok is to miss your opportunity to lead from the bench. Everything I learned about leadership was actually sitting right there on that bench next to me."

Whether you're a world-class athlete or a real estate professional, her words ring true. What really defines you as a leader is how you react to life's toughest moments. 

We also heard the inspiring words of former Marine Sergeant, Kirstie Ennis. She shared her story of perseverance in the face of adversity. After being critically injured in a helicopter crash while on duty in Afghanistan, Kirstie Ennis pushed through brain injury, spine trauma, and a leg amputation. She now dedicates her life to serving others and has summited all 7 of the world's highest peaks (including Mt. Everest!), all while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. 

In her words, "these injuries do not define me. We can control what our thoughts, emotions, and perspectives are."

Her speech was followed by a well-deserved standing ovation and left everyone in the room with a new perspective on just how much we can overcome.

In a few words, Inman Connect New York 2020 was compelling, inspiring, and representative of the direction of the industry in 2020 and the coming years. We'll definitely be back 😉

Want to see more memorable moments from the conference? Check out our Inman Connect Story Highlight on our Instagram profile, @propertysimple.


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