Startups eager to prove their mettle, real estate's notables, and techies from Silicon Valley and beyond will convene to share all things tech-related in the real estate industry at the 14th annual Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco.
The event will run July 13-15, 2010, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. About 2,000 real estate professionals are expected to attend the event, which will feature over 100 speakers.
The conference will feature healthy dose of competition. Inman News will announce the winners of its annual Innovator Awards, which are given to forward-thinking companies that help improve the real estate transaction experience for real estate professionals and consumers.
Last year, winners included Nest Realty Group, Closing.com, and Ubertor. An Innovator of the Year award is also given to an individual who embodies real estate innovation. Finalists will be announced June 1.
Connect Create, an intense, 48-hour "hackathon," is also back. For two days, real estate developers will battle sleep deprivation and each other to create a brand new Web application for the residential real estate industry. The apps will be evaluated on the merits of user interface, real world practicality, and originality. Competitors are not allowed to write code beforehand and must work alone or in teams of up to four people. They will present their creations on the last day of the conference.
New to Connect this year is a one-day event exclusively for real estate agents, called Agent Reboot. Agent Reboot is scheduled on Monday, July 12 -- the day before the conference is officially scheduled to start. One thousand agents are expected to attend.
At Agent Reboot, a combination of speakers and coaches will cover tech trends, social media, Internet marketing, and market conditions in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the afternoon the ActiveRain real estate network, Zillow.com, and the California Association of Realtors will hold workshops.
Zillow will discuss how to get the most out of its site; ActiveRain will cover social media and search-engine optimization; and association representatives will cover industry trends, including handling distressed properties, reaching potential Gen X and Y clients; and a report on the state of the industry.
Start-Up Alley will return to Connect. Enthusiastic startups will show off the latest real estate tech tools they've dreamed up. Among the participants are fuzedagent, Working Equity, and SocialMadeSimple.
One conference workshop available will focus on the free publishing platform WordPress. Dustin Luther of 4realz Consulting will moderate that half-day workshop. Participants will learn how to use WordPress as a blogging platform, website and/or content management system.
Other workshops competing for attendees' interest are "Digital Marketing Bootcamp," the "Broker Summit" specifically for brokers, and "Connect Tech" for the geeks in the crowd.
Also new this year are Connect Meetups, which are informal networking groups led by experts in specific focus areas, including: multiple listing service operators, vendors, and staff; real estate tech vendors; agents; and brokers/owners. The aim of the meetups is to brainstorm how to solve problems unique to each group.
Among the featured speakers scheduled to attend:
- Social media and customer service guru Wendy Lea, who is CEO of Get Satisfaction. Lea will discuss "Customer Care in An Age Where Everyone is a VIP."
- Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanion, who will talk about "How to Make a Splash in Social Media."
- Gary Flake, founder of Microsoft Live Labs will talk about "Exploring the Limits of Innovation" and presenting information in attractive and meaningful ways.
- Realtor.com's Errol Samuelson.
- SimpleGeo's Matt Galligan.
- Wall Street Journal's tech columnist Kara Swisher.
- Craig Newmark, creator of Craigslist.
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