• Be a visionary when it comes to what you and your business can do.
  • It's all about giving to your clients and team. That's the true path to success.
  • The time to start investing in tech isn't now. It was several years ago. Get moving, but know that you don't have to do it all yourself.

Hacker Connect January 16 in New York
An event for and by the real estate tech community

Before I started attending Inman Connect, I was a bit skeptical when I heard people gush about how every conference was better than the last. Last week marked my third at Inman Connect New York, and I have to admit: it’s true.

Every conference I’ve attended really has been better than the previous one. Which means ICNY last week was pretty spectacular.

What I loved most about this conference was the roster. It was packed with many levels of smart, insightful panelists and speakers. Among all the amazing presentations, however, certain remarks captured my attention. Here are my five favorite quotes from the conference and why they matter.

“If you don’t adopt disruptive technology, you will be disrupted.” -Brad Inman

Inman opened the conference with a big booming shot across the real estate industry’s bow. And he was right: today’s marketplace is full of disruptive technology. If you aren’t ready to learn it and adopt it, then guess what? You’re going to become obsolete.

Aside from the issue of job security, why does this matter? Because disruptive technology has amazing potential to enhance your real estate business. Inman mentioned three specific possibilities: on-demand and virtual showing tools, predictive analytics and smart-contract software.

The first two will qualify your leads, so you and your sellers don’t waste time and money on lookie-loos. And the third will streamline transactions so you can close more houses in the same amount of time. What’s not to like about that?

“They saw what was possible. I didn’t.” -Seth Godin

Jenna Bascom / Inman.com

Jenna Bascom / Inman.com

Disclaimer: I am a Seth Godin fangirl. I actually have a whole list of quotes from his fantastic presentation, but this one and the third one jumped out at me for a reason.

This particular quote is from Godin’s story about his “$40 billion missed opportunity.” While he was writing a book about the Internet — because that’s what he was used to — others were doing something with the Internet and launching companies that would eventually be worth billions of dollars.

The lesson? Don’t be limited by “the way we’ve always done it.” Have the vision to see new opportunities and harness them to expand your business horizons.

“Don’t be the person who is given a mile but only takes an inch.” -Seth Godin

This quote is a close corollary to the second. We live an age of unprecedented technology and access. It’s an old phrase, but the world really is your oyster. So if you’ve been mulling over doing something new and different with your real estate business, go for it.

With all the tools of modern marketing and business available to you, the potential for success is high. And if you don’t go for it? See Inman’s quote — someone else will.

“Don’t be the guy that shows up at the potluck with just a fork.” -Dave Liniger to Spencer Rascoff

Rascoff shared this gem on Wednesday morning. I think it’s a perfect word-picture of what the ideal agent doesn’t do. Every time a wildly successful agent or broker took the stage at Connect, I heard a common theme: successful agents and brokers give and give and give. To their clients, their team members, their businesses and their families.

Successful agents and brokers also care about the end results of their work. They believe deeply in the American dream of homeownership and truly want to see buyers and sellers find their perfect home match.

In short, a successful broker or agent is not the one who shows up at the potluck with just a fork — he or she is the one who shows up with a huge casserole of Grandma’s best recipe and enough to spare.

“If you have not made a change in your organization to ensure you have technical competency, you are way behind.” -Elizabeth Mendenhall

Note that Mendenhall didn’t say you need to catch up as soon as possible. She said you’re already behind. She captured a sense of urgency that many agents and brokers haven’t quite grasped.

But she also made an important point: there is more than one way to develop technical competency. So don’t feel like you have to tech-up the same way your colleagues do.

You probably need to meet a minimum standard of proficiency — keep up with your email, get comfortable with texting your millennial clients and try to understand what mobile-first means.

But it’s OK to hire out some of your tech. As Seth Price said in his “New School SEO” session, “It’s fine if you don’t have a smartphone — as long as your assistant does.” So feel free to invest in some outside help with social media, IT updates or building that mobile-first website. The point is just to make it happen.

And that was really a main theme of ICNY. In fact, it’s always a main theme at Connect. Make it happen. Successful agents and brokers don’t sit on the sidelines, they jump in with both feet. What are you going to make happen, now that you’ve been inspired by Connect?

Kathryn Royster is the marketing director for HouseLens, Inc. You can follow Kathryn on Twitter @kathrynroyster. HouseLens is on Facebook.

Email Kathryn Royster.