Greg Rand, a managing partner with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in White Plains, N.Y., and author of the House Rich Blog, will take the stage during the Real Estate Connect SF 2010 conference, which runs from July 13-15 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.

An industry veteran who has offered commentary on real estate market matters for TV news programs, Rand will join Glenn Kelman, CEO for tech-savvy brokerage firm Redfin, in "The Nerd vs. the Networker," a session during the conference. Rand responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

1. What is the most important business lesson you learned in the past year?

The movements of the real estate market can be predicted with certainty — not necessarily when the next stage of the cycle will come, but what it will look like as it draws near.

I’ve learned what will come next and how it will first manifest itself, and because the market moves slowly, that’s enough.

2. What inspired you to pursue your current career path?

I grew up as a first-hand witness of the entrepreneurial experience. My mom started our company when I was a kid. When you’re a kid, you only know what you experience, and I experienced a startup company from the very beginning and saw it grow from a passionate idea to a market leader.

I consider myself an entrepreneur, and having experienced entrepreneurial success by the age of 18 was awesome.

3. Share a personal experience or anecdote about buying, selling, owning or renting a home.

Back in 2003, when the market was raging and bidding wars were the norm, I was in the market as a buyer. I lost two bidding wars in a row. My wife couldn’t understand how a real estate professional like me couldn’t play the game a little better so we could buy a damned house.

The next listing came along and we pounced. I had that puppy in contract within 10 days of it hitting the market. Unfortunately, we realized a little later that we hated the house. So I had to sell it. I am a one-man commission-generating machine.

real estate connect san francisco inman news4. What is the coolest technology you’ve discovered this year, and how are you using it?

The "cloud," via Google Calendar. I’m a simple guy. One way I maintain my sanity is that I don’t retain things like my schedule in short-term memory. I have no idea where I am supposed to be in two hours, and now that’s just fine.

5. What is your advice for real estate industry professionals to thrive in this market?

Work harder and be better at your job than your competition. Like I said: simple.

6. What is your favorite non-work-related hobby?

Coaching Little League. Recently I was asked a password security question by a website and I learned something about myself. The question was, "What is the name of your favorite high school teacher?" and I couldn’t remember one. I could, however, remember all of my coaches.

7. Who is your hero, and why?

My daughter, Diana. She was diagnosed with scoliosis a few years ago and was told she had to wear a brace 23 hours a day until she reached age 16 (she was 5). I was a basket case until I saw her showing off her new "suit of armor." She decided she was special, and the brace was a good thing.

She has never complained about it, and had progressed so well in reversing the curvature of her spine that she is down to wearing it only at night, and only if we want her to. So much strength in such a cute little package.

8. What do you view as the biggest problem facing the real estate industry today?

(Its) broken business model. When 99 percent of the brokerages in the U.S. go into the red when the market cycles down, that’s a broken business model.

9. What do you hope to learn at the Real Estate Connect conference?

How to use social media to unleash the passion and experiences of independent real estate investors everywhere.

10.Tell us something we don’t already know about you.

I’m starting a new company. Stay tuned …


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.

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