Alex Chang, CEO at Roost.com, a company that offers online social media networking and marketing tools, will discuss how to engage consumers and grow your brand using Facebook, as as a speaker at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 12-14, 2011.

Chang has previously served in executive roles at TotalMove.com, WalMart.com and VacationSpot.com. He responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

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

Don’t be afraid to change direction if your gut tells you to do it.

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

My first exposure to the technology startup world was Netscape in 1997, and I got hooked.

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

My wife and I were very thoughtful about trying to time this market. We were fortunate enough to have bought in one of the few ZIP codes in San Francisco that appreciated despite the crash. We sold that property to buy in an area that had softened. Luck and location.

4. What’s the coolest technology you’ve discovered this year, and how are you using it?

My HTC EVO smart phone. I am using it a ton for both business and personal — (it’s a) huge change in my consumption of the Web.

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

The vast majority of your business comes from the strength of your network. Take advantage of all the cool tools that have emerged to help you grow and strengthen that.

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

It used to be golf. Now it’s my kids.

7. Who is your hero, and why?

My daughter Cayley. She is hands down the most persistent person I’ve ever met.

8. What do you view as the biggest problem facing the real estate industry today, and how would you fix it?

The market needs time to work itself out. Be patient.

Hear Roost.com CEO Alex Chang speak during the "Facebook, Engagement, Recommendations and the Future of Your Brand" session at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 12-14, 2011.

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