Tommy Sowers of SOLOpro will be one of the featured speakers at Inman Connect San Francisco.

We caught up with Sowers and asked him three questions about his real estate philosophy. Here’s what he had to say:


1. What’s something about the real estate industry you believe that others don’t?

Entrepreneurs see the real estate industry as a giant market ripe for disruption, but most assume that that they’re working in a zero-sum game. Many new players are trying to break down the foundation of the sale — the buyer-agent relationship — for the benefit of one side.

I reject this approach and its underlying assumptions. Agents aren’t middlemen to be bypassed; they’re professionals whose dedication and experience are indispensable. Buyers aren’t all the same; they each come to the home search with unique needs and unique skills of their own.

SOLOpro simplifies and personalizes the buyer-agent relationship and creates the first pro-agent, pro-buyer platform.

2. What connection have you made — business or personal — that changed the course of your life?

I can’t point to a solitary example — outside of my wife — but I’ve got a few hundred that make my life richer, fuller and more connected.

I care about deep connections. I’ve been lucky to work with folks who have seem me lead in various contexts — military, for-profit, political nonprofit, high levels of government, academia and now entrepreneurial. They keep me on track, and because I’m not always asking for something — and vice versa — they’ve each changed the course of my life: upward.

Now working, advising and investing with me on SOLOpro, I have a fraternity buddy who runs a billion-dollar business at PayPal; a college bud venture capitalist; the former head of Young & Rubicam; a former presidential candidate; a former CIA director; three CMOs of publicly traded companies (and a longer list) who may not have been able to help in a previous iteration, but can and do so now.

They’ve all changed my course and set it on a higher level.

3. What’s on your radar for 2016 as a sleeper opportunity for agents/brokers/companies in the real estate space?

We’ve heard from dozens of agents on how getting back control of their time is their No. 1 priority. Even for the most experienced agents, right after that, do the things they love to do.

Not every agent is a skilled negotiator, just as not every agent excels at pulling the perfect listing out of a haystack. They have strengths and weaknesses like the rest of us, but the traditional model demands a bundled service offering.

New technology and engaged, experienced buyers have combined to create an opportunity for agents to take their careers into their own hands and reach a new market built to highlight their strengths.

Register for Inman Connect San Francisco.

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