Some exciting personnel news: Matthew Shadbolt is joining Inman as chief product & marketing officer. Matthew has spent the last dozen years building and sharing cool real estate products, first at Corcoran and then at The New York Times. He starts with us on September 18th. If you don’t already know him, you should. For starters, check out what he has to say about his new role, the wonders of New Jersey, and why he loves the Inman community:
As many of you who’ve attended Connect over the past 10 years will know, I’m a longtime, passionate advocate of our Inman community. It’s a group of people I’ve seen come together like no other, uniting to help each other learn, overcome problems both personal and professional, and to lead a wider discussion for the industry at large about what to do, when to do it, and what works best. It’s a vibrant, ever-changing, dynamic community of readers and conference attendees, enthusiastic about what they do, and what they think. In many ways it fondly feels like a place I still go to school each day.
But when I think about our products here, I first think about the people problem. The real estate industry finds itself at a unique, pivotal moment in history, with consolidation, automation, and disintermediation accelerating more than we’ve ever seen. More investment is pouring into our startups than ever before, even while associations look to align in the face of huge technological challenges. The value of the agent continues to be in question, especially with younger customers, and the sense of information being free, everywhere, is causing many to rethink their long-held business models. Confusion abounds everywhere, on both sides of the transaction.
Throughout it all, the Inman product, either online or in person, has always skillfully navigated answers to the questions these problems raise for industry professionals. Questions such as What does this mean for me? or What should I do about this? It purposefully sheds light on the unknown, provides insight for the curious, and guidance for the lost.
Over time it’s become an incredibly valuable, daily resource for understanding the shifting dynamics of the market, the technology, the customer, and perhaps most interestingly, our professional relationship to each other. The people problem here is ensuring that when we think about the experience of reading something at Inman News, that we continue to build with deep empathy about service, context, and access. That when a reader experiences our work, we make it actionable, and relentlessly, relentlessly helpful.
So when Brad and Josh recently asked me to join their team, I got thinking about the uniquely exciting moment the industry faces, and the people who need our help most. I believe that the real estate industry deserves a truly great, daily news resource to help professionals understand and make clear sense of these changes. Inman has served that role with admirable leadership for over 20 years, and it’s a great product and marketing challenge to take on in making it even better.
I’m incredibly inspired by my colleague Carl’s notes around the journalistic mission at Inman, and the strong sense of purpose around what we’re building here:
“We’ll be tracking more innovators and innovations; producing more in-depth, investigative reporting on the human drama in real estate, including controversial issues like gentrification and affordability; delivering unsparing coverage of industry giants and upstarts; publishing incisive analysis of trends and viral stories; and offering forward-looking pieces on where it’s all headed.”
Building products that create amazing reader experiences around our journalism, or incredible attendee experiences around our events is something I’m really passionate to be working on with you all, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together. I plan to listen, a lot.
I feel like I know so many of you already, but for those who don’t know me, here’s a little more about where I’ve been. I come from the design world, but I’ve worked in real estate for the past 12 years, first at The Corcoran Group, where I built a large suite of digital experiences for Manhattan and Brooklyn’s largest brokerage. I loved working with the agents there, and have incredibly fond memories of the strong sense of purpose and community amongst the agents. It’s there that I first met many members of the Inman community, who helped shape and guide much of what we did at Corcoran, especially in social media.
After 8 years at Corcoran I transitioned to head up the Real Estate section of The New York Times, where I ran all of their Real Estate products and marketing efforts, and was responsible not just for the user experience of the section, but also for the section’s results in terms of audience and revenue. It’s rightfully a much beloved section of The New York Times, and my experience there, especially over the past year, will be one I will always treasure.
And on the personal side, I live in beautiful suburban New Jersey with my wife, Mary, our young daughter, Emma, two cats and a crazy dog. I’m originally from England and a graduate of The Jan van Eyck Akademie in Holland, where I specialized in Interactive Design. I’ve lived in many different countries over the years, but New Jersey truly feels like home, something our wonderful realtor 12 years ago was able to help us understand. I love Destiny, Game of Thrones, and I’m a lifelong, very proud, Star Wars fan. It’s a great time to be a geek.
So as we look to improve and optimize our products here, none of that can happen without the voices of you, our reader, our conference attendee. You are why we build these experiences, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your suggestions as to how to build an even more important, relevant and helpful set of services for what I believe to be a truly great industry.
If you’d like to say hi, I’d love to hear from you. I’m firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can’t wait to get going. I’ll see you all soon!