Roland Kampmeyer has been making the trip to Inman Connect New York from Cologne, Germany for several years now, and always finds something new to take back to invigorate his business for the next year. We recently sat down with Roland to ask him about his team’s experiences in attending Connect, and to get some advice and insight for how to make the most of your time there.
You’ve been coming to Connect New York for several years now. What do you remember about your first experience and what advice would you give a first time attendee?
My recommendation would be: get rid of your dead weight. You can try and prepare yourself as thoroughly as you want for Connect, the first time will always knock you off your feet. It is much more important to be perceptive for all the new and unexpected impressions you will get, and forget all the knowledge you have on the real estate industry to be able to view the industry on a new scale and meet inspiring new people.
The atmosphere of departure, the diverse, dynamic and open mindedness create an atmosphere that reflects the New York vibe in its very own way. Every January the Marriott Marquis becomes for me the meeting point for the crazy, the obsessed and the enthusiastic. With passionate people, who seek to develop something entirely new or preserve the existing, the disruption of the industry comes to meet it’s century old tradition.
Some of my personal highlights were meeting leaders like Sherry Chris, Diane Ramirez, Pam Johnson O’Connor and of course Brad Inman. They are unique examples for the whole industry. Their fascination, persuasive power and their support amaze me over and over again every year.
The selection of speakers is always special, always different: “When the future moves in next door: making your way in the new media neighborhood.” David Carr from The New York Times and his vision of the future. This was one of the keynotes in 2011.
In 2013 Matthew Shadbolt changed my digital perspective with his speech “Three Social Innovation Trends Worth Watching′′. He described three ground breaking developments of corporate communication: Fluid Mobility, Holistic Social and Digital Whitespace. He saw in these three spheres of activity the inexhaustible potential of digital business.
Last year Gary Vaynerchuk challenged us to become the “Digital Mayor” of our hometown. A Real Estate Broker is a media company in the first place and this idea has basically become the current reality of the industry today.
Connect is very well known for its ability to create long-lasting, meaningful networking opportunities. What would your advice be to those looking to grow their business through new connections in January?
As a European and a German, I mostly value the chances and possibilities that open themselves to me at Real Estate Connect. On an international basis, the focus lies within the exchange of knowledge. Whether it is in terms of human resource management, digitalization of the Real Estate industry or in terms of consulting – and sales operations, for each subject we create progress throughout our global exchange of experience.
Every year the people I look forward to meeting again multiply. Each one of them is a valid reason for me to also be part of Connect in January 2018. If you develop your network wisely and take your time in maintaining it, you will achieve the best results. The best possibility of developing a network of high quality Real Estate professionals is at Connect.
How do you pick which sessions to attend, and why?
The broad choice of topics from market cultivation to property presentation, client relationship maintenance to general management, up to the correlations of business areas or company key figures, make it particularly difficult to choose. Especially because they all intertwine with each other and I would not want to miss any of them.
I therefore recommend making a systematic pick on key aspects regarding the situation of your company and which topics are relevant for you in your daily business. For me digitalization is the main topic in 2018, as it makes our business more complex, being a comprehensive mega-resource. On the one hand, we are forced to rethink our business model from top to bottom; on the other hand, digitalization offers us the key to a successful future-oriented company. Since for my company all topics are relevant, I also make my choice regarding the different speakers and attendees of the sessions.
What’s the single biggest thing not to miss at every Connect?
At Connect anything is possible. Any minute you might learn or hear something that is able to completely change your life. The one big thing you shouldn’t miss is to grasp all the incentives, and which are likely to give you sensational input on your personal development. Keynote speakers and special industry celebrities with great contributions influence the whole character and atmosphere of Connect. They are responsible for the creative and exciting vibes that you will feel in every session and in all your encounters.
For those still on the fence about attending, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them?
If you are still hesitating, you should give yourself a big move. Get out of your comfort zone! Everybody who wants to be more successful in the Real Estate industry will see the business from another perspective after Connect. Only after Connect you will be able to decide: do I want to change my perspective and give fresh boost to my business, or not? With every visit of Connect my vision of things becomes clearer and more focused, and Connect helps me face daily challenges in these turbulent times.
It’s like an energy bar and an energy drink at the same time: double exhilarating!