Every year, Inman celebrates the most innovative real estate agents, the pioneers and veterans who drive the real estate industry with their dedication to clients and ability to close a tough deal.
This year’s finalists for the Inman Innovators Most Innovative Agent category are using marketing, experience from past lives and an unparalleled level of client service to stay relevant and elevate the industry as a whole.
Many of them will be taking the stage at Inman Connect San Francisco, July 17 through 20 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, and celebrating their achievements at the Inman Innovator Bash, July 19 at Verso. Here are some highlights from the 2018 class of nominees for the Most Innovative Real Estate Agent:
Andrea Geller, HOT PROPERTY The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage: Andrea Geller has been active at all levels of the Realtor associations. But Geller is more than just active: She is an activist, openly critical of decisions, lack of transparency and financial shenanigans at Realtor groups. She was even sued for defamation by the Chicago Association of Realtors for challenging the trade group’s finances. The lawsuit was settled after three years.
David Smith, Royal LePage Wolstencroft: David Smith’s emphasis on face-to-face service, executing on what he’s promised to do, and truly listening and responding to client questions and concerns has helped him build appreciation and trust with all of his clients — and earned him lots of business in the competitive Vancouver real estate market.
Elliot Machado, One Sotheby’s Miami: Elliot Machado knows how to appeal to the biggest generation of homebuyers to date. Elliot Machado’s Brickell Scoop social club brings together millennials with buying power in Miami by enticing them with karaoke, cocktails, comedy events and more. It’s established him as a social organizer and brought him real estate business, too.
Jay O’Brien, Re/Max Prestige: Jay O’Brien’s theory is that money spent on marketing could be better spent on client experience, and he puts that money where his mouth is by investing in tools and services that make his clients love him for life. By focusing on the things his clients actually want from him personally, and outsourcing the rest, O’Brien has also been able to free himself from a typical 24/7 real estate agent existence, spending his time only on what really matters.
Jeff Goodman, Halstead Property: Jeff Goodman has created private walking tours alongside an expert tour guide in New York City to help both natives and transplants rediscover the city they love — and to help build his brand as a Halstead Property agent. By melding history and education with real estate, he’s establishing himself as someone who knows New York better than most transaction specialists in the Big Apple.
Jimmy Carroll, Carroll Realty Inc.: It’s commonly stated that real estate agents should strive to be the mayors of their communities, but few of them go as far as to actually run for office. Jimmy Carroll of Carroll Realty (and mayor of Isle of Palms in South Carolina) is just that committed to the health and longevity of his community, advocating for homeowners while executing his civic duty.
Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker: Joyce Rey’s longevity in the real estate industry proves that she’s one of the best in the world at the business — and that she can adapt to changes with aplomb. She’s a household name among luxury buyers and sellers in Los Angeles, where A-list stars seek her help with their home transactions and where discretion and white-glove service come standard.
Nathaniel Crawford, One Sotheby’s International Realty: Technology makes our lives easier in so many ways, but there isn’t an app to manage everything — yet. Nathaniel Crawford is trying to pave the way for more real estate tech that services buyers; Crawford is one of the creators of the Live Exclusively Miami app, which provides buyers and agents with information about a curated collection of new and pre-construction apartment buildings in Miami, all in the $1 million-plus range.
Rayni Williams, Hilton & Hyland: Rayni Romito Williams has been involved in more than $4 billion in transactions throughout her career and has established a remarkable real estate record. Her knowledge of local market trends and luxury property inventory, paired with an energetic and confident disposition, has allowed her to quickly become one of the top-ranking agents in the country.