01 The Audience

Audience/Participants
The audience is primarily agents and brokers, the best and brightest in the industry. Many will be from the local area but we also have attendees coming in from all over.  Here is a breakdown of our attendees from previous events.

Real Estate Sales or Brokerage 68.4 %
Technology and Data Related 11.7 %
MLS & Associations 7.6 %
Marketing Related Services 6.9 %
Title, Escrow and Mortgage 5.4 %

Company Position
Realtor 35.9 %
Broker 21.6 %
C-level executive 26.7 %
Marketing directors 15.8 %

02 Give the audience useful, specific takeaways

Making your presentation successful
We have an amazing lineup of speakers this year, and we are asking each of you to meet two very important criteria to make your presentations successful:

  1. Why is this information important?
  2. How can the audience use the information to help their business/What are the real world takeaways?

03 Be Yourself

Speaker Tips: Dos and Don’ts

DO provide at least 1 takeaway about your topic that the audience members can apply to their own businesses. For example, “Go out and do X, Y and Z. This is how.” Sometimes wrapping up with takeaways is the way to go. We are asking moderators to end every panel with that question, so be ready.

DON’T play it safe or take yourself too seriously. Enjoy yourself, have fun, be vulnerable. Connect is about candid conversation, things people can relate to.

DO be specific. For example, instead of saying, “In order to be successful, an agent needs to get connected online, say, “I have tried these three services: A, B and C, and I have found B to be the most successful and this is how I use it….”

DON’T try to provide too much information. Have a couple key messages to deliver (or even just one excellent point), and prepare and practice those messages.

DO give anecdotal information and tell personal stories. Offer research with specific metrics; or recommend specific books, Websites, apps or articles.

DON’T use the Connect stage as an opportunity to advertise your business or deliver a commercial message. Talking through your company experience is one thing, waxing poetic about how great you, your company or your product is, is unacceptable. Plus, those who have made that mistake lose all credibility with  our audience.

DO prepare and practice. This not only includes research and note-taking, but also taking the time to connect with your moderator before hand, so you know what to expect.

DON’T look at the screens. Doing this pulls your head away from the mic.

DO eat something with sugar 15 minutes before you go on, to give you a little energy kick.

DO smile and enjoy yourself. This is an opportunity not torture!

04 Body Language

  • If you are standing, right or left foot forward, smile and talk to the audience.
  • If you are sitting, lean forward, sit up straight and talk to the audience.
  • Try to speak directly to the audience but feel free to capture that conversational element by engaging other panelists. Whatever you do, speak clearly and directly into the mic
  • If you are holding a mic, don’t let it drift more than six inches from your mouth.
  • Try to smile as much as you can on stage. Smiling doesn’t just make the audience feel better about you but actually makes you feel better about yourself and you are more confident.

05 Dealing with Nerves

If you are not nervous, you are not human. As Brad, who has been a public speaker for 30 years, often says, “The day I am not nervous when I go up on stage, is the day I stop public speaking.” His point is that nervousness gives you the energy that helps you project who you are, so embrace the nerves! Also, people in the audience won’t even notice the butterflies in your tummy or the sweat on your palms.

To channel that nervous energy in a positive way, right before you go on stage, think of something good that happened to you recently: a hole in one, a good night out with friends, a hug from your child or grandchild, or that perfect cup of coffee, beer or glass of wine. You might also arrange to have a friend or family member send you a text right before you go on, telling you something funny or just a simple reminder that “you will be awesome.” A little extra confidence booster works wonders.

06 Helpful Hints

This is not Discovery’s Naked and Afraid TV Show. Wear whatever you want on stage: Baroni suit, flip flops, Hawaiian shirt, starched blue oxford shirt. Wear what makes you most comfortable. There is no dress code.  A button down shirt does help, so that we can place a lav mic in the best position possible. If we have to put a mic on a collar, all it takes is for a presenter to look the other way while speaking, and we lose them. You may be sitting on a stool so keep that in mind, your shoes show off and sometimes skirts can be a problem, but that is your call.

Go Ahead, Try a Chris Farley. If you decide to walk off stage, FYI, the audio setup may be compromised and we will not capture your pretty face on video. But on stage, walk all over the place if that makes you comfortable. Even panelists can jump up and walk around to make a point. We will not judge you for this sudden outburst of energy. Passion baby, we love it, and so does our audience. Warning: do something out of character (remember be yourself) and you may look a tad awkward or silly. But that’s OK too, we love when people get out of their comfort zone. We are your lab.

We’re Here to Help. If you need something, or you need to go back a slide, just ask—yes ask—right into your mic. The audience will love you for asking for help, that is human and makes you vulnerable and likeable. Then be patient and give us a couple of seconds to respond.

The Stage is Bright. Sorry, there is nothing we can do about that if you want us to be able to capture camera footage.

You Will Be Great. Remember, you will be great on stage. You know your stuff, that is why we invited you. Just be yourself and have fun. We are covering your back every minute of the way.

As Brad’s dad used to tell him when he did TV, “Don’t worry when you make a mistake Bradley, you may obsess on it, but everyone else notices without judgment for a split second and then they go on fretting about their own lives.”

07 Common Questions, Answered

  1. Must I really be there 30 minutes before the session? Yes.
  2. Will I get questions ahead of time? In some cases you will, and often you will not. This way your answers are not scripted, unnatural and unconvincing. Rest assured the moderator will stay on subject and only ask you questions that you are qualified to answer.
  3. Where can I get a cocktail afterwards? We’ll take care of it, just let us know what you’d like.
  4. Can I call in sick? No.
  5. How do I look? GREAT! How did I do? GREAT!

08 Fun Facts in Inman Connect history

  • Not long ago, Brad gave his entire speech before 1800 people with his zipper down. The only person who noticed was Brad.
  • One speaker got on stage froze up and forgot his name. The moderator saved him and he was one of the most well-liked speakers ever. Humanity is wonderful.
  • A few years ago, two of the panelists got into a nasty debate, awkwardly personal and ugly. No winners that morning.
  • Four years ago in New York, the conference got hit by a blizzard and almost half of the speakers canceled, but it was ranked one of our best conferences ever as pinch hitters stepped up and  were awesome.
  • One speaker broke one of her shoe heels when she walked onto the stage. She took off her shoes and gave a killer presentation in her stocking feet.
  • A speaker once got in a ski accident two weeks before Connect: he showed up for his speech in crutches and waved them around to make his points.
  • Connect is famous for one-liners: Rupert Murdoch’s will go down in history, “What the hell does Zillow mean.”

09 Want Examples?

Here are two presentations from past Inman Connect Conferences that demonstrate how tapping into your emotions and showing your passion, along with bringing an infectious amount of energy on stage results in valuable and memorable moments for our audience.

10 Watch and Learn

View Billy Ekofo’s presentation

View Kala Laos’ presentation

11 The Future of Real Estate — the five-year horizon

A select group of influential real estate professionals gathered in April in the desert of Palm Springs for the 2019 edition of Inman Disconnect. They wrestled with the pressing real estate issues of the day. They worked earnestly to figure out where the real estate market, the industry and the consumer experience are headed. The group comprised a diverse collection of professionals from all segments of the industry.

For three days, they cast aside their self-interests, avoided protectionism and imagined what might unfold in the next five years.

The big takeaway is that there are two fundamental ways of looking at the real estate future: bright or dark. This group resolved that the future was promising. Here are the predictions from Disconnect 2019:

Changes are afoot that will put the consumer first
In the next five years, buying and selling a home will become easier. Exciting new housing types, ready and affordable financing and transparency will create a vibrant and exciting marketplace. If done right, all of these changes will offer a better consumer experience, more transactions and a vital and competitive industry.

The market, trends and consumer choice
The real estate market will remain strong for the next couple of years, as low interest rates and pent-up demand lead to a more dynamic housing market. With greater transparency, buyers and sellers will have more confidence in the market.

New ways of buying and selling will emerge, attracting more ready-to-act consumers to the market. Innovation in financing, new housing types and a more efficient buying and selling process will make homeownership more attainable.

The swifter transaction is on its way
On demand, certainty and seamless transactions will become the new standard. A smoother transaction will attract more qualified and eager buyers and willing sellers.

Enabled by technology, the process will be easier, less intimidating and more inviting to the consumer. Mortgage, title and escrow will be entirely digital and will be seamlessly integrated into the process of buying and selling.

This all adds up to a friendlier real estate experience, matching the exuberance that new buyers experience nestling into a new home.

Shifting roles and new business models
The quality of agent services will improve. The number of agents will decline. Those who thrive will work off big platforms and perform a range of services. They will be rated and ranked by the consumer, adding to a more transparent marketplace.

Franchises will become agent support networks. Broker owners will dump poor-performing agents. Many brokerages will adjust their business models to deliver an on-demand experience for the consumer.

The broker cooperation model will weaken, but the consumer will still have many choices — and in some cases, more.

iBuyers, on-demand services and consumer-direct models will take market share. More technology companies will build their businesses around the emerging on-demand market place.

Court cases will erode the independent contractor model and more agents will become employees, raising the bar on agent performance.

Partnerships, M&A and consolidation accelerate
Many large and medium-sized broker owners will merge, become more virtual and focus on their agents’ financial well being, performance and productivity.

New opportunities created by the real estate metamorphosis are attracting a record number of venture and private equity investors who seek the rewards of a disrupted industry. Consolidation will continue for large broker owners, and even franchises. Big tech companies — some combination of Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Airbnb or Google — will enter the real estate business in earnest in the next five years, giving the consumer more choices.

An open technology and data market will replace the closed system that operated for the past 100 years.

Lawsuits and the Department of Justice will shine brightly on any attempt to thwart tech and business model innovation.

The expansive role of platforms
A few select platforms that scale — for both iBuyers and tech brokers — will catch on. Consumers will be drawn to these transparent tech-enabled platforms that offer multiple applications streamlining the buying and selling process.

The platforms will compete for consumer attention based on services and access to the most qualified and able real estate professionals.

They will also offer integrated services for agents and for consumers, including title insurance, mortgage loans and closing services.

The tools to render virtual showings, smart contracts and instant offers will operate off these platforms.

Data ownership fights will be less raucous
Data ownership will continue to be fought over by tech companies, platforms, broker owners and franchises. But who gets access to what information will be guided by fundamental principles including fair use, consumer privacy, open access and quality of the data.

The contentious nature of data control will not subside, but standards, cooperation and putting the consumer first could drive resolution on many of the divisive issues.

In an ideal world, “data control” jargon should be replaced by language like “data that serves the consumer first.”

A single listing database is on the horizon
A national homelisting database will emerge in the coming years. Reformed MLS organizations will play an important role, regulating local agent behavior. But they will no longer serve merely as technology shops for organizing local listing data with national vendors.

Firms like Zillow, CoreLogic and a few other firms have already organized local data into de facto national databases. These proprietary databases will foster competition as firms compete for the data, giving agents more choices and driving down the costs.

Open APIs will accelerate this outcome.

MLS organizations that do not merge will need to be lean, incorruptible and focus on agent services and ethics.

Roadblocks, detours and objections

  • Housing affordability will continue to haunt a market that does not work for everyone.
  • Local and national attempts to block innovation will hurt progress towards creating a better consumer experience.
  • Concentrated power among a handful of national companies could weaken the value of local professional services that help consumers realize homeownership.
  • Companies that try to control everything themselves — the data, the process and consumers — will thwart new forms of corporation.
  • Until a new system is devised, the broker cooperation tradition should not be carelessly abandoned. While it is a closed system, it is the foundation of a marketplace system that makes it possible for buyers to instantly see 95 percent of the listings in any given local market.
  • Pocket listings and other industry bad habits will continue to hurt the consumer experience.

We can’t wait to see you at Connect 2019!