First time at Connect? Here's how to navigate Startup Alley like a pro

Startup Alley can be like wandering around on a casino floor — there’s a lot to take in and many ways to spend it up. Here’s our guide for a safe jaunt through Connect’s strip

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For those who haven’t been to Las Vegas in a while, or ever, know that for such a geographically small place, it can be quite overwhelming at times.

Just like trying get business in real estate.

The menu of visuals is rich with over-seasoned delicacies in Sin City, and the carnival pitches from technology players and eager tech entrepreneurs along Connect’s own Strip — Startup Alley — only add to the experience. And knowing how to come out of it without losing your wallet is essential to getting the most out of the show.

Here are a few things you should know:

1. Remember that the intent of the show is to help agents become more productive

Connect is arranged into multiple components so participants receive a well-rounded educational experience, ranging from industry trends to legitimate learning experiences.

Startup Alley’s intent is for you to know what kind of technological advantages are out there — again — to help you become a better agent.

Thus, there is no obligation to lay your money on the table. In fact, smart technology users analyze their options the same way a savvy poker player scans the pit before deciding where to drop their ante.

Use Startup Alley as your first step in a thorough due diligence process.

2. Keep your guard up

Like a card game with people you don’t know, be wary of a pitches that sound too good to be true. It’s called Startup Alley for a reason, meaning that some of the companies are in their early stages, and their marketing language could be at times a tad embellished. (Granted, it’s all part of business.)

Ask a vendor for a trial membership if you think it’s worthwhile, and don’t be afraid to ask to speak to current clients, who might very well be in attendance.

Know too, that many of the companies on display are very established after being in the same position a few years ago, and Inman is proud to have all of them — new and growing — as part of the show.

It’s our hope to always attract the scrappy, boot-strapped startup to Connect events. They power the future, after all.

3. Don’t feel like you have to compete with every agent at the event in understanding your tech options

There are some agents and teams who have more CRMs and marketing tools than they even know how to use, so when someone impresses you with words like “retargeting” or “sponsored content strategy,” know that that’s all it might be: a bunch of words.

It’s not about what others are doing to reach their leads; it’s about what you need to do to reach yours. Every real estate business is different, and what might work for the person who upgrades their cell phone at every new release might not work for the person who still attaches theirs to their belt.

4. Ask questions, lots of questions

It’s OK to not know. The software companies at the event can’t help if they don’t know what problems you’re having. The more you ask, the quicker you’ll learn the solution. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people in the industry and build new … wait for it … connections.

How do you stay ahead in a changing market? Inman Connect Las Vegas — Featuring 250+ experts from across the industry sharing insight and tactics to navigate threat and seize opportunity in tomorrow’s real estate. Join over 4,000 top producers, brokers and industry leaders to network and discover what’s next, July 23-26 at the Aria Resort. Hurry! Tickets are going fast, register today!

Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.

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Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe