The New Guard are the people building and defining the real estate industry for the next decade. 

Who comprises Inman’s New Guard? Entrepreneurs creating new business models. Executives pushing establishment companies forward into the future. Venture capitalists and investors funding the next wave of innovation. Leaders of organizations setting — and changing — the rules of the game. 

The New Guard is coming to Inman Disconnect at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, CA, March 30-April 1, 2020. Here now, three members of the New Guard who are joining the conversation in Palm Springs at Inman Disconnect: 

Mark Choey

Mark Choey

Founder, HighNote Labs

Mark Choey’s Climb Real Estate was never your typical brokerage. The firm, which Choey co-founded in 2010, quickly became known for its unique office spaces and — appropriately for its name — rapid rise to the top tier of the Bay Area’s competitive real estate ecosystem.

Realogy eventually bought Climb, and later shuttered the brand. But by then Choey was already deep into his next venture: HighNote Labs. The goal of the company is to create a new platform for real estate transactions, and to empower real estate agents. Earlier this year, Choey told Inman that the first step in that process is to create tools that will allow agents to win more business — and he’s drawing on his experience as a top agent and brokerage founder to make that happen.

“We are very excited about our next chapter!” he said.

John Peyton

John Peyton

President and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group

At the helm of Realogy Franchise Group (RFG), John Peyton’s job involves overseeing roughly 300,000 real estate professionals at big-name brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Sotheby’s International Realty and more. The franchises Peyton is responsible for operate in 113 countries, and have a total of more than 16,300 offices.

All of which is to say, it’s a big job.

Peyton previously spent more than a decade and a half as an executive at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., where he worked on supply chain issues and revenue management, among other things. He first joined RFG as its president and chief operating officer in 2016 and became CEO in 2017.

The years since have been pivotal ones for the industry. But Peyton has managed to come out on top, consistently landing on the Swanepoel 200 of most powerful people in real estate.

Adam Contos


Adam Contos | Photo credit: RE/MAX

Adam Contos doesn’t mind being underestimated. In fact, he kind of likes it.

“The challenge with being underestimated is sometimes you have to be more outgoing with your value message in order for people to truly see what they can gain from associating with the organization,” Contos recently told Inman in an interview. “But I absolutely do and it excites me that we are.”

Contos has been working at RE/MAX since 2004, serving in an array of roles that began with regional development. He gradually worked his way up the ranks, and since February 2018 has been the firm’s sole CEO. As RE/MAX’s chief executive, he used his position to launch a powerful end-to-end technology platform last year. The platform is still rolling out features, but Contos believes that others’ underestimations notwithstanding, his firm at this point represents “a pretty massive disruptor in the space.”

Want to join the New Guard in Palm Springs?  Apply to attend Disconnect and join in on the discussion of the pressing issues and future of the industry.

Interested in sponsoring Disconnect? Reach out here for more information.

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