After 25 years, Inman Connect is coming to you. Get ready for the top industry leaders plotting the path forward, new business ideas and opportunities, networking like you’ve never imagined it and tons of exciting new magic, all straight to you. It’s all part of an epic new Inman experience, Inman Connect Now, June 2-4, 2020. Click here to save your seat.

In advance of Connect Now, we’ve asked many well-known members of the Inman community for their insights on how they are working and keeping their businesses moving forward in this time — in other words, How They Connect Now. Here are three responses.

Dawn Daly

Dawn Daly

Director of Operations, House of Brokers Realty, Inc.

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

Our in-office meetings/classrooms have moved fully to Zoom and will continue to be incorporated even when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Our think tank, goldmines, sales meetings and happy hours are being hosted via Zoom. Our attendance is strong like before and maybe even stronger with the content valuable and beneficial. Best of all, our 4 o’clock Fridays (happy hours) are a nice way to wrap up the week and get the face time we so crave with one another in a relaxed and fun social gathering.  

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

By not trying. Be genuine, reach out and offer your abilities, knowledge help and caring to your people. Those things are key during any crisis, and especially in this one.

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team? 

Optimism and gratitude. They are the reasons you can weather any storm. We offer three to four sessions per week for questions, comments and concerns. Our owners and managers have a deeply rooted interest in the well-being of our agents and are present on each Zoom session. From sharing stories of how we all have adapted to just getting to know each other in a whole new light. 

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

“It takes a village” has never rung more true. Our entire community has been impressive. Health care workers, teachers, title companies, lenders, restaurant owners, grocery store employees, Instacart, Postmates, the list is never-ending. My dad always said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I thought I knew what that meant, but now more than ever it is perfectly clear. 

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

Optimism here again. I have a chalkboard that hangs on the wall opposite my desk so that I and everyone who visits my office is greeted with an inspiring message that I change periodically. 2020 started with one simple word, optimism. I have not changed that message nor will I, as I had no idea how deeply profound that word would be. 

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

Inman offers a wealth of information, opinions, views and data that give us the knowledge to make better-informed decisions. Good or bad times, knowledge is power.

Joe Rand

Joe Rand

Chief Creative Officer, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

In a strange way, the epidemic has made me more engaged in the day-to-day lives of our agents. We used to do a 5-minute “message of the day” call every morning, but that’s now a half-hour Zoom conference call with over 100 agents every weekday. We’re doing a lot more training, and I’m creating tons of content about the epidemic, the market, the CARES Act and how agents can continue to build their business during the crisis.

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

The same way you find new business in regular times: You find out what people need, and you get creative in how you service the need. If you take care of what people need, you build a relationship. That’s what brings new business. 

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team? 

You have to keep people engaged moving forward and show that you care about their well-being. We’ve been totally on top of the CARES Act programs, doing constant work to inform them of the programs, help them apply — even finding a local bank that would take applications from non-banking customers (which was really hard inner market).

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

Laura Monroe came into the job as head of community for Inman at the right time — she’s been amazing at building that community during the crisis. And I’ve been impressed by the meals that Simon Chen photographs every day — he’s eating better during this epidemic than any of us in normal times.

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

At some point this summer, the real estate market will open up again. If the economy stabilizes, I think we’ll be fine. If the economy goes south, though, I think it could be a rough year. I don’t think it’ll be 2009, but it could be bad.

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

I’ve honestly met people at Inman Connect, and been introduced to ideas at the conference, that have changed my life. My first book about disruption was literally the result of notes I started one night a few years ago in San Francisco. I don’t think I would have written that book if I hadn’t been a regular at Connect. 

Simon Chen

Simon Chen

Executive Vice President of Product & Innovation, Realogy Holdings Corp.

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

Work from home and shelter-in-place orders.

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

Collaborating in new ways with partners. In response to the crisis, many of our partners have stepped forward with innovative new ways for us to work together that provide huge benefits to agents, brokers and consumers and help them not just stay afloat, but actually flourish in anticipation of the recovery.

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team?

Make sure to enjoy this time with your families. It’s not just OK, it’s fun to see your children or pets interrupt a video call. It allows all of us to see a more personal side of each other, which ironically during this period of physical forced separation, can actually bring us together more closely from a relationship perspective.

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

Of course first responders and health care professionals, but also restaurants and grocery stores. It’s frankly amazing to me that grocery stores have worked so hard to maintain the supply chain as well as they have. And I love how restaurants have innovated to minimize impact to their employees and suppliers by offering delivery and curbside pickup of not just their menus, but also grocery items.

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

Bullish on the back half of the year. Per NAR, Q1 was strong for the industry, already exhibiting inventory shortages. I believe, as they do, that people will emerge from sheltering in place with an even healthier appetite for purchasing a new, larger home.

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

Inman has always been a gathering place for the industry. Whether on or off-line, Inman’s events and network provide us with an opportunity to find and collaborate with the right connections. Several of our recent strategic relationships began with someone reaching out and saying, “I read on Inman that you’re doing XXXX, and we might mutually benefit by …”

Inman Connect Now connects virtually June 2-4, 2020. The digital event offers standout speakers, incredible networking opportunities, and the chance to forge business breakthroughs and build new relationships to last a lifetime. Don’t miss out — register today.

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