Wow. It has been a year since our first-ever virtual event, and the recent Inman Connect June event had a sense of optimism mixed with a sense of greater industry responsibility. Such a significant change!

As Ferris Bueller would say, “Real estate is moving fast. If you don’t take a minute to look around, you could miss it.” 

Connect was that time to look around. I’m still catching up on replaysbut I came away from this event sensing an opportunity to understand that we are in a time of fast building momentum. 

In short, the riches are in the niches. Let’s break my three-day experience down. 

The ‘new normal’ in leadership, marketing and profitability 

In leadership: 

Brad Inman said it best on day 1: We cannot let housing become a luxury good.

If you’re a real estate professional, you are part of an extensive conversation around housing affordability and the better practice of standards, ethics, diversity, equality and accountability. 

As organizations, such as NAR, RESO, MLSs, and vendors look at changing the status quo to make a better, more transparent, connected industry for consumers — agents and brokers feeling the change must learn to let go of the old and embrace the progress and opportunity

It’s all around us. New business models, real estate partnerships with iBuyer companies, and ancillary concierge services are adding fresh new opportunities to build and grow brokerages and teams, add new training programs, and expand consumer knowledge. 

Diversity empowerment among brokerages creates space for conversation, celebration and allyship that extends far beyond the brand walls into a diverse world that welcomes buyers and sellers and works hard to eliminate discriminatory practices. 

Every agent, broker and vendor is a representative of this leadership. It’s time to work together and own it. Cooperation is making a comeback. 

In marketing: 

From Clubhouse lead generation, Instagram brand building, better marketing messaging and farming for brokerages — out-of-the-box strategies that are working came out of all the sessions! 

A few takeaways:

  1. Mailings still work: Even more so now. 
  2. Email is a 360-degree strategy: Social media is a hello; email is a hug!
  3. Brokers should automate for their agents: Be a one-stop shop for agent marketing. 
  4. Become an integrated service brokerage: Broaden your ancillary services and help agents grow their price point to increase profitability and enhance brand marketing messaging for recruiting and retention. 
  5. Before you deploy any tool: Does it cut a cost? Does it grow profits or revenue? Does it solve a problem?
  6. What’s in? Conversion, not hype.  

In profitability: 

It’s been a year of big sales, fast-moving inventory and a blur of work-life balance. 

Wendy Papasan’s session on profitability and knowing your numbers were like having a financial crash course for real estate, but it packed a punch! 

You might feel seen, but the takeaways were actionable, and let’s be honest, we don’t talk enough about personal financial wellness in real estate.  

  1. Get your P&L statement setup. Look at it every single week to start. Then every month. Have one for yourself and one for your business.
  2.  Track your net worth, not just your income.
  3. Operate off of half of what you make. Many agents go broke just because they don’t set aside self-employment taxes properly or account for hidden expenses. 
  4. Managing expenses is more important than generating revenue.
  5.  When you make a purchase, make sure you get at least twice the return on your investment. 
  6. Cut lead generation expenses that are not converting. 
  7. Raise your sales price, market yourself into a higher price point, tweak your brand, or farm a new neighborhood with a higher price point. These activities dramatically increase your bottom line. 

What a week! The conversations are still happening. Inman Connect is the place to be, to take a minute and look around. 

Until next time, which is at Connect Now, July 20! Hope to see you there! Follow @InmanConnect on Instagram for the latest updates, behind-the-scenes pics, and trivia!

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