Fabulous Las Vegas. To some, it’s late nights around a blackjack table. Others prefer the club or singing karaoke till the wee hours of the morning but for me, ICLV was a whirlwind of conversations, meetings, the trade show/expo, learning about the slow death of Compass, Zillow rumors, seeing eXp grow like a rocket, Opendoor’s legal issues, hosting a hospitality event in our suite and even a little time on stage before security “asked” me to leave.
The show was a blast and fabulously successful for Team Revaluate. And I wanted to share a few takeaways from the week that were kinda stunning that were discussed in the halls at Inman Connect Las Vegas.
Best In Show
The best session *based on what people wanted to talk to me about* was once again Colorado’s Mike DelPrete, who always paints a very colorful picture of the status of the industry from 10,000 feet, and then digs into specifics. He’s pretty great at reading data and describing (very directly) what is good and what is bad. I highly suggest you watch his 20 minute presentation titled 2022 WTF.
EXp has grown like a rocket with hockey stick curve awesomeness, and passed Realogy… er… Anywhere in transactions to take the number one largest publicly traded company title. And they are making revenue. (Oh and related, No word from KW on how that public offering is looking).
The company formerly known as Realogy, formerly known as Cendant is still based in New Jersey, and yet they could be “anywhere” else. I think the name will catch on and is a good fit, but there is one small, itsy-bitsy oversight: Anywhere.com is owned by a Costa Rican travel agency. Anywhere.org is the URL for Realogy.
Wait, what? They didn’t buy the URL prior to the announcement? Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one?
Opendoor deceptively fine
So, last week Opendoor got handed a $62 million fine for deceptive marketing practices. Basically, the FTC thinks they need to be more clear in their “We buy your house as-is” marketing. But while $62 million may be a lot of money for you and me, the company has $3 billion in cash … so that’s the equivalent of a parking ticket to them.
Will they change their ways, or just park in the handicapped parking spot again? Perhaps they will make some splashy announcement with a big player in the industry to distract us all? (Spoiler Alert: see below)
A new romance
As announced via Inman while I was at Inman CEO Connect, Zillow and Opendoor are dating. After Z killed their iBuyer program less than a year ago, now they are back at it again, with OPM (other people’s money). Seems like a good fit for both shareholders, but for consumers? IDK. Let’s see what they roll out.
Quick Q: Will there be a prenup before the acquisition/merger of the two titans?
3 signs of the times
Typically my favorite part of Inman shows are to take an hour in startup alley and look at all the new tech, and talk to the eager founders. (I’ve been in their shoes twice before.) Previously I’ve seen more than 40 companies, but this week there were only three companies in the alley. Yet larger companies had larger booths, and more of them than any Inman I can remember. I wonder why? (See: Profitability is Sexy below.)
Profitability is sexy
Multiple presenters made fun of the likes of Redfin, Compass and RE tech companies that are not profitable. It seems that should the economy turn further south, profitable companies, like Revaluate, that don’t rely on investor capital to operate, much less grow, are a better bet for those in the industry.
Since investor money is getting tighter according to convos I’ve had and presenters on stage at ICLV, these VC-funded firms may not have long runways of operation. They will be forced to raise prices and or cut services and staff to reduce costs, leaving customers on the hook. Yikes. If you are buying tech, perhaps consider buying from profitable companies.
Efficiency and automation
TL;DR: Make your business more efficient via automation to survive the market shift.
Revaluate hosted a get-together for clients and prospects in our suite this week. Lots of good folks stopped by including the Inman ambassador team. The big bummer? The bartender pulled a no-call no-show (sorry folks!) Never mind that: Team Revaluate jumped behind the bar and served up beverages that were consumed like water in a desert. Adaptability for the win.
In all, Inman hosts a great event and we love participating as sponsors every year. But now it’s a waiting game for ICNY, and that seems like a lifetime from now. Who knows what change will happen in the next six months?
Chris Drayer is co-founder of Revaluate which segments consumers for marketers by propensity to move.