The biggest takeaway from ICNY for trainer and author Bernice Ross? Regardless of what the market does or whatever the latest whiz-bang technology is, the basics are still the name of the game when it comes to real estate. 

In these times, double down — on your skills, on your knowledge, on you. Join us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Connect Las Vegas to lean into the shift and learn from the best. Get your ticket now for the best price.

What does it take to win in today’s market versus what will sink your business? How can you cope with your fears while still staying the course required to achieve success? How does automation, technology, AI and ChatGPT play into the mix? Here’s what the experts at ICNY 2023 had to say. 

1. When will the market improve? 

There was widespread agreement among both economists and mortgage professionals that the current market will bottom sometime in Q2 or Q3 2023. Mortgage rates are expected to remain at about 6 percent and inflation should continue to decline. 

2. “Survive to 25” 

There is a flight to quality. The agents, companies, and technologies that survive until 2025 will be the dominant players as the market begins to improve. Broker and reality TV star Ryan Serhant noted, “It’s going to be exciting to see who will stand the test of time and volatility.” 

Coping with the fear

3. This isn’t the apocalypse

3. “This isn’t the apocalypse. This isn’t the end of the world. The market is doing what it normally does every 10-15 years. I can promise you houses are going to sell in 2023 and there’s going to be plenty of home sales. The more information you put out, the more people you will attract.” Anthony Lamacchia, Broker/Owner and CEO, Lamacchia Realty 

4. Fear is like gasoline

4. “Whatever fear you have, fear is like gasoline. It can either burn your house down, heat your house, or it can fuel your car to go forward.”  Ryan Serhant 

How to win in today’s market

5. Be who you are

“Perfect is not entertaining. It’s OK not to know and to tell your client, ‘Let me check that.’ Stand out by becoming super knowledgeable rather than being an order taker.” Mauricio Umansky

6. Be the local economist of choice

“There’s no national company that is smarter than you in your neighborhood. You need to be the local economist of choice who gets your unfair market share.” Marc King, President, Keller Williams 

7. How to determine where to cut your business 

Chris Heller, chief real estate officer for OJO Labs, advised that you track what is happening in your market every single week. Use your profit and loss data to determine where you’re getting the greatest return on your time and money spent. 

“There’s no justification for keeping something that’s not contributing to your ROI.” 

Don’t wait — if it doesn’t add to your ROI, get rid of it now.  

The path to failure in today’s market

7. What will cause you to fail in this market?

“Casualties in this market come from two things: egos and lack of action.” Ben Kinney, speaker and founder, Ben Kinney Companies

8. Change or die

Amnesia is killing your business. The difference between high performers versus average performers is their work ethic: Top performers are willing to work harder, are focused on the basics and are willing to do what others aren’t willing to do to succeed. 

The factors that will differentiate those who succeed in today’s market versus those who will fail are their willingness to work much harder than ever before, a focus on the basics, and their willingness to do the things they don’t like to do. 

Also, “Stop relying on automation and execute on what you know that works.” Coach John Cheplak 

Hot takes on tech and AI

9. Which tech is best?

“The one you use that allows you to do your transactions the most efficiently.” Susan Yannacone 

10. The role of automation

Multiple speakers made the following observation: “You can’t shortcut relationships!” What matters is not going wide, but going “deep,” by building strong personal connections using video texts, handwritten notes, and being face-to-face with clients on a consistent basis.

Use automation to free yourself up so you can spend more time in front of your buyers and sellers. 

11. “What’s AI?” 

We have been using AI for many years for such tasks as search, word recognition on apps such as Siri, predicting the correct spelling of a word, language translation, GPS. In real estate, chatbots answer web inquiries or predict which homeowners are most likely to sell. 

While everyone is talking about AI, exactly what is it? According to ChatGPT, 

“AI is a branch of computer science that deals with the creation of intelligent machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language transaction.”

The most sophisticated types of AI constantly learn from every piece of content on the internet. 

12. How does ChatGPT work? 

While several speakers tried to describe how ChatGPT works, ChatGPT uses “Natural Language Processing” and “Transformer-based neural network architecture.” Here’s how ChatGPT described these functions:

NLP (Natural Language Processing) is a subfield of AI that focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It involves various tasks such as sentiment analysis, language translation, text classification, and speech recognition.

Transformers are a type of neural network that were introduced in 2017 and have since become the dominant architecture for NLP tasks. They are particularly well-suited for processing sequential data, such as text, due to their attention mechanism which allows the model to focus on different parts of the input when making predictions.

My favorite definition of AI from Connect, however, is that AI is “Agent Intelligence.” 

13. Will AI replace agents? 

No one is predicting that AI will replace agents. What tools like ChatGPT will do, however, is free you up from routine tasks and allow you to spend more time in front of clients. 

Serhant predicts that these new advances in AI will enable us to remove 60 percent of the administrative tasks that agents currently do manually. For example, imagine sending an email blast for 244 Mulberry Street to everyone who owns an apartment (condo unit) and has over $1 million dollars of equity, and it just happens at no cost to you. 

14. The shared or fractional equity model makes a splash

U.S. homeowners have $30 trillion in equity and $12 trillion in debt. Fifty percent of homeowners have at least 50 percent equity and 38 percent own their properties free and clear. Key points to note:

  • The biggest selling point when it comes to shared equity models is that unlike traditional mortgages, there are no monthly payments. 
  • The shared equity partner’s equity fluctuates the same way it does for the homeowner, i.e., whether values increase or decrease, the risk is shared. 
  • Venture investors are bringing on ban-based capital as opposed to issuing debt. 
  • Shared equity models typically have much lower upfront costs. 
  • Due to these factors, expect shared equity models to capture an increasing amount of market share for consumers, lenders and investors. 

Bonus: My biggest takeaway from ICNY is that regardless of what the market does or whatever the latest whiz-bang technology is, the basics are still the name of the game when it comes to real estate. 

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and, is a national speaker, author and trainer with more than 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at and her new agent sales training at

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