This was my first time being “behind the scenes” with Inman News at Real Estate Connect NYC. Having worked directly with agents and brokers prior to coming to Inman, this time at Connect I listened with a new set of eyes.
I kept thinking, “If I was a Realtor, what would be my big take-away from Connect?”
At opening session, Brad Inman talked about 2 things that caught my attention:
1. The world is changing – real time search, location, news, comments, reviews, auctions and collaboration, and of course real estate.
2. In this age of “digital addiction” take time to “look up” and connect with people face to face.
So taking those two things into consideration, if I was a Realtor – here would be the 2 big things I would implement ASAP into my business:
1. Mobile technology. If I was a Realtor I would make sure that I had a mobile strategy in place. In his opening message, Brad Inman, Publisher, Inman News said, “One of the biggest shifts we are seeing is the increase in real time data.” Tools like mobile applications, Twitter and Facebook, are impacting how quickly information is distributed. Inman predicts that one of the big trends in 2010 will be mobile apps that are able to filter and organize this data. Real time search, real time location, real time agent feedback, and real time real estate listing information will be major trends we will see in 2010. “Those agents that adopt technology will close more transactions because they will be more efficient,” say Inman.
If I were a Realtor I would make sure I looked at things like:
- Does my brokerage have a mobile app? What about my MLS?
- Is it worth me investing in my own mobile app? iSites, a new service launching today, allows you to take your website’s RSS feed and data and quickly transform it into a full-fledged iPhone app. It was created by Genwi, a service that combines aspects of RSS reader, social network and news filter. For just $25, iSites will create a customized iPhone and Android app for you.
- What type of local data can I have right at my fingertips on my mobile phone? Yelp is a great place to start. Foursquare is another great local app that is getting a ton of attention, especially after Dennis Crowley spoke at Connect – and we all had an “a-ha” moment!
Mike Mangino, Owner & President, Elevated Rails talked about some of the key apps to have on your mobile phone to help you do your business better:
- Navigation tool
- Access to your CRM tool
- A simple mortgage calculator app you can use with clients
- Social Media apps: TweetDeck, Tweetie 2 or Hootsuite, Facebook and Linked-In apps
- I’m adding to this list – WordPress app – a must if your blog is hosted on WP.
2. Connect with people face to face. One of the biggest challenges Realtors face is meeting new potential clients face-to-face. Now is the time to ‘look up!’
Scott Heiferman, co-founder and CEO of meetup.com was one of the final keynote speakers at Connect and talked about the power of connecting with people live and face to face. People are creating their own self organized groups.
There are 5.7 million Meetup.com members in nearly 59,000 local groups in more than 11,000 cities, according to the company’s site.
Agents can not only join a meetup for local real estate professionals, but they can connect with local real estate buyers groups and sponsor non-real-estate-related groups.
I love this concept – especially for an agent trying to break into a new market niche or community, or just for an agent trying to expand their sphere of influence, this is the perfect opportunity for them.
The message is: be the catalyst for community in your business – online and offline in 2010.
Stay tuned for more about Connect. Inman News will be publishing a comprehensive report next week. Also check out inman.com this week – videos are available for Inman Premium Members. Not a member? Sign up by this Friday, January 22nd and get a special rate of only $99 (reg. price $149)
Written by: Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News