I just got back from Inman Connect San Francisco and can I say, “amazing?”
The ideas shared at Inman are nothing short of cutting edge, and when used properly can lead to huge growth as a brokerage. This same wealth of info, however, can also hurt you.
Bill Chee—one of the reasons I got into Real Estate—put it best, “You have to come to Inman with a business plan, and grasp on to only those ideas that can help you with that plan.” In case you don’t know Bill Chee, he is a former NAR and HAR president who gave one of the most famous real estate speeches of all time. So, when Mr. Chee speaks, I listen.
Now that I’m back from Inman overflowing with ideas (feeling like a ticking time bomb) what information will I actually grasp on to in order to drive our business plan? The following will definitely make Hawaii Life’s short list:
6 Quotes I’m Sure To Remember
- “SEO is so 6 years ago.” – Nicole Nicolay (Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer) Agent Evolution
Note: Ouch. As an SEO, this one hurt. But Nicole speaks the truth.
Takeaway: The future is the social graph and customer experience.
- “We should start a bank.” – Anonymous
Note: OK, I don’t think anyone is actually going to start a bank. What this person was eluding to is that I need to be leveraging what I’ve built.
Takeaway: Many people browsing our site are visiting Hawaii. Why do I not have a Hawaiian Airlines affiliate banner, or better yet, why am I not offering vacation rentals?
- “Are you profitable?” – Chris Smith (Chief Evangelist) Inman News, Founder of Tech Savvy Agent
Note: This question came up during the panel, “Rethinking the Brokerage: New Models and Opportunities.” Chris had the audience text him questions, and I think this is what is on everyone’s mind.
Takeaway: There are a lot of different brokerage models, but who is really making the money?
- “71% of senior executives believe customer experience is the new battleground.” – Krisstina Wise (Principal/Broker) The GoodLife Team
Note: In 2008 Bill Chee’s team told me they realized their business was not about real estate, but about people. Mr. Chee is so ahead of his time I had no idea what he was talking about 3 years ago. Thank you Krisstina for finally helping me understand the concept.
Takeaway: Concentrate on creating happy clients who may leave reviews about your brokerage on 3rd party sites.
- “Reology is gaming you.” – Several people (viral)
Note: I had no idea what this meant, but it was spreading around Inman like wildfire. Then, on my flight back to Hawaii, I picked up a copy of Wired Magazine with an article titled, “Are You Being Gamed?” The premise of the article is that, “The giants of the web…use tricks to keep us coming to their sites…and buying their goods.” Which is what many brokerages/franchises are doing—selling their agents products in the name of making money for the brokerage.
Takeaway: If I’m going to charge a Hawaii Life agent for something, it has to be in the name of making money for the agent.
- “They’re more scared of you then you are of them.” – An old homeless lady in the streets of SF
Note: On our way to one of the hotest nightspots in San Francisco we got lost on the wrong side of the Knob Hill. Being from Kauai, I don’t see many homeless people and I have to admit it crossed my mind to turn around when we encountered a large group of people hanging out in the shadows of a dark street.
Takeaway: In business we’re constantly headed into the unknown, to places where our competitors are bigger, and more powerful—don’t be scared to compete against them. And now that Hawaii Life is on top, don’t rule out the little guy who is doing something different, or you might lose the place you’ve worked so hard to get to.