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A Few Thoughts after at Week in NYC At Inman Connect

Last week was spent at Inman Connect in NYC. The primary reason for the trip was meeting with potential enterprise partners for the recently redesigned The other part of my time there was spent helping my dear friends at Giveback Homes with their Startup Alley booth.

It was great to spend time with Caroline Pinal (see below photo), and speak to brokers and agents about the great benefits Giveback Homes provides its members. As you no doubt know from reading this blog, I’m a huge, huge fan of the work they’re doing.

*Use the discount code “geekestate” for $20 off your monthly membership. What a great deal, right? Go sign up. Please?
Caroline & Drew at Giveback Homes booth

Had to chance to speak with Brett Hagler and Alexandria Lafci from New Story (which I’ve previously written about here and here). Their passion for their cause is contagious.

I spent time with several members of the Referral Exchange team (they were one of the sponsors that helped build a home for Arcadio in El Salvador). I wasn’t previously familiar with their model, but referrals is certainly something I’ve been thinking about over the past year. I’m impressed with what I learned, and their progress growing their network to 15,000+ agents.

Finally got to meet Sanya at AgentDesks. They are biting off a lot product wise, but there’s no doubt there is opportunity in the CRM space. I’m just worried they’re making the same mistake we made with Oh Hey World: overbuilding too early.

[Revised 2/3] Relola was another startup I spoke to at Startup Alley. They allow agents to review / comment on listings — which means they have a rough rode ahead of them if they intend to attract a consumer audience. Jason Calacanis is right in terms of what consumers want: brutally honest reviews. (it’s been tried, and will no doubt be tried again). In my mind, the incentives don’t line up. There are MLS rules prohibiting agents from advertising other agent’s listings in many states — meaning agents are weary of publishing any content that could be perceived as such. Attempts haven’t ended well for brokerages (see this article), and it’s worth noting Zillow’s Home Q&A is no longer on their site (they funnel all questions to Premier Agents, because that helps deliver leads to paying advertisers). If it’s agents contributing reviews for consumers, content will likely be all positive / rosy because of the “now is (always) the time to buy” message the vast majority of agents convey to the public. If all positive and written by those with clear financial incentives to convince buyers to transact sooner rather than later, why would consumers care? As an agent-only membership model or deployed as private offering within a specific brokerage — for an agent/broker/industry audience — my gut is there may be something pretty damn interesting.

Brad at TourSimply was at the table right next to Giveback Homes, so we had a bit of time to speak. If you hate ShowingTime, and looking for a tool to schedule showings, he’d love to hear from you.

I was impressed with the demo I saw from Chuck at BuySide.

Greg Fischer didn’t make the trip. What the hell man?

As always, I enjoyed hanging out with Pat Healy and Stephen Chip.

Thank you to the folks at BoomTown! and Real Estate Webmasters for sponsoring cocktails.

I haven’t done the true conference scene — 16 hours a day (9 am – 1 am) of non stop socializing — for quite awhile, and was completely drained when I got back home Friday night. I spent Friday and Saturday cooped up on the couch, catching up on email/work I didn’t get to while not on my computer for the past 4 days. That said, I look forward to San Francisco..

PS: Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday when I turned 33.67 on Thursday night. You know who you are.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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