It’s hard to be everywhere at once at Inman Connect. If you couldn’t make the General Sessions this morning, here are some highlights:
Brad Inman kicked off the morning session in “the greatest city in the World with the greatest Industry in the World at the greatest conference in the World.” He explored the power of technology and its impact on compressing time. Predicative analytics, predicting the future using technology, makes the compression of time possible.
“Welcome the greatest city in the World with the greatest Industry in the World at the greatest conference in the World.”
How will this time compression translate to the future of real estate? Inman predicts a future of “on-demand” real estate with agents who respond to the demand as it exists. This future is possible with technology that enables better time management for agents.
Technology’s impact of compressing time was an idea that spread throughout the morning in many sessions.
Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, spoke about her experience as being an early pioneer in Wall Street. She opened her talk with: “when women do well, the world does well.” The qualitied women bring to work, things like risk awareness and holistic approaches to business and decision-making, will become more powerful moving forward.
“When women do well, the world does well.”
Turns out hiring diverse teams is better for business as well. Diverse teams outperform more qualified teams in business.
In the future, women will control 80% of consumer spending and run half the workforce – so appreciating the contributions of women in the workforce is likely in the best interest of real estate companies in the 21st century.
John Cook from GeekWire Interviews Rich Barton, Zillow Co-Founder
Looking at the future of real estate, Rich Barton listed voice UI, big data, AI, virtual and augmented reality as important tech trends. He revealed that Zillow invests $200 million in Research and Development exploring how these technologies can improve the Zillow platform.
Barton emphasized that real estate is not a “DIY industry” and that technology like AI will not be a replacement but an “enhancement” to today’s real estate process. “Every new technology has enhanced humanity and created new jobs that are better. Before industrialization, 75% of humans were employed in the processing of food. Now it’s less than 2%.”
“Technology is a great deliverer of information. AI is going to continue that trend.”
Technology, Barton argued, didn’t replace jobs as much as it made different, more diverse jobs in the workforce. The same trend should continue in real estate. He reinforced this point by mentioning the fact that the percentage of For Sale by Owner transactions in real estate has not changed in 20 years. Real estate does not seem to be a transaction consumers want to handle on their own. Technology will not replace the agent, but rather arm both the agent and the consumer with more information.
“Technology has been a great deliverer of information,” Barton said. “AI is going to continue that trend of what computers, the smart phone, and products like Alexa started, delivering more information about your real estate transaction and everything else.”
In addition to putting the fast-moving technology trends in context, Barton also discussed the features of good leadership, where he leaned on the Wizard of Oz. Good leaders possess courage, brains and (most importantly) heart.
Kala Laos took the stage to talk about how brokers can make their brand contagious. Laos has grown her real estate business form 30 agents to 250 in two years. Here enthusiastic talk listed some fresh ideas to creating not only a contagious brand, but a unique and empowering work environment. Here is a sampling of her ideas:
- Build up your social currency. Don’t create a Facebook Group, create a Facebook Tribe
- Come up with a good slogan
- Create videos, videos and more videos
- Agent spotlight videos highlighting agents
- Welcome video for every new agent
- Videos of local businesses to give back to local businesses
- Just for fun videos
- Weekly home tour – crib tour
She is proactive about recognizing performing agents – using everything from Facebook to snapchat filters to give “shout outs” to those agents. She concluded her talk by saying, “a person who fills appreciated will always do more than expected.” Words to live by in any industry.
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