The Hot Topics in the Real Estate Industry Right Now
I went to my first Inman Connect last week and it was an interesting experience.
Inman attracts a different set of industry professionals than other real estate conferences I’ve attended.
There are more CEOs, CTOs, Marketing Directors, IT Directors, etc. than there are individual agents.
But, there are also quite a few brokerage owners and managers.
Here are the hot topics in the industry based on my conversations with those individuals:
#1 – Agents Work to a Lifestyle
We often talk about helping agents do more deals and make more money.
But not all agents want that.
Some agents, and maybe even most agents, are happy doing the minimum amount of business necessary to achieve the lifestyle they want.
They don’t care about the latest tech tools or in-depth training.
They just want to do their 5, or 10, or 15 deals per year so they can pay their bills, take vacations, and own a few nice things.
So if you want to increase your company’s overall volume or sales, trying to increase the productivity of your existing agents will only take you so far.
#2 – Everyone is Looking for an Edge
The words “competition”, “value proposition”, and “differentiation” came up often at the event.
The strong real estate market of the last few years has led to a stampede of agents, brokerages, and vendors entering the industry.
And with a limited amount of business to go around, everyone is looking for an edge.
From what I saw, the major players seem to be focusing on one or more of the following strategies:
Using technology to create efficiencies and drive productivity
Improving the consumer or agent experience
Competing on price
And it was that last one that generated the most controversy.
Discount agents, discount brokerages, and anyone else who claimed to provide full service at a fraction of the cost came under fire from speakers and attendees alike.
#3 – Technology Should Enable Communication and Connection
One of the main themes of the conference was refocusing on technology as a means to an end, not an end in-and-of itself.
We’ve gotten so caught up in who has the “best” technology we’ve lost sight of the fact technology should enable communication and connection.
Plenty of smart people want to disrupt the industry by either partially or completely removing the agent from the transaction.
If we want to prevent that from happening, we must improve our communication with our customers so we can forge deeper connections with them.
Therefore, technology should either free us up to spend more time building relationships or it should enable us to build relationships with a greater number of people.