I am in Las Vegas at the Inman conference and I am blown away by the smart people in the room. I’ve heard many amazing things already and it is only day two. It will take me a while to process everything I am learning and use it to help all of us navigate our changing industry but here are a few early thoughts.
I attended a special session called CEO Connect – A small invite only afternoon of high-level interviews, conversations and networking. The most important takeaway for me was that the US leaders have moved passed fighting over new school (tech)/old school (relationship) and are now earnestly looking for ways to move forward together. Everyone has accepted that tech companies will have a major stake in the market.
The talk is that all of the change is being driven by the consumer and that the tech companies just want to deliver an amazing experience to them. I’m skeptical – with $100 billion in commissions and untold trillions in property appreciation in play, I think there could be other motivations for the Wall Street money behind these companies. Interestingly, Brad Inman inferred on a few occasions that he was weary of this same threat but didn’t come right out and say it.
The good news is that everyone believes that there is a place for the agent in the new real estate landscape but they only want the best. Zillow has huge growth expectations but that doesn’t include agents. Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow said on stage yesterday.” We have 10,000 agents now and we want to have 10,000 agents in 10 years.” He was also pretty specific that he only wanted Bionic Agents. I wonder what that looks like?
Here are a few quotes from the past two days. Look for more in-depth analysis next week.
Zillow: “We don’t want to hold 100’s of millions of homes”
Redfin: “We tried to automate realtors out and it didn’t work”
Brad Inman: “My wife needed to know I wasn’t like Tom Ferry or Tony Robbins before she would marry me”
“Avoid the messy middle”
“Humans are inefficient and technology is inauthentic- we need to merge the two”
“Be obsessed with personal improvement”
“Get your ego out of the room”
“We are tearing down the barriers of a 100-year-old closed system and opening it up – we are blowing up agency”
“We’ve let the consumer down”
“What home seller doesn’t want their home on Zillow………and now Amazon”
In case you missed it, Amazon is getting into the real estate business.
“If you are not innovating, leave the business”
“Teams are having trouble being profitable”
“They need someone to talk to – a trusted advisor. Not a paper pusher”