As January approaches and I prepare to visit New York City for the Inman Connect real estate conference, I get questioned by local agents and friends about the importance of attending. Is it really worth it to take a week off of work and pay for the conference? What do you, a Santa Barbara agent, have to gain from a conference of primarily East Coast agents?
4 Reasons Why Bi-Coastal Connections Are Important
1) Referral fees
Dolly Lenz, one of the top real estate agents in the New York City (and the world), recently said that she can attribute over $1,000,000 of her commissions to referrals directly related to connections from Inman conferences. Much of that $1MM were from California referrals so I can assume she is net positive in her investment of attending Inman conferences – even those on the West Coast!
2) Knowledge of the top U.S. markets
I don’t care if you are a real estate agent in Scranton, Pennsylvania (I chose that city because it is extremely small and I love The Office), you need to know about the top real estate markets in the United States. At any given point you should be able to accurately communicate market trends in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Dallas. These big markets (amongst many others) are important forecasters of where the national market is heading and how it will affect your specific city’s real estate. Attending conferences, like Inman Connect New York, will provide this vital information for you as you listen to expert speakers and interact with agents from all over the country.
3) Idea sharing
One of my favorite parts about real estate is that it is locationally specific which takes away the competitive variable between real estate agents in different markets. Since we are not in direct competition, we can freely share ideas about business growth, client retention and marketing. For example, last August at Inman Connect San Francisco an agent told me about how her company pushes all agents to include client stories on their websites. She said that future clients don’t want to see your sales numbers, they want to hear the story of the family you helped. I vividly remember that day because I furiously wrote down notes in an email to myself to implement that idea onto my website when I got home. Since last August, I have featured 9 clients on my new “Client Stories” page (click here to view). Not only are future clients enjoying these stories, but the clients being featured felt honored that I would share their story!
4) Understand your local clients’ other properties
Last year I represented a buyer in Santa Barbara whose purchase was contingent upon their condo selling in New York City. In case you didn't know, California is an escrow state and New York is an attorney state so suffice it to say the deals were very different. My deal's success was hinging entirely upon the New York deal closing so I stayed extremely involved with the New York buyer, lender and attorney. Without my knowledge (albeit basic) of the way real estate is transacted in New York, I would not have been nearly as helpful in closing my Santa Barbara deal.
What is Inman Connect NY?
Inman Connect is where more than 3,500 CEO’s of top real estate franchises, technology entrepreneurs, marketing executives, top-producing real estate agents and brokers and executives from top-tier financial service companies converge. It’s where connections are forged and big deals are made.
January 16-20, 2017 at the Marriot Marquis, New York