For those of us to whom this statement applies there are a few obvious questions that immediately come to mind: Why am I still working in this God-forsaken wasteland of an industry?
A) Nobody else is hiring in this booming economy,
B) I wanted to move to Nome Alaska but I couldn’t trade my upside down mortgage for a thatched roof yurt and a dog sled, or
C) The positive image of my career as portrayed by CNN makes me feel like a rock star.
Seriously, for the love of God Why!?
In all seriousness those of us that remain are not that different than survivors of a natural disaster. The clouds dissipate; the water level recedes and her we are – the survivors of the storm. Not unlike the analogy the first thing that a ‘survivor’ must do is identify the resources that one needs to rebuild and restore one’s life. It is with this in mind that I invite you to WAMP’s Connect event coming up in Bellevue on October 5th and 6th
The Connect event offers each of us the opportunity to come together and meet all of the other survivors face to face. We’ll be able to reflect on what ‘once was’ and still more importantly the ‘what is’. As is the case in any disaster, the landscape we live in professionally is dramatically different than where we’ve been. The resources are certainly more limited – remember the days of quoting ‘hundreds of lenders and programs’? Now it’s more like ‘five lenders and programs’ – and we’re all using the same five!
Fewer programs and tougher guidelines are the realities of the aftershock and yet another reason to learn what others are doing to be more efficient and succeed in this new landscape. The Connect Event also offers the knowledge of how to seed your landscape for tomorrow. New technologies and lead sources like the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, social network marketing (can you tweet for dough?), and the brace of brave new lenders that have sprung up alongside the resilient and steady familiar faces; they’ll all be represented at the Connect Event. The Connect Event will be nothing short of a meeting of survivors learning how to forge their professional landscapes for tomorrow – so don’t miss out!
There are very few lifeboats in this economy. There have been far more casualties than survivors. Come and be counted among the living. Come to Connect and learn how to forge a better tomorrow for yourself and for the industry you work in. Face it – If we don’t see you at Connect we’re going to suspect that you traded the house for the dog sled and the yurt – Don’t be ‘gone missing’
The content, speakers and workshops are being designed in the blogosphere. We have invited 20 leading real estate bloggers to use their blogs to reach out to their readers to invent the program.
Imagine the first “user-generated program” including panels, topics and sessions. Could be silly, could be interesting — certain to be fun.
Bloggers Connect will begin on Tuesday, July 31 with a party and then all-day sessions on August 1. Fun and crazy events are being built into the program including the Dive Bar Tour, the Haight Asbury experience and the blogging romp.
By the way, if you are attending the convention and plan to blog, let me know! I plan to keep an extensive list of bloggers covering the event!
Also, I’d love to keep track of all the real estate technology products that are going to be announced at the event, so if you’re releasing something, let me know. I already mentioned my first product announcement yesterday (when I said that Top Producer recently unleashed a blogging tool available to any of their clients for FREE!!!), and I’m sure there will be many more to come over the next few days!
Out of all the sessions at the Blog Business Summit, the session on building online communities held a special place of interest for me. In many ways, I simply happened upon the community that I’ve built at RCG, so it was refreshing to hear the speakers articulating thoughts I’ve had on how to build a community. In many ways, building a community feels somewhat intuitive (i.e. respect your users), but it turns out that the details often lead to tricky minefields. In many ways, this lesson highlighted just how far behind the real estate sphere is in creating effective online communities.
For many, “Pressing the Flesh” (talking with potential clients/competitors/vendors/media/etc) is the most valuable part of any conference, and for better or worse, the most valuable part of my day yesterday was spent connecting up with others.
I can’t say that any of the presentations I attended yesterday were particularly interesting (i.e. worth blogging about) including the one that I participated on as a panelist. Then again, I was really the wrong person to be speaking on a lead conversion panel as my contribution to the 2-hour discussion was about 5 minutes where I stated my experience was that blogging provides leads that are easier to convert than typical internet leads because you’ve already built up a relationship with the person when the contact you. Beyond that, I couldn’t offer much to the discussion, so the two hours were dominated by the panel’s sponsor discussing their (very cool) product. All things considered, I’ve met tons of people from Top Producer who would have done a much better job than me speaking about the ways that agents are using internet tools to convert leads. It’s too bad none of them were asked to be on the panel (especially since their top marketer product was nominated for an Innovation Award).
I’m always interested in controversy and being relatively new to the industry, I’ve found it interesting the extent to which major industry players boycott these conferences because of the way that Brad Inman has been known to push his own agenda. While pressing the flesh at the conference has been very interesting (and almost definitely a valuable long-term experience), I’m left with the strange feeling that I’m taking part in a massive dance orchestrated by Brad.
Congrats goes out to all the contributors on Rain City Guide! We were nominated as a finalist for the “Most Innovative Blog Award” by Inman News. In my world, contributors are not only the people with their photo up on the sidepanel, but also those of you who return to give your comments on a regular basis. This site thrives off of your continued involvement!
The winners in each category will be announced in SF at the Inman Connect Conference. I’m definitely going to be there (I’m speaking on a panel on lead conversion)… Additionally, I would really enjoy organizing a meet-up of bloggers one evening. If you’re interested in joining us, then leave a comment below and I’ll send details as things get closer!
[photopress:Luther_engineering.jpg,thumb,alignright]In the meantime, I’m not proud to say that I didn’t know many of the non-blog nominations so I spent some time this evening on google researching the other companies nominated. Here are some notes (or at least links) I took while scanning the other nominees.