This past week was an incredible whirl-wind at Inman Connect San Francisco #ICSF. It was a great week to reconnect with old friends, spend time with our clients and build new friendships and connections.
On a personal note, it was very special to me to be able to introduce my husband, Paul Lance to so many of my dear friends at Connect; as he is officially now a part of our team full-time and heading up our business development for our #GetSocialSmart Academy!
It was also an incredible honor to be one of the closing keynote presenters on the last day (click here to see my slides and take-aways) – where I was able to share my views on how our clients are so much more than ‘leads’ and ‘transactions.’ For many of us, buying and selling a home is a sacred experience and social media tools like Facebook Live, Snapchat and many others – allow us to celebrate and honor that experience.
Inman Connect also continued to reinforce my beliefs that live video is here to stay – and using tools like Facebook Live and Snapchat are great tools to tell the story of what it feels like to work with us.
But, above all – the best part of Connect is always the friendships and connections that happen over a few days. Here are just a few of my favorite people and moments from this past week!
I also reached out to several friends who attended Inman Connect San Francisco this year and asked them what their top take-aways were. Here’s what they had to say…
Jeff Lobb | @jefflobb
1. There is now a big focus on real estate lead response and lead conversion versus just lead generation, with both human and artificial intelligence companies on the rise.
2. The biggest connections were told through stories. The best people in sales and social know that stories both verbal and visual are what make the biggest impact – those who told stories throughout the conference, over lunches and dinners and in the other rooms were wildly successful.
Jason Frazier | @RealEstateCIO
There were two things that stuck out to me:
1. Authenticity and being different in video.
2. Mobile first thinking in your business.
Both of those are very important and in a way go hand in hand. I saw it in the video panel where there were obvious disagreements in video purpose, which does come down to audiences to some respect. I did a little audit of various real estate peeps via the conference app, and I can tell you that being mobile friendly with their web presence isn’t something a lot concentrate on. Just like with a majority of my loan officers, a majority of agents are reactive. I heard some stories about agents finally getting on social media which is crazy to me. I think that agents just don’t understand how they can power the success of their business by embracing current trends and expanding upon them.
Tracy Wolchock Freeman | @TracyFreemanNJ
Getting Gary Vee’s attention and meeting him IRL. #buckelist #amazingenergy And there is video proof! LOL
Anne Jones | @tacomajones
I loved Brian Boero’s presentation over in one of the learning labs. He reminded us that buying a home has gotten noisy! Buyers confuse themselves for 2-3 months and then finally break down and call an agent. In fact, we’ve made the consumer experience worse in the last 20 years. Yes, there is increased transparency and the availability of things like on demand showings, but the process of purchasing isn’t really that much easier. So there is still room for innovation, although Brian noted that government regulation might keep things from ever becoming truly on demand.
Nick Baldwin | @NickBaldwin79
It would really have to be from @GaryVee. Like anything in life there’s a learning curve. Just because you didn’t “grow up with it” means nothing. Sure, his quote about “you didn’t grow up driving a car but you figured that out,” is a sound byte, but it goes much deeper. It’s about your comfort zone and stepping out of it. It’s limited belief. Doing the same day in and out will bring the same results. Put yourself out of business every day and learn something new.
Suzanne Roy | @SuzRoy
@GaryVee’s talk was awesome as always and reconfirming that Facebook (namely Facebook Live) is worth it’s weight in gold and how being a pro videographer isn’t nearly as important as being authentic and real was my biggest take-away.
Raj Qsar | @RajQsar
I loved a few things. Like GaryVee saying: “You did not grow up driving a car. So go and figure it out.” Or, “I don’t care about technology. I just want your attention.”
Also, at the CEO dinner and CAR Power Broker Dinner the theme was super consistent. Getting back to deep, meaningful relationships, but using technology to get people’s attention and expand our reach.
Andrea Geller | @AndreaGeller
One of my overall observations was focusing on effective communication to connect, not the tools themselves. That’s what I took away from Chris Smith, Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Price, Audie Chamberlain and you.
The tools/technology change so quickly. There was all this promotion about Snapchat leading up to Connect. By the time #ICSF came around, Instagram stories was the shiny new penny. This was a great example of why building a business is not about a tool. It still comes down to person to person connection.
Before you go online to the platforms of your choice, put a plan in place of how you are going to tell your own story. As Chris said “you don’t have to learn how to be better on Snapchat, you have to learn how to be a better salesperson”. We all need to be intentional about how we communicate online to achieve that. It starts with what we say about ourselves to what we post about others. (A blend of what I walked away from when putting all your messages together!)
Greg Fischer | @gregofisch
I was intentional with my time (at least during the day!) and reached out to a few specific people that I wanted to meet with for an extended time while at the conference. It’s easy to get sidetracked at these events, but I’ve figured out a nice formula that allows me to enjoy the experience while also making headway on specific business goals. I scheduled most of my meetings as walks or hikes, and this allowed the conversations to stay focused and even evolve into new places, while enjoying the scenery around San Francisco. I will definitely schedule my time like this again. The best tool I saw (hands down) was Cloud MLX, which is a modern front end MLS search tool, something we’re going to work hard to roll out for our brokerage in the near term.
Dale Chumbley | @DaleChumbley
Something I’ve known about for a while but not really focused on is Facebook advertising. I’m going to be looking at really figuring out a Facebook Live video strategy and incorporating that in with some specific targeted ads. I figure I am comfortable doing video and I should be able to really do some great things in my local community.
Stacie Wells | @StacieWells
I’m still stuck on Gary Vee’s “media company” comment and the wheels are turning with how to make that happen! Some of the hallway conversations were even better than the formal presentations. So many generous, sharing attendees. True gold.
Chelsea Peitz | @FidelityChelsea
It doesn’t matter what the platform is or if it goes away, it’s all about what you learn on the way!
Linda Hobkirk | @LindaHobkirk
I think one of the most important things I left with after ICSF was the personal connections I made, if only briefly with someone.
I met so many great souls last week and there are so many good people doing good things in their communities.
I felt this years Inman really opened up the personal side in business, it’s all about helping others. The Billy Ekofo story of survival, Alyssa Hellman baring her soul and you sharing the personal touch to make people feel special. I had the special opportunity to meet Lori Ellis, Nate’s mom. To hold her hands, to look in each other’s eyes, to be compassionate and listen to her, to share a story with her about her son. To just be there for a few minutes, alone with her, sharing strength from one mother to another. Losing a child is devastating. She’s a very strong woman.
I took very few pics with people or for that matter very few pics this year, instead I focused on being with people.
#ICSF2016 was about CONNECTING with people on a more personal level.
Were you at Inman Connect San Francisco this year? What were your top take-aways? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below or join the conversation in our Facebook group.
P.S. I went into more detail about my thoughts about Inman Connect (including the new Instagram Stories that debuted during #ICSF) here: