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Inman Connect: Stitching our community together

06/16/2017

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My first experience with Inman Connect was three years ago. I was new to the industry and on a recon mission with the intent to watch and learn. My goals were to get a sense for the voice of the industry and to better understand our potential customers; I had no idea I would walk away with so much more.

As a professional marketer, I’ve often said my most important job is to listen. So, I parked myself in the lobby, coffee in hand, and sat. And listened. And watched. For hours.

I saw the movers and shakers. I saw the people who could barely cross the lobby without interruptions, pats on the back or having business cards thrust into their hands. I saw vendors huddled over laptops, sharing ideas and pointing at hockey stick charts. I even saw a neighbor I never knew was in real estate. I saw lunching and laughter and love.

I was hooked.

I was hooked because I realized the real estate community is like no other. And Inman Connect is about the people in this industry. People from all walks of life, stitched together in an eclectic, complicated quilt.

This industry yields a small crop of high performing self-starters who would succeed in any profession. While agents and brokers everywhere are trying to claim their true value and remain relevant in one of the quickest changing landscapes today, these top performers have focus, self-discipline and drive.

But somehow, this community — this quilt — assembles twice a year as a magnificent tent that shelters and draws us all together. Brad Inman has created a place where people can gather to share knowledge, experience and insight.

I had no idea that my first Inman Connect New York (ICNY) would be the beginning of real friendships, real learning and real value for me, not only as a marketer but also as a person.

The Inman events stitch together disparate parts and create a sense of belonging in an otherwise disjointed industry.

Now, twice a year, I come back to watch and learn. I commit to being a student and to checking in. Whether from the stage, in breakout sessions or in passing, I get direct access to thought leaders that spark my imagination.

Every other day, I am “heads-down” at work; at Inman Connect, I look up, forward and around.

It would have been difficult to meet the people I’ve met or build the relationships I’ve built if I had stayed in the office and watched a live stream from my desk.

To connect means to participate, which can only happen when you’re fully present.

Inman Connect is a call to add your unique perspective — your colorful quilt square — to the industry we belong to.

You’ll leave with a sense of clarity and answers to the following questions:

What is the pulse of our industry and my business? Who is making things happen? Where are we going collectively? How does this affect my next steps? Who do I link arms with? How do I grow?

We are all individual scraps that can be stitched to create something beautiful and functional. So show up, be present, watch and listen. Fall in love with the industry for the first time or for the hundredth time, and join us in San Francisco.

Inman is the thread that pulls us together. Make it a priority to connect.

Molly McKinley is the EVP at Relola in Raleigh, North Carolina. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter

Email Molly McKinley

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