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Insights and sage advice from Inman Connect New York 2017


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Some of the most memorable moments at every Inman Connect are the key insights and the sage advice that puts everything into perspective.

This year’s Inman Connect New York was no exception, starting with a proclamation from staff at The New York Times — “We love Donald Trump — he’s been great for our business!”

Key insights

Rich Barton, Zillow Co-Founder and Executive Chairman

What will real estate future of the agent look like in three to five years? It won’t be a do-it- yourself proposition. Clients will want (and you should become) a great coach and an advisor. As compared to today’s technology, the tools are going to be magical. A new digital circulatory system is being built right now and the innovators are working on trying to get it to flow as rapidly as possible. The agent’s business will reside in all the new artificial intelligence (AI) applications. For years real estate practitioners have worried that technology will replace them. It hasn’t happened: “All AI is an enhancement, not a replacement, for the agent.”

Mayur Bhatnagar, CEO & Co-Founder, Arlo Skye

Building a luxury brand is not about the price point. Luxury is about creating desire for your clients. The best brands sell what they believe in, and their desirability is related to their exclusivity.

Brian Boero, Partner, 1000Watt

“We are seeing a revolution in the application layer that will fundamentally change how we do business. First we relied on a computer and a keyboard, then a touchscreen, and today it’s moving to voice. Eventually systems such as Amazon’s Alexa will ‘speak first’ and tell us what we want without even having to ask.”

Ryan Johnson, Vice President of Operations, Opendoor

“We’re looking to join the party, not to break it up!”

Kala Laos, JK Realty Founder

“When the part serves the whole, the part will be served right along beside them. A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

Sally Krawcheck, CEO and Co-founder, Ellevest and author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work

“When women do well, the world does well.”

Adrienne Meisels, CEO and Founder of

“The ‘Internet of You’ will predict what you want before you even want it.”

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia Chief Economist:

“Increases in the mortgage rates will have little effect on buyers until they hit at least 7-10 percent in most markets. “The exceptions are Honolulu, New York City, and San Jose where a rate increase to 5-6 percent will make renting cheaper than buying. Everyone else has nothing to worry about.”

Jake Silverstein, Editor in Chief, New York Times (NYT) Magazine on the launch of the virtual reality (VR) platform and what they learned:

Avoid novelty for novelty’s sake (in other words, “shiny object syndrome”). The key to VR is its immersive quality that is virtually identical to being there. VR is not an extension of video. Instead, it’s an entirely new, transformative technology that will revolutionize how buyers view homes. More than 1 million readers downloaded the NYT cardboard viewer allowing them to experience VR en masse. Sage advice

Brian Boero, Partner, 1000Watt

“Stop the spray-and-pray marketing — the new technologies will tell you who is most likely to transact in the next 90 days, where they live, and even where they will be moving.”

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz

Zillow,, Trulia, Redfin and only account for 17 percent of real estate web traffic. For agents to compete, go to the long tail (for example, hyperlocal branding, information about your community and local lifestyle details) that the big companies do not provide.

Valerie Garcia, CEO Valerie Garcia, Speaker and Consultant

“Stop waiting until you feel ready — you’re never completely ready. You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying it.”

Dottie Herman, CEO, Douglas Elliman

“The agent is not the star — it’s the property and the client!”

Gabriele Oettingen, Professor of Psychology, New York University

Use the four steps of WOOP to turn your vision into reality: (W) Identify your wish. (O) What is the best outcome? (O) What is your main inner obstacle? (P) Make a plan to overcome that obstacle.

Ben Wellington, Data Scientist, I Quant NY

If you want an endless source of content for your website, blog or social media site, visit your local city’s public data site and share the interesting tidbits that you find there — the rankings of various chain restaurants from cleanest to dirtiest food, how many days per month is the local lake or oceanfront too dirty to swim in, or how much each fire hydrant in the city generates in parking fines.

One of Wellington’s most astonishing findings was a $750 million error in New York City’s Police Department budget — the category: “the protection of foreign missions.”

This error actually made it through the budget process and no one even noticed!

The coming changes will transform our business and our personal lives in ways we can’t even begin to fathom. Plan on being at Inman Connect San Francisco in August — it’s the best way to prepare now for what’s coming tomorrow.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at and

Email Bernice Ross

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