Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Transcendental data and robots

Brad Inman
Brad Inman
This week I rented a house in Monterey with my sister’s family. It’s an old house built in the early 1900s and is the perfect place for cousins to run around and explore. In between amazing golf, sea kayaking, eating, more eating, and artisanal tequila I thought I’d hammer out a few thoughts about Inman Connect last week.

Inman News

My first thought was about the Inman News brand itself. After a year of some turmoil it seemed that many people were concerned if the conference, along with the site itself would last. In my opinion those concerns are baseless. You can’t agrue that the reporting on Inman News with Paul Hagey and Andrea Brambila has greatly improved. Their in-depth reporting and analysis has been some of the best I’ve seen written. Laura Monroe is also doing a great job on the agent side. David Stein, new President and General Manager of Inman News has also done a good job of shoring up the ship. They have also brought back the Alice Myerhoff (yay!) to help with Sales. So all things considered you can say that Inman News is strong as ever. Which is a good thing, as an industry friend told me, “The industry needs Inman.”

Connect 2013 SF

We sponsored a hospitality suite so I spent most of my days having meetings with brokers, MLS peeps and other customers. I did get to see the dot loop and CAR session (more on that later) and I was on the “app store” panel for the MLS track. So I didn’t get to see all of the sessions I would have liked to. But after talking to a few people at the show they felt the content was some of the best in years. Sure the telepresence robots are a bit too futuristic but remember this is Inman Connect, we are to open our minds to buying houses at Starbucks and our faces on an iPad rolling down a hallway.

I also heard from many that the woman who co-moderated most of the sessions needed to turn it down a bit (and I’m not just talking her microphone level). As I sat on the “app store” panel, ably moderated by Dave Charon from MRIS (he should do more of this, he is good at it), an audience member ask about how to make MLS data more “transcendental”, that got more than a few smiles (and laughs) from everyone. I’ll have to put that on jargon watch.

dotloop vs. C.A.R.

The session with Austin Allison and Joel Singer was on everyone’s mind. Most had made room in their schedule to attend the session. It didn’t disappoint. If I had to declare a winner I would say it was a draw with a slight edge to Austin from dotloop. He did a masterful job of demonstrating the issue with props; a cassette tape, a boom box and an iPod. But he lost me when he went on a personal diatribe of all the “sacrifices” he made starting the company (nobody cares Austin). Joel from C.A.R. was mostly on the defensive, and seemed physically irritated by some the questions from the audience. I still think both sides have room to grow on this issue. I was buoyed by conversations I had with Marnie Blanco who recently joined dotloop. Marnie is a smart person, and I know she doesn’t make decisions lightly. I think dotloop would benefit greatly by her experience and reputation by being the main company spokesman at these types of events and in the press.

Et al…

Trulia held a great party with mixologists at the ready to prepare your favorite drink (or a drink you never heard of.). And of course the RE Technology party, located next door to the famous Mitchell Brother’s Theatre (in case our Uber driver said, you “wanted to pull an audible”) was at the ready with a live band (Did you hear that John Heithaus has left MRIS and now spliting his time between BuyerMLS and his record label? Whoa!), for anyone that wanted to get their groove on. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the ListHub party which is always a good time.

In summary

It’s a great time for real estate. The market is up, and lots of companies investing time and money in the space. It reminds me of a framed quote I saw on a real estate agent’s wall in her office. The quote read as follows:

“God please let there me another hot real estate market, and I promise not to blow all the money this time.”


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