Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt


Brad Inman

With the news today that Brad Inman has sold his company, Inman News, to a Canadian private equity firm I thought it a good time to reflect on his accomplishments. First off, it must be said, Brad is an amazing entrepreneur. He started Inman News in 1996, he followed that up with HomeGain, which he later sold to Classified Ventures. He then turned his attention to video on the internet with TurnHere and ebooks with Vook. He was also the first investor in Curbed. Starts and stops? Yes. Rough patches? Absolutely. But he did these things and so many other things while keeping committed to Inman News and growing it to the “newspaper of record” for the intersection of real estate and technology.

But Brad didn’t just launch his own companies, his influence touched and helped so many others. Trulia was literally started in the halls at an Inman News conference by a couple of Stanford students with comped passes from Brad. Those students went on to sell Trulia to Zillow for $3 billion dollars. The community he built is amazing. He not only helped launch companies but, careers. You’ll see Inman News alum go on from the Inman Connect stage to start their own companies or hold key positions at some of organized real estate’s most innovative companies.

Sure he had some haters. Anyone who achieves the kind of influence and success in the arena that Brad has will always have those types of spectators. But he continued to stay true to himself. Bolo ties, funky hats, and all that jazz. Or should I say Yaz?

For brokers, vendors, and forward-thinking agents Inman News and conferences are the places to see and be seen. His keynotes always set the tone for the industry to follow. As an industry news junkie myself Inman News is the first website I bring up on my phone every morning. And being recognized by Inman News in 2016 when Dan and I won the “most innovative technology award” for Cloud MLX was one of my most proudest moments.

Over the years I’ve gotten to know Brad and grown to more fully appreciate and respect Brad’s accomplishments and the positive impact he’s had on the real estate industry. We’ve shared many a cocktail over Zoom during the pandemic, and I just love the way he says “pal” in an old-school Walter Winchell type of way. So while I’m happy for him personally for this news, I’m still a bit sad and reflective. Yes, I know he is still has retained some ownership in the company, and that he will stay “involved” but you can’t help but feel this is a turning point for him and the rest of us.

And that brings me to this last part. Gratitude. Thank you Brad. Thank you for making me think. Thank you for helping me grow my business with your curiosity and encouragement. Thank you for creating a platform and wonderful experiences where I could connect with my colleagues, friends and meet new ones. Thank you for pushing the industry I love so much to move forward.

Onward my friend.


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