Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Beignets, Gumbo, and Gratitude: CMLS 2023

It was great to be back in New Orleans last week. From what I heard this was the largest attended CMLS ever. With so much going on in the industry it made sense everyone wanted to be together. Plus it was the “10 year anniversary of the 10 days session”.

I hadn’t been to New Orleans since pre-pandemic. Not sure if it was just me but the streets seemed a little cleaner, and the beignets a little heavier.

News dropped of Redfin “leaving NAR” on Monday while I was traveling. GFK certainly knows how to work the press and the timing of the release was genius. I think towards the middle of the week the initial shock wore off and left most of whom I talked to with more of a shrug. Same thing with the news that Anywhere (and RE/MAX?) won’t require franchisees to join NAR. Since it’s not a mandate I don’t think anyone will care. But I do think the optics from outside the industry is the real story here. With NAR‘s recent bad press in the New York Times, inventory shortage, affordability, and high interests rates may lead some people to believe where there’s smoke there’s fire. Especially when you read the misleading headlines.

I didn’t get to attend many sessions. But heard a lot of good feedback on the “What If Mindset” presenter. I did give a talk at the CEO Forum held Tuesday afternoon and was surprised at the level of interaction I got from the group, which in my experience don’t easily share opinions in public. But this is the CMLS Conference after all. One thing I heard afterwards from some MLS execs was the concern that over the years CMLS has worked more closely with NAR and how that might “bite us in the butt” in light of all the shenanigans lately. But, who can tell?

The lobby bar chatter was filled with vendors telling lies to each other, talk of lawsuits, joint ventures, and changing business models and dinner plans.

I ate like a king, and broke my rule the first night. I did manage to get to bed early Wednesday night in preparation for my Industry Update session on Thursday. I spent all Thursday morning creating the slide deck and rehearsing in my hotel room. Which if anyone had a hidden camera would look like an insane person making funny faces and saying the same things over and over in to a mirror.

I was backstage with Sunny getting ready for my session. Andy Woolley was set to introduce me. I was told that Andy would go out first, then introduce me and I would come out second. I had no idea what actually was about to happen. They announced Andy and my handler told me to go on stage as well. Then Andy delivered a masterclass in roasting. He had the crowd howling and he’s expertly delivered well timed cuts and jabs, all at my expense. It was hilarious!! Bravo Andy!

With so much going on in the industry, my Industry Update session was one of the best yet. And the last slide got a standing ovation (or so I’m told, I left the stage pretty quickly). I hope to have that video of Andy and I posted soon. The feedback I received was so kind and I’m glad I could bring a bit of levity to everyone’s day.

I left the CMLS Conference feeling a bit tired (NOLA) and also energized. I’ll have a few announcements due to meetings I had at the event in the weeks to come.

My thanks to Denee and the entire CMLS staff for having me and once again putting on such a great event.

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