3 Nuggets of Wisdom from ICNY

Last week, Inman News hosted their annual Real Estate Connect conference in New York city.  I was honored to not only attend the event but represent it as an Ambassador – which means I had a primo viewing spot of the speakers and actively participated in the live twitter stream for the event – #ICNY.  As fun as live tweeting was, there were really some tremendous speakers who shared a wealth of knowledge with the crowd that was not only inspirational, but highly motivating on many levels.  As I sift through my pages of Evernote notes from the event, I’d like to share a few of the key takeaways.

  • No matter what business you’re in – you are human first.  Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, was the keynote speaker who kicked off the conference and WOW she had a lot to say.  The main point of her talk was that we must take care of ourselves.  The culture we’ve created of working ‘round the clock and giving kuddos to those who never take a day off is completely unsustainable. It’s our most basic responsibility to take care of our human needs so that we can then attend to our business, families, and do what it is we love to do to the best of our abilities.  Without a healthy, functioning body and mind, we just won’t be our best.  She firmly believes that you are only do your best when you’re 100% focused on the task at hand.  Just like our unsustainable culture of “workaholics”, our notion of “multi-tasking” is equally unsustainable.  While reflecting on her career and personal life, Arianna Huffington makes the connection that every poor decision she’s made, has happened when she was tired, overworked, stressed, or distracted.  Her advice is to be 100% present and deal with situations only when they actually happen in reality.  It’s easy to go down the situational “what-if” road in your head and try to solve future problems in advance, but Arianna explains that we are better able to solve problems only when they actually happen to us in reality.  So don’t waste your time entertaining the “obnoxious roommate” (as Arianna called it) in your head who dreams up situations and attempts to solve them in advance.  Be human, be present, and be focused – on one thing at a time.

  • Millennials are in your marketplace – and you will be missing out if you’re not communicating with them effectively.  If you have yet to bridge the gap between the younger generation and yourself, you are closing the door on a huge area of opportunity to grow your business.  The best tip for communicating with Millennials is to ASK them how they want to be communicated with.  As a service provider, you need to cater to their preferred methods of communication – whether it be by text, email, Twitter, Skype, or droid (sounds ridiculous but droids are making their debut too!).  Set the standards for communication up front.  It’s unlikely that 100% of your transaction can be handled via email or text, so if you explain to your Millennial client up front that you will only call them when it’s really important, they’ll be more likely to answer the phone.  And they’ll be happier and more willing to work with you knowing that you respect their time and lifestyle.

  • Learn, respect, and cater to your client’s or prospect’s culture and values.  Day 3 of ICNY was termed “International Day” and it truly brought the event full circle and finished strong.  Whether or not you work with or are hoping to work with international buyers, your clients can come from all over the world.  As a service provider it is your responsibility to be cognisant of cultural differences and cater to those.  Michi Olson, VP of Global Business Development and Relocation at Alain Pinel Realtors gave a standout talk about working with international buyers – specifically Chinese buyers in the marketplace.  She shared a fantastic list of do’s and don’ts for building your relationship with this group of clients.  While she didn’t have a lot of time to go into detail on these rules, some of the tips she gave about working with Chinese clients were:

    • Gifts are important for relationship building, but absolutely DO NOT give:

      • Sharp objects (implies severing the relationship)

      • Clocks (implies time is running out)

      • Hankerchiefs (implies farewell)

      • Hugs (not sure why on this one – but interesting none the less)

      • Gifts in sets of four (the number four in Chinese sounds similar to the word for death)

While some of these takeaways may not apply directly to your real estate business – the overall messages apply to everyone.  And keep in mind, the takeaways I’ve outlined here are just a tiny fraction of what you can get out of attending a Real Estate Connect conference. If you’re interested in attending, their next conference is in San Francisco.

It’s truly a one of a kind experience.  And it’s not just about the speakers and listening to the presentations, you’ll meet a ton of amazing people and connect with like-minded individuals who are motivated to keep moving forward and advancing personally and professionally. You’ll get professional insights on products and services designed to help you grow as a successful business professional.  For example, W&R Studios’s Greg Robertson talks about the best CRMs in the real estate business and shares his experiences with these products and services as applied to his own business.

If you’re still reading this post (and I don’t blame you if you’re not – this was a lengthy one!), what were your key takeaways from ICNY?  Share your nuggets of wisdom in the comments below – we’d love to hear them!

Didn’t attend ICNY?  If you followed the hashtag (#ICNY) during the event, share that experience with us!


4 responses to ‘3 Nuggets of Wisdom from ICNY

  1. Hi Jen – you are so welcome! You should definitely attend ICSF if you can – and they have plenty of fun stuff for first timers! It’s truly a one of a kind experience 🙂

  2. Hi Polly, no problem! That’s great you’re thinking of attending ICSF – hope to see you there!

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