Presumably, the real estate business has been around as long as people have been required to pay for the place in which they live. Not the oldest profession in the world….but close. As technology has grown exponentially throughout the last few decades, so too has the creative ways to buy, sell and market your home. I remember finding my first home in a real estate magazine, there it was, in all of its glory, printed in black and white. The responsibilities and role of the real estate agent has certainly expanded along with the times as well. Sticking a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn is certainly still a required step however by no means does the role of the Agent of the new millenium end there. The tools and applications that are available to an agent in 2016 are almost endless. There are tools for 3D virtual tours, E-Signature applications, tools telling your brokerage where you are, citing agent safety, virtual staging tools and hundreds more. Add to this list the many tools designed specifically for Owner/Brokers who demand more control when it comes to marketing and lead generation. Of course I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t also mention my own employer Lead Assign, makers of amazing lead consolidation and distribution software (seriously).
There’s no slow down to the pace in which new technology is becoming available to agents and brokers alike. Of course this creates great opportunity however, it also poses a problem. How exactly does a busy agent or broker/owner stay on top of whats available to them and what applications can be utilized to help grow their businesses. Most of us tend to unintentionally limit our exposure to new technology by lazily gathering and absorbing what we see via tech news websites or perhaps by joining a relevant LinkedIn group or two.
To really dig deep and discover what is shaking up the world of Real Estate tech, you need seek it out and go see it. Almost every major city or commercial centre in the United States and Canada routinely has tech events and conferences catering to its local businesses and marketplace. I would encourage everyone to make the effort and get out to see what’s happening in your own backyard as its both convenient and affordable.
For those who strive for even more, those that want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, you have to go big and sometimes far. Lead Assign is a very small start-up with great aspirations. We here at Lead Assign knew early on that word of mouth was going to be good but, we also knew it wouldn’t be enough. We needed to get our product in front of as many Broker/Owners as quickly as possible, and in a cost efficient manner. Wanting to make a splash, in 2015 we committed to participating in INMAN CONNECT in New York city. INMAN CONNECT was an ideal platform to launch Lead Assign as they provided a relatively inexpensive venue for start-ups like us to participate in “Start-Up Alley”, while allowing us to get our product in front of thousands of qualified prospective Brokers and Agents.
Our first INMAN CONNECT experience was a learning one as we had little more than a MacBook running a beta version of what we were building, yet we were warmly received and encouraged by onlookers and attendees. We were featured in an article on the INMAN site which lead to further interest from Brokers and Owners. Of course this all began the trickle of new customers wanting to take advantage of what we were selling and being a new product it helped us to get better at growing and assessing our customers needs as well. In February of 2016 we once again committed to INMAN CONNECT 2016. Same location but with a more refined approach. This time around we had a fully developed and reliable product. We had hired a sales guy who was up for the task at hand (me)! and we were once again back in start up alley. It was a pleasant surprise to be remembered by the INMAN organizers and even more surprising was the frequency that we were approached by previous conference attendees who had remembered us from the year before!
Even though INMAN CONNECT wrapped up 3 months ago, I am still working numerous leads that reside within my CRM pipeline. Landing one or two large clients from a show like INMAN can quickly cover the costs of attending such an event. Personally I managed to secure 159 individual well qualified leads from the conference alone, additionally, many of the companies I’ve managed to engage are successfully winding their way through my sales funnel and well on their way to being full blown on-boarded active customers. I’ve experienced some great dialogue with prospects who didn’t end up as customers but graciously saw value in my product and felt compelled enough to refer me to their network of people whom they felt were a good fit for our application.
The goal of all of this is to simply illustrate the need to seek out the solutions that you desire. Believe me, I’d love to call every prospect on the planet to tell them about all of the benefits of Lead Assign but it’s simply not practical. You can however discover answers to the problems that you didn’t realize you had all on your own. From and agent or owners perspective it’s a great opportunity for you to increase your network and talk to others in marketplaces that differ from your own. You will most certainly find Lead Assign attending INMAN CONNECT 2016 in San Fransisco this August 2-5, as there is no better place for us to showcase our Lead Assign application than the high tech capital of the planet. Please come visit us in Start-up Alley, we hope to see you there.
Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com