Five Things I’d Like from Inman Connect ’09

24″ x 12″ – Those are the dimensions of the “United Business Counter” I sit at while writing this post.  Barely enough room for my plethora of wired/wireless devices that take up one of the four wall plugs.  All I can say is, “God bless my IT department for setting up that Blackberry tethered modem program.”  They just saved me $25 bucks and an Oingo Boingo app that’s sure to wig out my laptop.

Is this Kansas?

Is this Kansas?

My mind can’t be bothered with trivial detail this though!  Hell no man… no time. I’m heading to Inman!  The mecca of Real Estate and all things technology.  Glorious waterfalls of bits and bytes flow at the Palace or so I’m told.  Sunrises filled with countless ideas and ways to save the albatross that is the Real Estate industry.  I grit my teeth with anticipation as the girl with the MAC next to me, (I thought they never used up their batteries???) yammers on about her boyfriend’s lack of job offers.  San Francisco here I come!

I tend to overdo things… set my expectations a little too high (just ask Mrs. Homepartner!) and so I decided to boil my “wish list” for the Utopia that is Inman down to a simple Top Five Takeaways list in hopes of actually seeing my unicorn.  But first some history on why I feel this list is necessary.

1.  Not just innovation, but implementation
Gimme big, bad, cutting edge innovation… I have naughty-hot dreams about this kind of thing at home.  But give me some case studies with metrics and analytics as to HOW you have implemented it and WHAT your clients think of it.  I honestly believe that there’s a growing void between 1. real estate consumers and 2. real estate innovators.  Where each one of our latest and greatest applications may blow the minds of the resident “tech geek” I keep asking myself, “Will it play in Peoria” (and not just because I grew up there.)  Sure, blow my mind, but tell me the bottom line ROI, ROE, or whatever metric you’re using to gauge it’s usefulness as well.

2.  Don’t just tell me… Show Me
I’m really sick and tired of this ongoing brain-orgy of thought revolving around, “the future of brokerage”.  Shut up and show me.  Someone throw $250K at Rob Hahn and let him REALLY give your brokerage a makeover… PLEASE!  I’m tired of talk, I’m tired of speculation.  I want to hear someone tell me that they did cutting-edge-X and the outcome was mind-blowing-Y.  someone please grow a set and try something new.

3.  Talk outside of the Real Estate Industry

I’ve written a couple of posts about this topic (See posts here) and truly feel that the answer as to what ails us as an industry lies out there, but it sure as hell doesn’t reside at your competitor’s office.  I was truly excited to hear that the keynote address was being delivered by Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp! as I’m a huge fan of their company.  But give me some more.  Let’s talk about implementing an @comcastcares model for real estate, or how you could do what Dell did in the early 2000′s and give your company a 180.  THAT’s what I want to hear!

4.  Give me some kind of measurable return on Social Media

I get it, I’m on it and I like it alot.  But, the next “coach” that gives a webinar on how to scrape leads from Facebook is going to find out why I keep my FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) card active.  Maybe I’m sensative to the subject because I work with agents day in and day out who are on the front lines suffering, but regardless I’m sick of the scavenging from gullible agents.  All I want to hear is that; agent Jim did 5 million dollars in 2008 and now spends # hours blogging, # hours on Twitter, # hours on LinkedIn consistently each week and has seen his business increase by 20% this year.  That’s it. Give me some numbers.

5.  Give me in a “true” brainstorming group
Don’t micromanage it with a preset adgenda… Don’t give someone with 20K follower on Twitter the mic and a powerpoint… Give me a room with 50 of the “smartest” people in real estate today (brokers, agents, and outside people too) and present us with 1. a problem 2. a bigass whiteboard and 3. an infinite supply of good coffee.  Videotape it, stream it live, open up a chatroom and we could conquer any challenge.  Hell, make it a monthly event and charge $19.95 to watch it and we’ll even create a profit stream.

6. (Bonus!) Give me face time my social network
Ok… so this is out of Brian’s hands and rests in mine alone, but this could actually supercede the previous 5.  Online is great, but F2F is the end goal in any relationship.  If I could tell you all that I have gotten out of my brain dumps with Rob Hahn, Eric Bryn, Marc Davison, Brian Boero and more… I would have to request more space from Host Gator.  This is what events like Inman are all about so reach out to those you have never met before and start like this.  “Hey @<insert clever Twitter handle here>… It’s <your clever Twitter handle> good to actually meet you!” It’s not hard, and I personally guarantee the akwardness will wear off after the first time.

Am I asking too much?  I don’t think so.  Although a teleporter ride from the airport would be nice.  Maybe next year… and if you’re out there in San Francisco and you’re looking to hook up and wrap… 773.354.9681 is the cell.  Looking forward to talking to you IRL.



  1. Make it happen Dollinger! And post lots of pics and thoughts along the way for those of us watching from afar.

  2. Amen. Glad to meet you briefly at BarCamp, would love to chat over the next few days to compare notes to see how well the event is living up to our shared dreams.

  3. MD – looking forward to your post-conf reflections…did the conference deliver for you??

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