This week is the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in New York City. Several of the more prominent real estate agents, at least on the web, have been in attendance for the duration (and forgive me if I missed you on the list:)
- Kevin Boer of Three Oceans Real Estate
- The Men of Sellsius
- Mary McKnight of RSS Pieces
- Francis Flynn Thorsen of her eponymous site
- Jonathan and Matt from Active Rain
- Tony of CondoDomain
- Erik of Realty Thoughts
The highlight of this week’s conference was yesterday’s keynote session debate between Allan Dalton, CEO of Move.Com (the operators of Realtor.Com) and Glenn Kelman of Redfin. Redfin, as I’ve mentioned before, offers commission rebates to its buyer clients after encouraging the buyers to find their own homes – often by calling the listing agent to arrange a showing. Redfin doesn’t exist here in the Phoenix area and would run into some issues if it did, but that’s another story for another day.
Many of the predominately-Realtor crowd likely were looking forward to Dalton (no relation to either the beagle or me, incidentally) slicing and dicing Glenn the same way he filleted Zillow in a CAR conference last year.
Unlike Dalton vs. Zillow, however, yesterday’s showdown has generated a limited amount of commentary. From what I have seen from my distance of 2,500 miles is there does not appear to have been a clear winner. Here are the posts I’ve found so far:
- Glenn’s own self-deprecating take on his performance
- Redfin at RE Connect by Crunchback
- Dalton vs. Kelman – 2ish out of 2 ain’t bad by Three Oceans
- A brief recap at True Gotham
- A nice photo from Sellsius (and consider this another vote for the video)
I’m inclined to believe the debate was a draw as if there had been a clear winner, and if it had been Dalton, there likely would have been some crowing from my fellow Realtors. But if it is out there I’m just not seeing it.
One final note … I have an issue with the conference’s theme of “High Touch vs. High Tech.” The assumption inherent in the title is the real estate industry is going to break down one of those lines, but I believe such an assumption is flawed.
High tech alone is not sufficient, not where human emotions surrounding the largest purchase of someone’s life is involved. High tech can drive the clients to you but the vast majority still are looking for the high touch as well. If anything, high touch can survive to some degree without high tech though I believe prospecting absolutely is going the high tech route.