Top 5 Things I learned at Inman Connect San Francisco

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

First, let me congratulate Brad Inman and his team for an excellent conference this week. The content was deep and broad covering topics from “The Uberfication of the Real Estate Industry” to “Success in a Dress.”  The keynotes were interesting, but the highlight had to be Guy Kawasaki‘s Top Ten…well…really 12, but who’s counting.  He has a very real, down to earth charm and is a very entertaining presenter.  If you want to “Hack” his top ten just search #ICSF #Guy Kawasaki via Twitter and I’m confident you will be able to piece all 10 together from the mass of tweets that were being banged out on smart devices large and small in the grand ballroom. Without further adeau, here are the top five (5) things I learned at Inman Connect San Francisco:

  1. Mobile Apps are becoming more available to the masses to develop.  On Start-Up Alley there may have been 10 of the estimated 30+ companies who were in attendance.  At least two of the start-up app companies that I visited with were tied to enabling agents / brokers to create an online network of service providers.  The apps are definitely useful in that it ties the agent / broker to the center of the transaction for their customer.  If I’m buying / selling a home, it is likely that you will need a plumber, drywaller, electrician, mortgage broker, title service etc.  Many of these apps enable the agent to create, manage, and recommend local service providers.
  2. Many broker / agents struggle to enable adoption of technology initiatives. @eddieredwood from C21 Redwood had some great recommendations as did everry other member of his panel.  Main points were to bring the agents into the process early on.  Help them to understand how the technology benefits them in growing their business. After an agent realizes that he / she will earn more business they will adopt the tool.
  3. @KatieLance who hosted several panels made the point that the technology has to be so simple that a child can do it.  Another panelist said that the technology needs to be adopted the way the television remote was adopted.  You didn’t have to sell the concept, it was abundantly clear that this was a better way of doing it. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.  App developers must make the technology easy to use and it must be abundantly clear why this is making life better for them to ensure technology is widely adopted.
  4. Data will continue to play a major role in shaping the future of the real estate industry.  Zillow‘s announcement of its acquisition of Retsly will open up the playing field for additional app development and technology advances as start-ups will no longer have to struggle wiht 900 separate MLS agreements to bring their products to market, at least that is what I understood from the live interview with Zillow executive stage. Speaking of acquisitions, Realogy’s acquisition of ZipRealty wins the “Buzz in the Hallways” award for the conference. There was no close second.
  5. Social media is no longer just about brand awareness, but it is now evolving to “Social Business,” for brokers and agents.  Again, hate to keep harping on the data availability, but it is the data that enables the “business” part of social business. Social media must remain social, but it must be viewed as a standard business marketing activity from the brand level to the agent level.

How could my experience have been better? The video production quality of Inman’s interviews could be better (poor audio quality on a few and it just drags down the overall quality impression of the conference for me.  Additionally, I felt badly for the Start-Up Alley companies who were squeezed into the smallest “two-person” tall boy tables I’ve ever seen. It was difficult to interact when the tradeshow floor was packed with people.  Otherwise great experience.

What Is Scaring the Lawn Ornaments?

Gnomes, Frogs and Pink Flamingos Beware!  The Gold and Black Yard Sign is Coming!

In our latest installment of social creative, the C21 Social Team has cooked up some summertime fun that is just scaring the pants off of a very anxious Flamingo.

In fact, all of the neighborhood lawn ornaments are up in arms about the disappearance of their friends. Listen to this Scottish Gnome as he laments the fact that his good friend Gary who was just a regular Gnome laying low in the mulch, then “Poof”

Finally, what collection of garden ornaments would be complete without a Frog fountain? Watch as the frog discusses his fear and desire to hop away as all of his friends vanish, but his legs are…well ceramic.

Visit us on the @C21 – Home Matters blog for more great content!



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Social Media Examiner – Industry Report 2014

Michael A. Stelzner, Founder of the Social Media Examiner developed this 50 page report on how Social Media is being adopted by industry and marketers. Here are the highlights.


Major findings

Here’s a quick summary of our primary findings:

• Marketers place very high value on social media: A significant 92% of
marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 86%
in 2013.

• Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master: At least
89% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best
ways to engage their audience with social media.

• Blogging holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 68% of marketers
plan on increasing their use of blogging, making it the top area marketers will
invest in for 2014.

• Marketers want to learn most about Google+: While 54% of marketers are
using Google+, 65% want to learn more about it and 61% plan on increasing
Google+ activities in 2014.

• Podcasting on growth trajectory: Only 6% of marketers are involved with
podcasting, yet 21% plan on increasing their podcasting activities in 2014—a
more than three-fold increase—and 28% of marketers want to learn more about

• Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for
marketers. When forced to only select one platform, 54% of marketers selected
Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 17%.

• Most marketers aren’t sure their Facebook marketing is effective: Only 34%
of marketers (slightly more than one in three) think that their Facebook efforts
are effective.

• Original written content is most important for social media marketing: A
significant 58% of marketers stated that original written content is the single
most important form of content, followed by original visual assets (19%).

The above summary is merely a taste of what’s in this report.


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CENTURY 21 Takes Over YouTube Home Page With Puppy Cam!

On March 27, Century 21 Real Estate became the first national real estate franchise to takeover the home page of when it launched “Puppy Cam” with the tag line: “Fall in Puppy Love with Your Dream Home on”  (The March 27 date corresponds to the highest search traffic day for real estate, according to Google.) The campaign included a full banner at the top of the home page of

The campaign was a huge success drawing over 44 million viewers who spent over 22,000 hours viewing our eight puppy cams! (More metrics to come)

According to Digiday article:  What do a ton of fluffy puppies and a real estate franchise have in common? On the surface, not much, but in a series of Web ads that launched last month, Century 21 has essentially equated watching a litter of wiggling baby dogs to the feeling you get when buying a new home.

Last week, the company took the campaign as step further, running a massive ad on the YouTube homepage featuring an all-day PuppyCam that directed users back to the Century 21 website. The stunt, according to Century 21′s chief marketing officer, Bev Thorne, resulted in more than 44 million impressions.

Puppy Cam YouTube Takeover

“The original puppy video was received so favorably, so we used that creative to take over the [YouTube] front page and had a little fun with it,” said Thorne. “With the traffic that we got, we were able to connect people with agents and offices.”

“In essence, we’re inviting YouTube visitors to fall in ‘puppy love’ with their dream home by showcasing eight adorable videos of furry little friends playing, running, sleeping and, overall, just being downright lovable.”

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