It’s been a really hectic couple of weeks. What I expected to be a quiet period ,just before Christmas ,turned into a more boisterous time,in the weeks leading up to Inman Connect New York. Between being elected to the board the FIABCI-USA Northeast Council ,Inman 100,and a former listing in the New York Times, what I planned to be “down time” became a lot more uptime !
I was excited,overall,as I am every year to attend Inman in New York. I don’t “get out” much to conferences (last year was something of an anomaly in some senses)- so Inman Connect New York,every January presents me with a great opportunity to connect with new people and reengage with those I already know,on my literal home turf,all I need is a MetroCard or Uber, no invasive TSA required.
I was excited to be an Inman Ambassador for this conference for the second year in a row with all of these amazing peeps
And then,a few short days before the conference,being asked to speak on a panel (and the ensuing panic because I literally had no voice,again,which oddly happened the last time I spoke at Inman in 2012…)on the premise of being “Always On” – more on the panel recap will probably be on Inman Next in the coming weeks.
My two conference highlights :
From Agent Reboot : was getting to finally hear (and meet) Travis Robertson. In a presentation with data to back up the premises. I learned a lot more about millennial marketing and in my mind how it relates to marketing for the boomer generations and Gen X. I will be digesting that info and integrating for some time to come.
From Inman Connect : without question and hesitation, hearing Arianna Huffington’s keynote. I am hoping to see the video of this. I was there. I put my tablet down,and listened and experienced in the moment. And it had a profound impact on me- because it reflected a conundrum I have been grappling with for sometime. In an industry where it seems we are being pushed further to be go go go,it was great to hear someone outside the industry,and unquestionably successful talk about their very personal reengineering and the impact it has had in personal and professional life. If SHE can do it,surely we can
Connect is,truly about connecting. I enjoyed seeing and in some cases meeting for the first time,vendors whose products I have found value in using.I enjoyed learning about new products,many of which are at present a blur,as I have not yet had the time to go through my stack of cards marked for follow up-its been two weeks of “hitting the ground running” with clients. I enjoyed putting faces and voices to the names. Listening to inspiration. I enjoyed meeting many people for the first time after extended periods of online engagement, I enjoyed catching up with existing friends,colleagues and partners. (A theme of the conference was partnership,and I have found in the years I have attended- it has always been the case for me,to find someone I can work with or help).
Enjoyed some of the “social” aspects of connect,the cocktail events,the dinners,the attempts at lunches. Enjoyed the Third Annual Not Really Impromptu NYC Real Estate Tour- the first year I put it together,we went to one of Warburg’s wonderful new developments in Chelsea-Carriage House, the second year, in dribs and drabs,some people toured the “steampunk apartment”,and this year, we went to another one of Warburg’s new developments on the upper east side,230 East 63rd Street .
Some reflections. People will be people. Both good and bad. There are those ,that to me,shine just as brightly offline as they do online. Models of professionalism and grace. And then,there are those that don’t. Every action that you take (or fail to),reflects on the perception people will have of you (and you could say by extension,your business). Suffice to say,without going into extreme detail, I was dismayed and disappointed by some, but in the end,that is filed away,for a rainy day. Like an elephant,for better or worse I forget little. And in the end,as reinforced as I finished reading Peoplework…. it’s about the people in my milieu.
I can not even begin to “make a list” of those who were most impactful,because in their own way,good or bad,each contact at connect made an indelible impact.
More on connecting. If you REALLY want to connect with people,you need to put in the effort and time and “make it happen” to borrow a phrase from a friend,who repeats it so much,sometimes I would prefer to hit him over the head with it.
Grabbing someone “in passing” to say hi is great. Want to go deeper ? You know you are going,you know they are going – send them a note,try to meet ,and be flexible. For me personally, some of my BEST conversations happen first thing in the morning. An example ? In most time zones,I can be found by 6AM taking a walk,or at the gym. It is typically a time I reserve for reflection and thought- but when I am at a conference,I am open to sharing that time to connect with someone else. More examples? Although I don’t drink coffee, I am happy to “do coffee” and treat someone I want to get to know better to a quick cup of joe and chat. Lunch can also be a great opportunity to connect,as can of course be cocktail hour (did you know,I enjoy a cocktail ?). Dinners during conferences to me,often represent my most valuable time- its the time I want to spend laughing and brainstorming with those I value most (and I’m happy that this year was no exception in tremendous conversation !). I have become a HUGE fan recently of the “post event” dinner/brunch as well. And this year was no exception-and I am still contemplating those Bloody Mary’s from Lexington Brass !
To turn a phrase – “if you see something,say something” …if you see someone you know ,don’t be intimidated say a quick hello (had a few conversations after Connect that involved this sentiment)- I can’t speak for everyone,but for me. If you see me,and you want to say hi, please come say hi – I’m happy to introduce you to the people I might be speaking with at the minimum ! And if you KNOW you are going to be there and you really WANT to connect with someone- do the leg work before hand and set it up…..
I am still digesting much of what happened at connect,while also getting back into the speed of things. It promises to be a busy year ahead working with clients,customers and colleagues. One of my personal goals,is that if I plan to find myself in a city where I have “friends”,is to make the time and effort to spend some time with them. For those cities closest to me ,within the NYC metropolitan area,and some along the east coast- I am thinking day trips as warranted and desired,to reinforce and deepen the connections.
I hope that should any of you find yourselves here,you’ll reach out and connect. And I hope to do the same for many as I noted above,and I am looking forward to San Francisco this summer (but who am I kidding I ALWAYS look forward to ANY trip to San Francisco !) And in the interim, I’m relatively easy to find and am glad to connect and engage on the platform of your choice.
[Featured Image : Post Pre- Real Estate Bar Camp New York Dinner at Villard Michel Richard at with Drew Meyers, Patrick Healy, Darlene Sodano, Kevin Tomlinson, Richard Silver, Bryan Kaplan, Dov Silberman