New folks, old folks, and GaryVee - My takeaways from RE Connect New York

So the problem with waiting a week after a conference to write a post about your perspective on a conference, is that in this ultra fast web 2.0 world, all kinds of impressions and opinions have already been posted, discussed, and put to rest.  So, not sure that this post is adding anything new, but its my blog, so I'm going to write about it anyways.  For me, the value in attending the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in New York was truly in the networking.  I'm not the most "social" of the community in terms of participation (I'm certainly there, but don't for example, hold a candle to the wit of a Kelley Koehler who I am repetitively entertained by on twitter nor do I have the eloquence or clarity of Rob Hahn, writer and critic extraordinaire).  I actually find it challenging to forge new friendships purely through the web 2.0 world.  I like to watch though.  I can certainly see who the influencers are.  I can see whose style I like.  I can see whose style I don't like.  I develop a curiosity about some.  I learn a lot.  But it isn't until I meet the face behind the avatar that the web 2.0 world really does wonders for me.  And this is the true value of Inman.  To meet in person those people who shape these online social communities is awesome.  And there are many I'm glad I had the chance to meet (or re-meet) and interact with.  People like Jay Thompson, Matt Fagioli, Matt Goyer, Rob Hahn, Ginger Wilcox, Heather Elias, Jeff Corbett, Jon Washburn, Pill Thomas Di Guilio, Daniel Rothemel, Mike Simonsen, Kristin Mohan, Todd Carpenter, Rudy Bachraty, Kris Berg, Joeseph Ferrara, Ines Hegedus-Garcia,  Jeff Turner, Pat Kitano, Gaylord Dewald, Guy Johnson, Scott Sambucci, Kelly Koehler, Dustin Luther, Megan Murphy, Liam Dayan, Dale Chumbley, Perri Feldman, Drew Myers, Stacey Ret, Poppy Dinsey, Jim Cronin, Morgan Brown, Christian Sterner, Dan Green, Mary McKnight, Mike Price, Gerry Bourgeois, Andy Kaufman, Joel Burslem, Jeff Bogert, Hillary Marsh, and last but certainly not least, Derek Overbey.  I look forward to continuing the conversations both on, and off, line.

As for the conference content, the only speaker that truly made an impact on me was Gary Vaynerchuk.  After a dismal first day of conference speakers rambling on about how bad the economy is and how bad the real estate market is, Gary was a welcomed relief of enthusiasm, energy, and optimism.  I made a note to myself that if I'm every feeling discourage in 2009, I need to watch a Gary video - it will adjust my perspective and cheer me right up.  Here was a guy who is thriving.  And, he was discussing what I want to know - where the opportunity is today.  And the perspective in his speech was that of personal branding...he says that to build your personal brand online - own yourself.  I was very pleased to hear this since just the week before, I had set up this website based on my personal url.  Gary seems to think I'm on the right track and made me feel progressive in my purchase of my personal domain back in 2004.  I wasn't sure what I would ever use my personal URL for, but I just had a hunch that I would want it.  Social media seems to be finally making that hunch a reality.  He also reminded me that people respect and appreciate effort - a lesson I (someone who may demonstrate perfectionistic tendencies on occasion) am well served to remember every once and a while.  Here is a video of his entire presentation (hang in there...first 15 seconds are a bit woozy but it improves):

I don't believe that all he says is perfectly practical for the working Realtor today (the Brandie Young article on Agent Genius well articulates one of my concerns from his talk) and there has been good discussion and debate in the world about this...I'll let you read about it here and here and here.  But all in all, it was a great speech and one of the best parts of RE Connect, and I'm glad I was there to see it.

Also, Derek Overbey and Morgan Brown did a great post-presentation interview with Gary.  Enjoy: