Being the CEO of Luxury Presence, or of any startup for that matter, there’s really no such thing as a typical schedule. Every month, week, day, and even hour presents both new challenges and opportunities. This year, I was honored with an invitation to speak at Inman Connect, a week-long conference that unites industry leaders so that they may learn about and participate in the shifting culture of real estate technology. I want to share with you an inside look at one of my days at this conference in order to give you a firsthand glimpse of how we at Luxury Presence are working to improve the lives of our clients.
I’m a firm believer in the notion that the way you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, which is why I often begin mine with some exercise. I find that a quick workout gets my blood pumping and helps me focus. I follow this with a short meditation using the Headspace app. This helps me get in the right frame of mind to tackle the rest of the day.
After getting cleaned up, it’s time for some fuel. Luckily, breakfast at the conference’s host hotel–the New York Marriott Marquis–is delicious. I grab some scrambled eggs, a croissant, and an (extra large) black coffee and sit with Drew, one of our account executives, to talk about plans for the day. We go over upcoming events and meetings and prepare for excitement to come.
Once breakfast is finished, it’s time to get ready for the panel I’ll be appearing on called “From Marketing to Closing: Automating the Deal.” I meet with some other speakers backstage, including Nate Baker, the founder and CEO of Qualia. Qualia is a cloud-based title, escrow, and closing platform moving the industry forward when it comes to closing deals. Baker and I discuss the message we want to leave the audience with: own the customer journey, be mindful about each touch point, and use automation to improve the client experience.
In addition to Nate, I also run into Jessica Edwards from Carolina’s Finest, who is moderating several panels, including “Top Teams Divulge Their Most Closely Held Secrets” and “Growing in a Big City or Small Town: Two Approaches to Build Your Book of Business.” Jessica and I spoke a while ago building a website for her–small world!
At around half past ten, it’s showtime. Nate and I make our way onstage along with Katie Kossev, Vice President of Intero Real Estate, who will be serving as the session’s moderator.
I have a great time discussing the perks of automation, as I look at it as a way to scale businesses without scaling labor. Not only can automation be a significant time-saver, but it can actually improve the customer experience if used strategically. I stress that it’s important to continue to be honest with your customers–never deceive them into thinking a human being is doing an automated task. Rather, be transparent about the resources you use and educate them on how to use this automation to their advantage as well.
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“We look at automation as a way to scale your business without scaling your labor.” – @maltekramer. If you missed our CEO speaking at Inman Connect this morning, click on our highlight video for real estate marketing tips. . . . #INMANConnect #ICNY2019 #AutomatingTheDeal #inman #ICNY @inmannews
I may be thousands of miles from the Luxury Presence headquarters in Santa Monica, but the majority of the team is hard at work in the office developing our top-of-the-line products. I check in with them via Slack to make sure everything is running smoothly on the West Coast. I also think it’s crucial to check in with our clients directly, so I hop on a few calls with agents we work with, too. Because it’s nearly lunchtime, I pick up a chicken salad to eat while looking over the afternoon’s itinerary.
At noon, I meet with Audie Chamberlain, the founder of real estate PR company Lion and Orb. We discuss our companies’ mutual goal: to help clients develop a stronger digital impact. We also talk about plans to team up and launch a partnership in order to expand our clients’ reach. Not only will Luxury Presence clients have the benefit of a beautiful, functional custom site and marketing services, but they will also receive media reports that aim to maximize each advertising campaign.
After a great chat with Audie, I meet with my colleague and friend Zvi Band, the founder and CEO of the real estate CRM Contactually. A well-known speaker in the industry, we talk about how our companies can help our clients generate new business by having a website platform and CRM that works in sync.
The afternoon is now in full swing as I meet with Gary Beasley, the co-founder and CEO of Roofstock, the #1 marketplace for buying and selling single-family rental homes. Describing their market as “an industry ripe for disruption,” Roofstock uniquely enables investors to treat their real estate investments more like stock portfolios, letting them focus on asset allocation rather than property management. Gary’s experience is incredible. He’s built several massive companies in the real estate space, including ZipRealty, which he helped take public as CFO. I ask a lot of questions, and Gary is kind enough to share some of his wisdom.
After an inspiring conversation with Gary, I have one last official meeting on the books. I get together with Will Grewel, the co-founder of HomeStack, a technology company that allows clients to build highly-personalized, custom apps to grow their business. Will and I discuss our similar goals and values, such as the importance of a mobile-friendly product and the value of well-designed MLS integration. We strategize and brainstorm how to help our clients have a product that both looks stunning and operates in the most effective manner.
By now, it’s evening. It’s hard to beat happy hour in the Big Apple, so I grab a drink at the hotel bar and mingle with people I haven’t had a chance to talk to yet. I chat with agents, getting to know firsthand the kinds of obstacles they’re facing day in and day out as well as the types of technology they’re desiring. I also network with representatives from other forward-thinking companies, swapping tips and information and looking to see if there’s a way for our companies to collaborate. After all, teamwork is at the core of progress.
After cocktails, it’s time for dinner. I meet up with a couple of my former classmates from Stanford Business School at one of NYC’s famous Chinese restaurants to catch up. It’s amazing to see that, although we are in different fields throughout the country, we all face similar challenges and share the desire to leave a meaningful and lasting impact on the world.
Once dinner is over, I head back to the hotel to finish out my day. I answer some final emails and look over my schedule, preparing for day three of Inman Connect. I’ve already had some very insightful conversations and made valuable connections at the conference–I’m so excited to continue growing and improving tomorrow and every day after.