The Union Street Media crew returned home from Inman Real Estate Connect in New York this weekend. We had a great experience there, as we did last summer in San Francisco. A group of five of us attended and focused on social networking, blogging, internet marketing, MLS issues, and much more. The panels were great, including an appearance by the ever-popular Craig Newmark of Craigslist.
One resulting inspiration was the Real Estate Internet Marketing Map that I sketched at the conference, and then gussied up once home.
After all was said and done, among the trends this year were video, of course, as well as “instant” response to customer inquiries. We added a plugoo chat widget on our site last night – if you come by, say hello. I do think we will see many more agents and offices implementing some kind of basic IM/live chat into their sites, and it’s something that we are beginning to recommend to our clients as something to strongly consider.
Also, we were intrigued by the inexpensive Flip video camera and will probably pick a couple up to start playing with.
It will be interesting to see how realtors and others use the social networking space in the coming year. Like blogging, this can be a good passive channel for attracting customers. However, we are seeing more and more active types of marketing on Facebook, like groups, fan pages, and of course, ads. At the San Francisco Connect in August you couldn’t go through a whole panel without someone saying ActiveRain at least once. By contrast you didn’t hear this as much at the NY Connect. Nevertheless, the ActiveRain community is still a great place to spend some time online.