Observations from the RISMedia Leadership Conference in NYC

New York City was buzzing even more than usual this week with the US Open, Fashion Week and about a 1000 real estate industry professional chatting, tweeting, updating and generally creating a lot to think about. The event kicked off with a panel of 7 industry leaders sharing their perspective on the industry.

The audience wasn’t exactly jumping up and down after this presentation. From a recovery stand point, about as positive as the group could muster was an L shaped recovery with no upswing for the next few years. Alex Perriello shared forecasted 2010 NAR numbers that predict sides will be up 5.4% over 2009 and average price up 3.2%. Short sales and foreclosures will continue to keep their strangle hold on the market.

There was a noticeable change is the reaction of not only the industry leaders but the general audience to the discussion about the future market conditions. There seems to be an acceptance that the market of 2005-2007 is gone. The industry is not going to somehow magically travel back in time and get those days back. Instead, we have to turn a corner and let go of the expectations we once had. Reset those expectations, focus on servicing today’s buyers and sellers, and move forward.

On a moving forward note, the audience was encouraged to lobby the government to consider extending the first time home buyers tax credit program. There is a general feeling that the government is so consumed with health care right now that they’ve forgotten the looming expiration of this program. Trulia has even started a petition and is gathering signatures in support of the extension.

Other hot topics included:

  • social media
  • talent attraction (or recruiting for those of you who haven’t been drinking the BHGRE kool aid!)
  • cost cutting (Gino Blefari recited a long list of cost cuts Intero has made over the last year)
  • distressed properties and
  • measuring ROI on marketing.

The folks at RISMedia work really hard at putting this event together and as usual did a great job! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and said hello. It was great to see you. In good times and not so good times, this is still the best industry with the best people you’ll find anywhere!

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