There are many great people in, and around, the real estate industry. Some lead by example, some inspire with their words, and others lead with their ideas. There are great companies and people all around the industry right now and as a whole (partly because of these people and these companies) the industry has grown more in the last three years than in the previous twenty.
Here are ten of the great thinkers, leaders and of the industry right now;
Dustin Luther has not only pulled blogging into the mainstream for real estate agents and pioneered the first great collaborative real estate blog, but he has done something even more incredible- he has given people an enthusiasm for blogging by his constant thinking, creating and now by his training.
Jim Cronin creates beautiful blog sites and teaches agents how to use them effectively. Neither of these feats are small. Great design is only easy for those who have a talent for it, and Jim obviously has in it spades.
Joe Ferrara at Sellsius gives us a fun, interesting blog for sure, but there are many of those. Sellsius was a great blog before Rudy left for Trulia, but instead of pack up and move on, Joe decided to re-invigorate the blog with a fresh new life. And who else could give us “Real Estate Porn” and at the same time, the “Top Ten Women Bloggers”?
Dougan Jones has been the owner, president, and/or broker for many large real estate companies. And in each company he has brought something that cannot be bought or taught… he has brought culture. I believe the way you can tell a great leader is by how many leaders they develop and by this account, Dougan is among the very best. There are dozens of real estate managers and leaders, including myself who trained under Dougan in Utah, Colorado and Michigan. He is also one of the most charismatic and incredible people I have ever had the privledge to meet. Dougan completely energizes people around him and people are naturally drawn to him because of his magnanimous charm and wisdom.
Active Rain has given real estate agents a platform to leap beyond themselves in a sense. Most Realtors who blog on Active Rain would not be doing so without Matt and Jonathon starting the joint. I don’t know if it’s profitable, but they are keeping it relevant by hosting parties at conventions and continuing to grow their brand organically.
Marc Davison is leading by another means. Marc leads by showing. Showing other leaders how to think differently, how to be creative, and why that matters right now. Marc and I don’t always share the same opinions or ideas, but we always share the same motives.
Greg Swann is a brilliant, brash, and blazing writer who, love him or hate him, gets people to stand up for (or against) things. And that is not easy or unimportant. He has built one of the most formidable blogs in the industry by inspiring people to write their guts out and not hold back. If you’re in the mood for some opinions, occasional music videos and lots and lots of words, he’s got you covered.
Inman Connect has brought technology and real estate together during the past few years unlike anything else. And although it is becoming too political, it still attracts a lineup of great speakers and innovators and if it can pull back the reins on the money-grabbing it just might be able to use it’s clout and momentum to lead the industry in more ways than its conventions.
Rudy Bachraty is now the mascot voice social director or “guru” for Trulia and has become a sort of bridge for many agents to find and meet other agents. Sure he has his day job and he is one of the best at utilizing social media and gaining an audience, but what sets Rudy apart is what he does at the conventions and shows. He acts as a social director for the whole industry. Want to know where the parties are? Call Rudy. Want to know who is speaking about what? Call Rudy. Want to get a drink with a really great guy? Call Rudy.
Great Agents with Technology are the most powerful force in the business today. Being a great agent means having a deep knowledge of your market, extensive experience with contracts and the escrow process, and a true desire to help your clients and put them first. When these agents really utilize technology they can offer better service and a better experience for their clients. Powerful custom websites that get their message across and back-end systems that give greater transparency to the transaction for their clients will propel these agents while others fail in the coming years.
I’m proud to call many of these people friends. But more than friendship, I, along with many others, enjoy learning from them and watching as they continue to grow and help shape our industry.