Matterport

What should we look for at NAR Midyear?

by Kevin Hawkins on April 23, 2015

Real estate’s annual May pilgrimage begins in a couple of weeks. Its formal name is “REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo,” but I’ve never met anyone outside of NAR that doesn’t call it NAR Midyear. Even the url for the location on realtor.org labels it “midyear” (http://www.realtor.org/midyear.nsf). For several days – this year May 11-16 – local associations as well as state and regional associations leadership descend on Washington D.C. It’s a time largely filled with policy meetings, committee confabs and a full-court press for face-to-face meetings with legislative reps. Tucked in the middle of all this is a trade show that runs for just two days: Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14, from 10 am until 6 pm. This year more than 100 vendors will be vying for a few minutes of everyone’s time. After all, many have flown 1,000 miles or more, have invested thousands of dollars on their booths and travel expenses, all for just that 16-hour window. The scope of the Midyear Trade Show is nowhere near the size of the exposition at the NAR Annual so it doesn’t always feature the biggest players nor their mega-exhibits. On the contrary, the vendor list is often comprised of the most ardent NAR supporters of all sizes, providers of “official” NAR this or that, and many also are in someway, connected to the MLS industry, which is ever-present at Midyear. Yet every once in a while a new company, new business model or new technology use NAR Midyear for its coming out party. Sometimes these firms are exhibiting; sometimes they are just hosting a suite in a nearby hotel, or meeting with CEOs in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel because they are bootstrapping it. Years ago, as the first Marketing Director for HomeGain, which at the time was a hot-new startup during Internet 1.0, the head of sales and I attended NAR Midyear with our pop-up HomeGain booth, tucked in the back of an annex that was added to accommodate last minute exhibitors like us. We didn’t make a lot of sales, but we generated a buzz and introduced ourselves, in person, to a lot of industry ‘thought leaders and influencers’ (whom we called ‘movers and shakers’ back then). This year, at Midyear, the WAV Group wants to know what should we be looking for? Is there a new business model, a hot new […]

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Brokers Out-Marketing Competitors

by Victor Lund on October 29, 2014

I attended Luxury Connect last week in Beverly Hills. If you are not familiar with the event, it was expertly delivered by the team from Inman News that is host to the Real Estate Connect conferences held annually in New York City and San Francisco. I don’t think that anyone really appreciates how difficult it is to put on a great event. This group does it with ease and grace even when pitted against seemingly insurmountable challenges. There was so much fanfare about this event, it is speculated that the original property selected for the event was sold! A week before, they had to move the conference to a new location – another $100MM+ listing in Beverly Hills. It was as perfect as possible despite a few logistical challenges that everyone quickly forgave. Luxury is different, and this Luxury Connect highlighted just how different. One quote that put it all together for me came from my friend Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union “We develop lofty strategies that are different and difficult, and that nobody else will do.” It took me awhile to understand how profound this statement was. I did not fully internalize it until I watched Steve Ozonian of Carrington look at a new product from Matterport – “a 3-D virtual tour.” I had seen the Matterport product in the past. They have signed up a number of large and progressive brokerages. I naturally put them in the category of a very fancy virtual tour. What I learned from watching Steve Ozonian look at the 3D Showcase product for a few minutes is that it is so much more. It is what Mclaughlin was talking about. It is a product that stops you in your tracks. It differentiates home marketing. It provides firms, who want to offer elite services, the ability to translate excellence into something that stuns affluent clients. There is not much that Ozonian’s has not seen before. The dollhouse view is what caught Ozonian’s attention. It delivered a view that added spatial context to the property. As he drilled into the property he was able to experience a truly three dimensional walk-though of the home – looking up, down, left, right, moving forward, backwards, even floating through walls, ceilings, and floors. It’s a sensation akin to being a ghost with x-ray vision. I could hear McLaughlin repeating in my ears. Matterport is one of those […]

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