Passing the Torch, Posted by Dick

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Inman’s Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco. I have been going to Connect for several years now, and I find it is one of the best ways to learn about new trends in the business.

There were three key messages that I heard throughout the sessions:

First, several people made the point that we need to pass the torch along to a new generation. I couldn’t agree more!

Second, just as the real estate business is changing, so it the news media. New is being reported and generated at a grassroots level, and social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook are encouraging this trend. We need to engage with media and consumers via these outlets.

Third, we are seeing a blending of video and text to convey information that’s both entertaining and effective. For example, a video book can explain even the most complex topic, like an economic principle, simply. Associations and REALTORS should be looking at video as a viable way to communicate information to members and consumers.

I left the conference feeling quite proud that NAR is already moving in these directions. We’ve made a major effort through programs like the Leadership Academy and the Young Professionals Network to bring new members into the association. Our surround-sound program is helping state and local associations engage media in all kinds of new ways. And, of course, now features hundreds of videos on all kind of real estate-related topics.

Of course, the main reason I attended the conference was to get new ideas that will make my business more successful. I jotted down a few different web sites that were highlighted at Real Estate Connect that can help me (and you) stay ahead of the competition. Here are just a few of the most interesting ones: allows you create your own online magazine. can help you monitor what’s being said about you in social media. can help you share files and presentations on the web. will help you create a free web site. provides online marketing for your business.

Geochirp helps you search for people who are twittering in a specific area.

I encourage you to check out these sites and tell us what you think of these services. If there are other resources you are using that would be helpful to your fellow members, please let us know by commenting here. Sharing ideas is one more way you can help pass the torch that will light our way toward a new real estate market, and a very bright future for all REALTORS®. – Dick Gaylord, 2009 Immediate Past President