Thoughts on Leadership: The Value of Connection

By Gino Blefari

This week I was in San Francisco at Inman Connect, an annual real estate technology conference that provides the ideal setting for forward-thinking leaders to discuss the technology transforming our industry today … and tomorrow. As I share highlights from Inman Connect, you’ll notice that each of these memorable experiences has something very specific in common (but more about that later). For now, here are some of my favorite moments from the event:

First, it was great to see Brad Inman, publisher and owner of Inman News, as well as many of my colleagues from around the country. Brad truly is a seasoned entrepreneur devoted to progress and innovation and his enthusiasm for thoughtful, tech-driven changes in our industry is inspiring.

Second, I was able to attend Agent Connect, an agent-focused series of discussions moderated by a former colleague, Katie Maxwell. Topics during the two-and-a-half-hour session included customer service, effective marketing, online lead conversion tools, new technology and Instagram selling techniques. I was intrigued by the information top-producing agents shared and grateful to meet several of the insightful speakers after the session ended.

Lastly, I was honored to receive an invite to CEO Connect, held at the City Club in San Francisco.  John F. Kennedy once said “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” and spending time with so many intelligent business leaders was both humbling and educational. Conversation among the group was open, honest and forthcoming. I was able to meet some of the preeminent minds leading our industry today, like Keith Krach, CEO of DocuSign.

So, what’s the message? (And what’s the common theme?) Well, here I am at a tech conference and what made the most lasting impression on my mind? Not the apps or the programs or the systems but the people. Because in the end, technology is a constantly evolving thing—hard to define and even harder to predict—but the brilliant leaders behind these innovations are without question here to stay.

GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on Facebook and Twitter.

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