Change is in the air and it smells…necessary

If someone made me switch to a droid phone because it was “better” I would probably throw a temper tantrum. Even if the android could drive a car and print out money it would still be a change I did not ask for. Every time Facebook gets a facelift I get frustrated. I know its for my own good but it’s different and I have to take the time to learn something new. Change is traditionally scary and painful but I would suggest it’s necessary to grow personally and in business.

My top 5 themes, tweets, and concepts that came out of AEI to help spearhead some of the upcoming change in the industry.

1. Consolidate
One of the most controversial buzzwords at AEI was consolidate. There was talk about consolidating services, MLSs, and Associations. Dale Stinton spoke about consolidating the brands of NAR. The big-broker panel discussed consolidating MLSs and associations. We get it. This stuff can be scary but the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t have to be the rise of an evil consolidation empire. Why not a strategic business alliance? You can find like-minded associations and MLSs to share resources with and build a brand together.

2. Trust and Transparency
You won’t be able to create a strategic business alliance unless you have trust. Jerry Matthews in Simplify says “Establishing trust remains a vital issue for buyers and sellers of all ages who are skeptical of “established wisdom” in all its forms.” So then what is “established wisdom”? I was talking with a co-worker recently who won’t read certain types of books unless the authors is dead. He says if the author’s points are still relevant in 100 years he’ll read it. So for him to trust the author and concept establishing wisdom takes 100 years. What qualifies “established wisdom” for you?

3. Embrace
If you have bought a new car, updated your smartphone, or been to the doctor lately you know technology is changing. In his book, Jerry Matthews talks about 8 trends in the industry. Among them, embrace. Matthew says “Embrace technology because it’s here to stay.” Technology helps cure diseases, makes life easier, protects our country, and answers your calls while driving. Gen X and Gen Y are embracing technology. If they will ever be your customer, you will need to embrace it, too.

4. Communicate
The difficult part of new technology is what to do with it when it’s in place. Communication is important whether its to members, staff, or your BFF. As technology changes and the younger generation gets younger, the way to communicate effectively changes. Maura Neill’s presentation at AEI on how to engage and educate the next generation hit the nail on the head. Zillow knows exactly how to communicate to their most valuable audience…I mean have you seen this commercial? I’m still crying.

Knowing your audience and having a message that strikes at the core of them is what gets and keeps your audience.

5. Engage
I loved Dave Phillip’s tweet that said “Social media is optional for associations…so is being relevant.” The same applies for brokers and agent. So if your audience is on social media engage on social media and do it well.

In a nutshell, engage with your audience where they are, embrace technology, make nice with other associations, and choose to stay relevant in this world of change.

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