At Clareity Security we are gearing up for the fall tradeshow season. Reviewing our sales and marketing materials, strategizing and of course party planning! It’s no secret that the real estate industry has suffered vastly in the economic downturn and no one has been immune. It has all of us thinking about new or different ways to reach our goals, not just better economic strategies but changing the way we work and in some cases asking our customers and prospects to do the same.
Last week industry vet Greg Robertson posted a blog on his popular www.vendoralley.com website titled “Seven Big Wishes, Vendor Edition”. It made me think about something my good friend and colleague Troy Rech says regularly…”Hope is not a strategy.” I think we can safely assume that wishing isn’t either. Now that I’ve sprinkled my joy and positivity around a bit, what can we as an INDUSTRY do to improve our situation?
My first suggestion is that we STOP following traditions for the sake of tradition and START honoring them. Everyone in your organization should be constantly evaluating and asking why? If the answer is “because we have always done it that way” the next question should be “is it still working?”. For MLS organizations and Associations this might require a hard look at your policies and whether or not they are still working in the best interest of your members. For those of us in the vendor community it means stopping to ask whether the product or service we provide is still valuable and whether our messaging is still relevant and compelling to our audience.
Next month I will attend my 14th Council of MLS gathering. Collectively at Clareity, we have well over 100 years of experience in real estate technology. It’s a badge we wear with pride, honoring our contributions to the space. What we won’t do is let it become our Scarlet Letter, marking us as an organization that refused to change and became a legacy instead of a leader. I challenge my colleagues in this space to do the same as we begin to plan for 2011.
Russ Bergeron and his group at MRED, LLC hosting CMLS this year have already demonstrated this concept with the agenda for CMLS. I was pleased to see a few new suspects (Rob Hahn, Matt Dollinger and Brian Boero as example) we haven’t heard before on the CMLS agenda. I am equally happy we will be hearing from many of our industry colleagues who have delivered great value in the past.
Let’s use this conference season to engage in ideas and strategies we have not considered before. I challenge you all to introduce yourself to someone new in the lobby bar, because we all know the lobby bar is a tradition that has survived even the worst of times.
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