Inman Join Turns 25: Prime 20 Moments Of Actual Property’s Greatest Bash

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Twenty-five years in the past, 50 actual property leaders gathered collectively in a redwood grove in Sonoma County, California, for the primary Inman Join.

“It was fairly chilly,” Inman Information founder Brad Inman mentioned at Inman Join New York in 2016, remembering the September 1996 occasion.

“We had hand heaters. We had blankets. We had a fireplace pit. We roasted a pig. And we drank and we talked about how expertise and the web — as a result of that’s proper when the web started, industrial web — the way it was going to start to disrupt actual property.”

Brad Inman circa 1997 (From the archives of Kevin Hawkins)

The visitor checklist included Joel Singer, then-CEO of the California Affiliation of Realtors (CAR); Richard Janssen, founding father of the agency that grew to become Transfer Inc. and who was engaged on the expertise that grew to become on the time of the convention; Saul Klein, operator of the actual property group RealTown and concerned within the first iteration of with Janssen; and Ward Hansen, a Stanford professor specializing in advertising and marketing on the web.

On the time just one p.c of actual property listings have been on the web.

“We advocated to place all of them on the web, and other people went frigging loopy,” Inman mentioned. “That was the tip of actual property. Disruptive, sure. However the folks that embraced it and used it created a completely new market. It didn’t kill something. It created issues. Since then we’ve talked about on-line leads, on-line search, mapping on-line. Model new once we talked about it. Digital walkthroughs, video, running a blog, social, 3D, and we all the time welcome new enterprise fashions.”

Since then, Inman Join has grown to 2 main conferences on both facet of the nation yearly that entice hundreds in addition to month-to-month digital occasions and area of interest occasions resembling Disconnect, Luxurious Join and CEO Join. Through the years, shining notables inside and out of doors the trade have graced the Join stage, and shared private moments — together with a wedding proposal — which have bonded attendees collectively.

For Join’s twenty fifth anniversary, we’ve gathered 20 memorable moments from the occasion’s historical past thus far.

1996: The very first Join

The 2-day agenda featured talks on “the World Large Net” in addition to a “conventional Croatian lamb roast” in Cazadero, California. The next yr, in July 1997, Inman Information Options hosted Actual Property Join 97 on the San Francisco Hilton for the primary time.

The agenda for the inaugural Real Estate Connect.

The agenda for the inaugural Actual Property Join

1998: Stuart Wolff’s first Join keynote

Stuart Wolff, former CEO of operator RealSelect (now a Transfer Inc. subsidiary), keynoted Join twice earlier than a monetary scandal noticed him convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail for his function in a scheme that artificially inflated the corporate’s income in 2001.

“The previous CEO of, Stuart Wolff, spoke at Join and demanded he usher in his huge throne-like purple chair for his seat on the stage,” Brad Inman mentioned in 2016, remembering one in every of Wolff’s appearances. “He positioned himself as a documentary movie producer alongside together with his duties as on-line actual property government — an image of confidence that changed into hubris.”

Stuart Wolff in Actual Property Join brochure, December 1998 (From the archives of Kevin Hawkins)

2000: Marc Andreessen and Charlie Rose headline Join

Charlie Rose, tv journalist and discuss present host, interviewed Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and future founding father of Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency Andreessen Horowitz, at Actual Property Join 2000.

Actual Property Join 2000 brochure that includes Marc Andreessen and Charlie Rose (From the archives of Kevin Hawkins)

2001: Larry Web page’s keynote

Earlier than Google was a verb, Larry Web page instructed a Join viewers of actual property bigwigs and tech entrepreneurs from across the nation that many homebuyers would finally seek for houses on-line — a declare that prompted some skepticism.

“What within the hell do you may have this man up there for?” one broad-shouldered dealer requested Brad Inman on the time. “What does this should do with actual property?”

July 2001 Actual Property Join San Francisco brochure that includes Google’s Larry Web page (From the archives of Kevin Hawkins)

2002: When Dave Liniger, Doug Lebda, Gary Keller and Laurie Janik communicate at Join

By July 2002, Join was attracting trade luminaries which can be nonetheless recognizable in the present day, together with Invoice Emerson, CEO of Quicken Loans; Laurie Janik, former basic counsel for the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors; Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams; Doug Lebda, founding father of LendingTree; and Dave Liniger, co-founder of RE/MAX.

Actual Property Join San Francisco brochure, July 2002 (From the archives of Kevin Hawkins)

2006: Trulia’s mascots wander the Join halls

Trulia formally launched in 2005. The next yr, lime-green Trulia “Markerman” mascots — styled after a map pointer icon displayed on the website — began making an look at Join occasions.

Trulia’s mascots at Inman Join San Francisco (Picture credit score: Erik Hersman)

2007: 60 Minutes movies a debate between Glenn Kelman and Allan Dalton

At Actual Property Join New York in January 2007, Inman launched “Join Duet” classes through which trade notables mentioned the problems of the day. At that occasion, a movie crew from 60 Minutes captured a raucous debate between outspoken government Allan Dalton and Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman over fee charges.

“It was just like the sound of your rubbish disposal when a few cherry pits rattle across the backside,” Brad Inman wrote in 2017.

“This was a low level for disrupters and legacy corporations. A grasp at FUD (concern, uncertainty and doubt) Dalton physique slammed Kelman, who had each proper to begin his personal firm with any enterprise mannequin he wished.

“Equally, Kelman might have exhibited extra respect for an trade that does so many issues proper.”

The 60 Minutes episode in the end ran in Might 2007, prompting fierce backlash from the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors.

Screenshot of Glenn Kelman on “60 Minutes” in 2007

2007: Zillow’s Wealthy Barton and NAR’s Dale Stinton debate the trade’s future

At Actual Property Join in San Francisco that summer season, “Join Duets” continued. Dale Stinton, CEO of the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors, and Wealthy Barton, founder and CEO of Zillow, took the stage to debate the housing market, expertise and the way forward for the actual property enterprise. Barton had appeared at Actual Property Join New York in January 2006, simply earlier than launching Zillow.

Brad Inman facilitates a dialogue between Dale Stinton and Wealthy Barton at Inman Join San Francisco in 2007 (Picture credit score: Erik Hersman)

2007: The craigslist on-line group wins “Innovator of the 12 months” award

At Actual Property Join in San Francisco in August 2007, the craigslist on-line group received Inman’s first “Innovator of the 12 months” award. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark spoke at Join many instances over time. In 2007, he participated in a Join Duet with Alex Perriello, president and CEO of Realogy Franchise Group.

Craig Newmark, Alex Perriello and Brad Inman at Actual Property Join San Francisco 2007 (Picture credit score: Christopher Heister)

 2010: New Children on the Block is born

In January 2010, NabeWise Media received Inman’s first “Begin-up Shoot-Out” competitors at Actual Property Join New York. The competition could be re-named “New Children on the Block” at Inman Join San Francisco that very same yr.

Begin-Up Shoot-Out competitors at Actual Property Join New York 2010

2014: Arianna Huffington tells us to get sufficient sleep

In January 2014, Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Publish Media Group, instructed Join attendees to get sufficient sleep, in order that they are often clear-headed and train logic when on the job. Her message resonated with many and a yr later, actual property tech entrepreneur Zach Schabot credited her keynote with saving his life.

“If I hadn’t listened to Arianna Huffington that day in New York … if I didn’t hear her story about collapsing right into a glass espresso desk … , I’d by no means have made that physician appointment. I’d have tried to battle by means of my stress and failed,” Schabot wrote in a be aware to Brad Inman.

“One yr later, I’m down 25 kilos and I really feel wonderful! I’ve vitality. I sleep nice. I’ve readability in my pondering. I’m a greater dad and a greater husband. I’m penning this letter to you, as an alternative of you writing a narrative a few 35-year-old man who dies of a coronary heart assault.”

Arianna Huffington speaks at Actual Property Join New York Metropolis 2014.


2015: Rupert Murdoch asks “What the hell does Zillow imply?”

In January 2015, Rupert Murdoch, government chairman of Information Corp., spoke at Actual Property Join New York. Contemporary from buying operator Transfer Inc. two months earlier, Murdoch sought to allay actual property brokers considerations concerning the buy and pushed again in opposition to options that is due for a reputation change.

“What the hell does Zillow imply?” Murdoch mentioned when requested whether or not “” stays related. “We all know what Realtor means.”

Rupert Murdoch at Actual Property Join NYC / Elza Hyan.

2016: Inman orchestrates a household reunion

In August 2016, Billy Ekofo, then-director of leads administration at Century 21 Redwood Realty, instructed attendees his private story about leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at age 17 with out his household. Unbeknownst to him, Inman and C21 Redwood Realty had been working behind the scenes to convey his household to america. On the finish of Ekofo’s discuss, his household shocked him and joined him on stage, the place they have been reunited after 18 years.

Billy Ekofo reunites together with his household at Inman Join San Francisco, August 2016

2017: Join results in a wedding

In 2012, Peter Brewer and Tara Christianson have been Inman ambassadors collectively at Inman Join San Francisco and developed one thing stronger than a friendship over the next yr. For the following two years, they met up each six months at ICSF and Inman Join New York.

Lastly, in January 2017, Brewer, an actual property veteran of greater than 30 years, proposed to Christianson, then-technology and coaching director for C21 Redwood Realty, on the ICNY opening stage.

“In one of many greatest gambles of my life — with Brad and the Inman staff’s assist, and in entrance of 4,000 fellow attendees (plus these on-line) — I made a decision to drop to 1 knee and utter these fateful phrases that, with a easy one-word reply, can both crush or exhilarate a person,” Brewer wrote later.

“Happily for me, Tara mentioned sure!”

Peter Brewer proposes to Tara Christianson.

2017: Inman hosts the primary Disconnect

In 2017, Inman Join went again to its roots, internet hosting Inman Disconnect, an invite-only convention on the banks of the Russian River in Sonoma County, California.

Brad Inman on the first Inman Disconnect occasion in 2017

2018: The Parker Rules come to life

In April 2018, Inman Disconnect moved to Palm Springs, California, the place almost 200 leaders from each nook of the actual property trade collectively created the Parker Rules. The 12 rules targeted on enhancing the actual property transaction; setting requirements for competency and ethics; working to construct extra entry-level houses; breaking down limitations to property information; and equipping brokerages and organizations with numerous leaders who higher signify the communities they serve and strategy issues from recent angles.

Inman Disconnect within the Desert, April 2018

2018: Gary Keller refuses to take a seat down

In July 2018, Keller Williams co-founder Gary Keller returned to the Join stage to debate with Inman founder and writer Brad Inman how the actual property franchisor was pivoting to show itself right into a expertise firm. However the tone of the dialog — intense, conflict-ridden, typically awkward, typically humorous — overshadowed the dialog, as did Keller’s refusal to take a seat down after repeated requests from Brad Inman. Keller finally did sit down and the session ended on a cordial be aware.

Gary Keller (R) and Brad Inman (L) at ICSF 2018

Credit score: Scott Chernis/Inman

2019: Inman Join strikes to Sin Metropolis

In the summertime of 2019, Inman Join left San Francisco for the brilliant lights of Las Vegas. There, Molly Bloom, a former member of the U.S. Ski Group who wrote a memoir about her time operating unique, high-stakes underground poker video games, spoke to Join attendees concerning the classes she discovered that apply to actual property.

Molly Bloom at Inman Join Las Vegas, July 2019 (Picture credit score: PlanOmatic)

2020: First COVID Join

In 2020, as a result of coronavirus pandemic, Inman canceled Inman Join Las Vegas that yr, and, in June, debuted its Join Now digital occasions.

Brad Inman, Josh Group and Gary Keller at Inman Join Now

2021: Inman Join returns in particular person — and so does the drama

In October 2021, with security precautions in place, Inman Join Las Vegas returned as an in-person occasion. Amid the enjoyment of seeing previous buddies and assembly new ones, trade movers and shakers put their stakes within the floor as soon as once more. This contains Andy Florance, CEO of CoStar, who accuses Zillow of “hijacking” brokers’ listings, establishing a rivalry between the 2 actual property behemoths.

Andy Florance at Inman Join Las Vegas, October 2021 (Credit score: AJ Canaria of MoxiWorks)

E-mail Andrea V. Brambila.

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