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Judy’s 5 Favorite Things About Inman Connect New York 2017

Judith Weiniger

After successfully growing her own brand and team under a national brand’s shingle since 2003, Judy Weiniger knew it was time to step out on her own...

After successfully growing her own brand and team under a national brand’s shingle since 2003, Judy Weiniger knew it was time to step out on her own...

Jan 24 12 minutes read

It’s been a couple of weeks now since real estate professionals gathered from all around the country in NYC at Inman Connect 2017 to discuss, share, learn and connect on the current trends and happenings and what’s on the horizon in real estate!

It’s challenging to summarize the week, but I thought I’d just share a few of my favorite things about the conference this year: 

1. What an honor to participate on the CEO Broker Connect Panel! 

A beautiful room in the New York Times building was filled with CEOs from the most well known brokerages and real estate brands in our nation to independent brokers, to tech companies, economic consultants, real estate vendors to the media giant, The New York Times themselves.

I was humbled to join Keith Watts and Greg Schwartz from 2 powerhouse companies, Facebook and Zillow on a panel about Facebook ad strategies. Zillow and Facebook had just announced their new partnership to help agent and brokers create Facebook marketing campaigns using Zillow consumer data. They leverage their knowledge of which consumers are searching for homes right now on Zillow in a particular zip code and then retarget them on Facebook. This surely seems to be a very powerful way for getting your message in front of consumers who may be a more probable prospect to purchase a home very soon in your market area.

Yes!... I absolutely appreciate that more of todays buyers would have their eyeballs on "my" ad. Here are some of my questions that you may wish to think about:

  • Will the consumer be so inclined to "click and engage"? 
  • Do these ads fit your brand image and marketing goals? 
  • When the consumer clicks...will the consumer traffic go to ZIllow's site or your website? 
  • The cost? That of course would have to be factored in before making that decision. 

My view is that the brand messaging of these ads aren't up my alley. The ads seem to be more of the typical, old fashioned, “look at me me me” I sold this house, and how “great I am am am” real estate agent ads. Blah!  I believe we can do better with those marketing dollars.  I realize that most real estate agents and brokers don't want to be as involved in their personal marketing campaigns as I am, and therefore, this product could be a very nice solution for them to get their name in front of these more engaged real estate consumers. And I bet there will be ROI.

And for the record, I am a Premier Agent, putting advertising dollars in our main market area of Warren, NJ. Our Zillow ROI is strong, which I attribute to our 70+ 5 star reviews that are hosted there.  And if Zillow sold me, my market area consumer data list for me to retarget how I wanted and that fit my brand...I would be all over that, considering the cost.

I, then, had the opportunity to share our Facebook ad strategies.  At the Weiniger Group, we choose to focus our Facebook ad strategies starting with valuable local content marketing and gorgeous listing promotions that act as a lead funnel. This is where I see the “smaller player” aka: agent/broker/business owner, having a great advantage over the “big corporate play.” We locals, have the ability to provide this valuable, hyper local content. Warning, this is NOT a quick strategy to implement and takes an investment in time and money to create these marketing assets.

I had only a few minutes to describe our very detailed and purposeful marketing campaigns that we use at Weiniger Group. I wish we had time for Q&A, as I believe this is the opportunity for the attendee to get a deeper understanding of this topic! There’s A LOT to say here, so I actually shared all of my Facebook-related musings in a separate blog post: 

A Deep Dive into Weiniger Group’s Use of Facebook Targeting 

Join us as we take a deep dive into Judy Weiniger's #1 favorite part of Inman Connect ...

Read More

 If you have any further questions, after reading about our strategies, please reach out to me here. I love this topic and enjoy sharing with those that understand why we must.

A huge thank you to Brad Inman and Inman News for this amazing opportunity to share my passion for creating valuable local content for my community and leveraging it through the Facebook platform. And to my mentor Chris Smith who has taught me so much about the digital world and for recommending me for this gig. 

Also, for those real estate agents who are reading this, I would love to continue the conversation! (Wouldn’t it be cool to see how our ads do compared to the Zillow/Facebook partnership offering? What do you say, Keith Watts?) Reach out to me on Facebook!

2. One of my other favorite things about Inman is connecting with my real estate friends from all around the country!

Meeting up for lunch and dinner with friends and of course, masterminding in very small groups is one of the best things about Inman. This being my 5th year, friends and relationships have been solidified online and now offline. But for those new to Inman Connect, I will say that it isn’t easy to break into many tight knit groups that have deep bonds. Dinners are pre-arranged, meetings scheduled before landing in NY or SF. My recommendation if you want to meet someone, reach out to one person as a private message and ask for a quick meet in person to start. It is like dating. This is the get to know phase. Or if you have an experienced Inman friend, ask them to introduce or ask to tag along to have a cocktail after sessions end. I have found when I have approached it that way, most people are very open to help me make a new connection.

(Throwback Connect: At my first Connect, I stalked and asked for selfies from this crew… (Yes, I was her!) And now, they are my friends.)

I had a great lunch meeting with my friend Jack Attridge from Marblehead, MA (who inspires many with his All Marblehead Facebook page) and Jennifer Egbert from Boulder, CO, (my first in person chat with this Boulder marketing queen, although we both one of the first real estate peeps to graduate from the Seth Godin, #altMBA program). 

Pictured bellow: Fellow New Jersey agent Becky Boomsma, and Kristin McFeely and Jeanne Whipple, known as the Philly Home Girls

Also loved meeting up with Sean Quinn from my office at RE/MAX Premier, and Karen Bigos from my neighboring community of Towne Realty in Short Hills/Millburn

Here’s a picture of me with Gwen Daubenmeyer, Coral Gundlach, and Rosemary Phinney Buerger. We were relaxing in the lounge and going deeper on best practices in our businesses! These ladies are such smart businesswomen and wonderful humans… such a pleasure! (Coral, also loved our breakfast!) 

Loved meeting with Jeanne Whipple again for drinks at The View at the top of the Marriott: 

3. Witnessing a marriage proposal from and to, two Inman ambassadors! 

Congratulations to Tara Christianson and Peter Brewer! What an exciting moment:


4. I loved the major inspirational speakers. 

I am so glad Inman found strong inspirational women to showcase their story and talents! Here are a few of the highlights:

Diana Nyad

After her fifth attempt at the age of 64, Diana Nyad fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida. Get ready to be awed, inspired and motivated by the story of her 53-hour journey and a lifetime spent honing the never-quit attitude that got her there.

Wall Street Powerhouse - Sally Krawcheck

Times are changing. The ability to start your own business, studying a company's culture before signing on...etc help find your right fit. The power of women is real… and the money and consumer decision-making they control is something that also can't be ignored. Thank you Brad Inman and #ICNY for showcasing smart, successful women on stage as a role model to many. 

And loved the standing ovation!! #boom Love her new venture—Elevest (Invest like a woman!)— check it out! 

Here are a few of my other favorites:

Fredrik Eklund: Fredrik has worked extremely hard and has taken so many risks to find the success he now enjoys. This “overnight” success, like most of us, was years and years of doing the work and putting in the time to learn. 


Valeria Garcia: Real estate is plagued by an epidemic that goes by the name of fear. Valerie encourage the agent’s cure through creating a culture of bravery!!

Ari Meisel, Founder of Less Doing: Ari’s story impacted me on a personal level. Ari went to University of Pennsylvania - Wharton, and so did I. Ari had a need to find a way to manage stress better and add time management, and well… I need this too! I am sure most reading this can say the same thing. Our industry is packed with stress and massive detail and tasks. 

So next week, I actually booked a meeting with him to learn more about what his company offers. I crave and need to learn more about his understanding on how to automate personal and professional tasks for maximum efficiency. On the Inman stage, Ari shared his secrets of optimizing workflows using apps like Trello, and I loved seeing an example of a seamless hiring and onboarding workflow. I will share more once I learn more!

In addition to these fabulous speakers, I also really enjoyed hearing from the New York Times on their virtual reality projects (especially in the NYTimes Magazine). 

5. And of course, Inman is packed with opportunities for taking in and enjoying some excellent entertainment! 

There are so many private parties to attend, many which are put on by vendors who are hoping to connect with influences and build their customer bases. I’m still not sure the process on how you get an invite. The karaoke party by Webmaster is typically a hit, albeit, I have never been before (I’m tired after a long day of networking and learning). 

I was invited to the Zillow party. They always put on a lovely event. This year it was at a chic bar, restaurant, Skylark Lounge. I especially loved the connecting part at these events. This year I had a chance for a brief chat with Patrick Healy, Billy Ekofo, Sean Carpenter, Sarita Dua, Gwen Daubenmeyer, Coral Gundlach, Rosemary Phinney Buerger, Donna Reed, and always love having a few words with smart, approachable, transparent, Jay Thompson! 

And the views of the Empire State Building were priceless! 

And, it’s kind of funny—with NYC at my fingertips, I am happy to eat right across the street at almost every meal at Junior’s, whether it’s for breakfast, chicken salad on challah, pastrami and corned beef on rye… and of course, cheesecake for dessert!

First Inman friends I spotted at Juniors: 

One of my favorite entertainment moments happened in the morning at the dueling pianos before the schedule of speakers started!

Want to hear more about what I shared at CEO Connect? Read on here: 

A Deep Dive into Weiniger Group’s Use of Facebook Targeting 


Join us as we take a deep dive into Judy Weiniger's #1 favorite part of Inman Connect ...


Read More



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