2009 is indeed upon us, and with it, Inman’s Real Estate Connect NYC.  I would like to welcome all the realestistas heading to the Big Apple, and say I’m looking forward to meeting you all in person.

And temporally speaking, 2008 has given way to 2009.  I can’t explain the feeling, but I have this strong premonition that 2009 will be a watershed year for the real estate industry.  Many important debates on Big Topics are happening right now, and I think events of this year will start to show us where the future lies.

I plan on revisiting this soon (after this week’s worth of meetings and discussions) but as I see it, there are three Big Topics for us in 2009:

  1. Big Dogs or The Swarm
  2. Brand or Social Media
  3. Centralization or Diffusion

The three are, of course, inter-related.  And it isn’t clear that any of the above are Either-Or choices.  They may, rather, be a spectrum along which each individual realestista and the companies that make up the Industry align themselves.

But broadly speaking, and generalizing much, it does seem to me that 2009 promises to be an important year pitting two ideas against each other: The Firm or The Network.  The ultimate solution is likely to be a blend of the two (thesis & antithesis into synthesis), but that debate will be fun to have.

And it just so happens that some of the best and brightest are coming to my town, to spend a few days doing nothing but eating, drinking, and debating.  I’m looking forward to it with gusto.

Wilkommen, Herren und Damen!