We’ve all heard the question, if you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?  I started thinking about this in the context of the real estate industry, and if I could choose anyone to have lunch with, who would it be and why? As a marketing manager for Real Pro Systems, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of people, but have only had the pleasure of sharing a meal with a pretty small number of folks.  So I decided to start a list of people I’d like to break bread with.  I had to keep my list short otherwise I would never finish this post so here it goes, in no particular order- ten real estate “rock stars” I would like to have lunch with:

  1. Sue Adler is a Keller Williams agent out of New Jersey whom I’ve met and had the chance to talk to over the years at various events.  I remember my first conversation with her years ago at a Star Power event and we were talking over a new product we were launching.  Her in-depth questions, her grasp of her business and her drive were all apparent in that conversation.  She is incredibly smart, driven and just an all-around spit fire.  Sue is always pushing the envelope and demanding the best.  I admire that in her.  I would love to talk to Sue about her drive and motivations, what keeps her going and what she sees as the end game.  It would definitely be a power lunch!
  2. Dale Chumbley, a well-known agent out of Vancouver, Washington who authored the blog series on 365 Things to Do in Vancouver.  It is one of those ideas that was brilliant and spread like wildfire throughout the real estate industry.  I’ve never actually met Dale, although he “pokes” me multiple times a day on Facebook and we’ve exchanged a few messages over the years.  Its ideas like his 365 things to do and his grasp of social media that I find fascinating.  I would love to just sit and talk about where he gets his inspiration and how he goes about implementing and testing to see what’s working and what’s not working.  I can only imagine how many pages of notes I would be taking on my iPad.  I think he could teach me a lot.
  3. Krisstina Wise is the principal agent for the Goodlife Team Inc., out of Austin.  I am always on the hunt for examples of great marketing and people who just get it.  I have actually heard Krisstina speak a couple of times and have been equally impressed each time I hear her.  She has a clear vision for marketing but more than that she has a drive that you rarely get the opportunity to see.  I would love to pick her brain on what she has experienced in her marketing, both challenges and successes, and hear her thoughts on where she sees real estate marketing five years from now.  I think I would need a voice recording app on my iPad for this lunch- I can’t type that fast.
  4.  Jay Thompson aka The Phoenix Real Estate Guy has been one of those consistent voices on the landscape of the real estate industry that has really made an impact.  He was blogging long before blogging was the cool thing to do and isn’t afraid to speak his mind – as he puts it, “I don’t sugar coat my feelings and opinions.”   I would love to have a conversation with Jay, sans filters about how he sees the marketing I do, where he thinks I could improve and how he would do it if he were dictator for a day.  That kind of honest communication is something I thrive on.
  5. Michael Maher the author of “Seven Levels of Communication” is someone I have actually known for a number of years.  If my memory serves me, we first met years ago at Star Power and then got to spend some time chatting at a mortgage event later that year.  He is a tremendous man with a heart of gold.  I recently got my hands on his book and read it cover to cover in about six hours.  I really enjoyed it and in all of the time I’ve known Michael I can’t recall sharing a meal together.  I would love to sit and hear about his success with his book, the journey he took to get there, and then catch up and hear how his lovely family is doing.  That would be a great lunch!
  6. Leslie McDonnell is a RE/MAX agent out of Libertyville, IL whom I absolutely adore and if you’ve met me you would know that is not a word I use often.  To be completely transparent here, I have shared many meals over the years with Leslie, but I would never pass up the opportunity to have another.  Leslie is what I would call a mega connector; she knows everyone and everyone knows her.  She has this amazing ability to bring people together that would never otherwise connect.  This amazing gift comes from her heart, she genuinely cares about people and isn’t in it for what she could get out of it.  Lunch with Leslie would simply be… perfect. It always is.
  7. Chris Smith the “chief evangelist” at Inman News is on my list because of his approach to presenting. He often says things that are a little bit controversial, but we were all thinking.  I like that about him.  His bold blog post titles, things like “It Is No Longer a Relationship Business-Here’s Why” and “You Need to Delete Your Facebook Business Pages Immediately,” grab attention and get the conversations started.  I’ve been following Chris for some time online, first with TechSavvy Agent and now at Inman News.  I think an interview style lunch would work best with Chris, I have a ton of questions for him about starting TechSavvy Agent and his journey to his current position, about his current role and how he envisions the marketing landscape in 2012.
  8. Gary Vaynerchuk, famed author of “Thank You Economy” and “Crush It” is more than a bit of a stretch I must admit, but I did hear him speak earlier this year at a RE/MAX conference in Las Vegas so that’s close enough to the real estate industry, right?  His irreverent style combined with his timely message draws people to him.  I went out and bought his book right after conference.  Sharing a meal with him I think would be an adventure, I’d like to hear his views on how the industry is doing, on a whole, with embracing social media and engaging with their audience and what he sees still missing.  That meal would be an adventure wrapped in an enigma and so much fun.
  9. Sam Miller is a RE/MAX agent out of Mount Vernon, Ohio and a Real Pro Systems client I have known for about five years.  One of the perks of my job is that I do get a chance to interact with some of the best and brightest minds in the real estate industry and pick their brains on all kinds of topics- Sam is one of those agents.  We’ve worked together on a couple of projects in that time and I have enjoyed every minute of it.  Sam is an exceptional marketer, who consistently delivers results.  I cannot tell a lie- I have had lunch with Sam before, but I would relish the chance to do it again.  This time, I would like to pick his brain on how he organizes his marketing- he is a master at spreading his message across several mediums and driving traffic where he wants it.  It would be a fascinating conversation.
  10. Stefan Swanepoel, the popular speaker and author of “Surviving Your Serengeti.”  I was pleasantly surprised when I recently took the quiz “What Animal Am I” and discovered that I am the enterprising crocodile.  I have often been called a pit-bull, but never a crocodile.  What I truly like about Stefan’s approach is that he uses the principles of self-discovery to guide people through the skills they need to succeed.  In my lunch with him, I’d just like to chat about business, about our respective paths to where we are and in the end ask him to assess what animal he thinks I am and see if it matches up to my own assessment.