Side x Side Virtual Forum: Revisiting the Best Moments 

The Side X Side 2021 virtual forum brought us a wealth of incredible speakers, panels, and actionable insights to help us grow and thrive in 2021. 

Here are some of the most notable quotes and key takeaways:

Shark Tank’s Daymond John spoke on how to attack your 2021 goals

The people’s shark offered his two cents on how to be a strategic entrepreneur poised for growth and long-term success:

Daymond Johnson SXS

Focus on your strengths; outsource the rest
“Find a bunch of strategic relationships. OPM is not ‘other people's money,’ - it's other people's manufacturing, marketing, manpower, mind power. Find more strategic relationships and dig deep into what you know how to do best at your company. The reason why your company is so great at what they do is because this is what you concentrate on.”In 2020, everyone had to adjust according to ‘new normals.’ Remote work, virtual business, separated teams… the list goes on. While adapting was certainly a challenge, employers and employees alike learned valuable lessons that they can integrate into their updated business models. 

Always be customer-focused
“Understand your specialty and your unique selling proposition -  and make sure, as you go out to your customers, you are obsessed with your customers. A lot of people don't realize the key to success is being obsessed with the customers.” 

Treat your top performers well and reward their success
“Entrepreneurship is clearly a team sport.  The really good people, if you don't reward them - you know what? They become your competition.”

For example, employers realized that their teams were getting a lot more work done at home than they were at the office. Employees realized that they were really enjoying working from home, without the stresses of commuting back and forth.

This is what started the Great COVID Migration. Looking ahead, everyone will be seeking balance in the post-pandemic environment. 

Harry Mack’s freestyle rap beat breaks reinvigorated the crowd

Harry Mack dropped beats and brought a party vibe to Side x Side. Attendees typed words they wanted him to work into his freestyle rap into the chat and he delivered, one by one. 

Along with a heartwarming array of Side Partner-owned brand shoutouts, Mack impressively worked gems like oompa loompa, swiss army knife, toasted almond biscuits, raising mini cows, Bernie in the mittens, and even supercalifragilisticexpialidocious into his freestyle! 

Mimi Nartey shared her playbook on how to win when the score is tight

Mimi has an incredibly diverse career history. A soccer star who played in a FIFA World Cup, Mimi also holds a doctorate in Philosophy and has been an adjunct professor at multiple universities. She’s also the CEO of her company, Race, Class, and Parenting (RCAP), and is the Executive Director of the Nartey Sports Foundation. Here are a few key pieces of advice from Mimi:Dr. Mimi Nartey SXS

● When things are off track, go back to basics. 
“You need to break down where you are and go back to the basic fundamental, rudimentary steps of your business building. Do each one of those in an efficient way and cut anything that’s inefficient for the time until you can begin to gain momentum and get yourself back on course towards a positive trajectory.”    

● Rely on the power of true partnership. 
“What's amazing about the Side community is there's so much support that's offered. I know that coaching is available to you guys. This is the kind of accountability and support that you'd be looking to get so you can feel reinforced psychologically. You can feel supported - [and] you also have someone who's scanning in your business to see where vulnerabilities may still lie.”

● Remember that success goes far beyond business. 
Mimi says, “You need to develop the practice of making sure you’re consuming things that are positive; that are restorative, that are inspiring, that motivate you. And you really need to eliminate things that detract from your self-confidence, or from your focus, or from the vision that you have for yourself, your business, or for your future.”

In closing, Mimi brought it all together with a quote from beloved NBA star Michael Jordan. He said, "I never lost a game. I just ran out of time." If there’s time on the clock, you’ve still got work to do.

Top agents shared incredible insight on a diverse range of topics

Throughout our two-day event, incredible agents from Texas, California, and Florida took the stage to talk about everything from COVID’s impact on the market to accurately determining renovation ROI. Here are some of the most impactful (and totally tweetable) quotes from Side Partner agent panelists:

● A ‘Great COVID Migration’ is taking place from coast to coast
“We're seeing a lot of people who want to move out, have a small family farm, or even just get acreage with the idea of building in the future once they eventually retire. We're seeing a big influx of people, not only from Houston and Austin and other areas in Texas but also from other states - California, Oregon - from a lot of other areas.

They're looking for something different with more space outside of the city. And as amenities have grown in the rural areas, Amazon Prime, and other access to things, living in the country isn't what it used to be. People are more and more comfortable moving further out these days.” - Bradley Bevers, Founder of Legend Texas Properties

● Wise words for all; never be afraid to ask for help
“We're all part of the same network, and we're more than willing to help because somewhere along the way for myself I've been helped by so many people. So, um I would say be self-aware, know what you're good and what you're bad at, and reach out for help.” - Wilson Leung, Founder of OWN Real Estate

● Getting a mentor is the best way to learn and grow
“I've learned in my career that following mentors [who] can teach you the shortcuts to where you want to go in life is usually the best way to get there in a timely manner.”
- Ryan LaRocca, Agent with The Real Estate Experts (founded by Brett Jennings)

● Stay focused on keeping both your internal and external clients happy
“When we set our goals, everybody's different. Sometimes it's a health goal, sometimes it's a family goal or a production goal. We assist our team with all three. My agents are my clients. I take care of my clients, so they can take care of [our] clients. That's our philosophy.” - Zaid Hanna, Founder of Real Estate 38

● How a boutique brand and business differentiates
“You go to Starbucks anywhere in the world [and you know] what that vanilla latte's gonna taste like. But if you work with Mary at Coldwell Banker and Joe at Coldwell Banker, you're going to get two totally different experiences. I wanted to create something [where] we could deliver a consistent, elevated experience, and I knew we could only do that from a brokerage side.” - Brett Jennings, Founder of Real Estate Experts on why he went indie before partnering with Side

● The secret to success you’ve been searching for - communicate!
“Communication is really important. Everyone knows the term going dark, [and] I can't tell you how many people just go dark when things get difficult. That's one of the differentiators. No matter how difficult [things are], we stay in the game. We stay focused. We see it through to the end, and you never wonder where we are or what we're doing because we're telling you every step of the way. That really has propelled us to really quick success.” - Nicole Solari, Founder of Level Up Realty

● Time-blocking is a ‘highly effective agent’ habit you should adopt today
“Time blocking is huge. You've got to time block and stick to it. You know what you're doing and it brings peace of mind. It honestly makes your business more scalable because then you can grow. Time blocking and making sure you're consistent with what you're planning is a game-changer.” - Dylon Baker, Agent with Level Up Realty

● Use timely educational campaigns to find opportunities
“I have a lot of ideas that I want to implement. For example, prop 19 has just been instituted in all of California. Now anyone who's 55 plus or disabled can move into any part [of the state] - not just the 10 counties at work it was limited to. There's going to be a lot of movement. Finding off-market properties and targeting specific 55 plus people who might be in two or three-story homes [who are] empty-nesters. Those are great properties we might be able to get off-market.” - Jenny Lok, Agent with OWN Real Estate

Investors share why they ‘bet on Side’

Investors, above all others, have to truly believe in what a business is poised to do in order to back it with a piece of their own hard-earned capital. In this Side x Side session, several investors who backed Side share what they see in our model that gives them faith in long-term growth and success.

● Supporting agents who want to differentiate themselves in the market.
“The thing that really captivated me was this mission around helping agents build their own brands and businesses. It felt very differentiated relative to what was out in the market, and I think very appropriate for where the trends were going.” 
- Dana Stalder, Partner with Matrix Partners

● Building a brokerage designed to evolve and stand the test of time.
“Typical traditional brokerages were so rooted in the past and not really thinking about the future. The game has changed. It's no longer about the broker's brand. It's about the agent's brand. It's no longer about the location of your office. It's about great technology.”
- Paul Levine, Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures and former COO at Trulia

● Reimagining the independent contractor business model.
“[Side] is just really beautifully focused on what the needs of lead agents actually are. Real estate agents are one of the first groups of people who came to market with this passion and really built the independent contractor model. There's a lot to be proud of in being a part of a platform that's taking that model to the next level. I really think it's going to be a transformational model, not just for real estate, [but as] a north star for a lot of different elite contractor models across different industries.” 
- Clelia Warburg-Peters, Inman Editor-at-Large, President of Warburg Realty

Dana summed it up beautifully when he said, “It's incredible when you empower people to pursue that American dream, what they can do. That is at the core of what we're doing here.”

The energy was amazing, the sessions were informative, and the takeaways were abundant. We hope you were able to join us, but if not, there’s more to come. Keep an eye on our social pages for updates on our next forum! 

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