I wish someone had shared the value of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo my first year in real estate. With over 15 years in the business, I’m convinced that I missed out on networking opportunities, education, and opportunities to get involved. As a three-year attendee I’ve been more involved with my local board, Women’s Council, my local state, and RPAC, and I have new friends all over the world. My first experience at the national events came via the Women’s Council of REALTORS® as a local president elect over four years ago. I quickly realized there was real estate beyond Illinois. What’s the value you say?
- Intentional Networking – When you attend the conference talk to the people in your education sessions, sit with people you don’t know, and attend events where your local and national leaders speak. Be intentional, ask about their businesses and follow up after the conference. One of my best connections lives on the west coast, a new friend and a referral source. This agent sent a referral that turned into to a listing and a purchase. The listing and purchased totaled $730,000.
- Education – There are many education sessions anyone could attend. From new speakers, nationally recognized speakers, product talks and experts in their fields. One of my favorite sessions this year was General Collin Powell. He was eloquent, relevant and entertaining. Another favorite was the “Hidden DNA of the Real Estate Business” with Brian Buffini. He’s not just great speaker, he’s sold real estate and understands how to us data to understand when to Blitz your market and when to take needed vacations.
- Special Events – There are many private events and ticketed events. This year, over 150 agents from all over the world were pinned with their CIPS designation. I was honored to be included. Being able reconnect with my new friends and colleagues from Panama, Nicaragua, Germany, Mexico, and Canada was only made possible because of the NAR Conference.This year our premiere packages also included a private event at Universal Studios. REALTORS® were welcomed all over the park. My best memory was when the welcome ensemble let my husband jump in and play the key board.
- The REALTORS® Expo is the best place to learn about new products. I’ve been looking for a new all-inclusive Client Relationship Management tool. And yes, we found RealVolve an online product that includes email marketing, drip campaigns and more. Quickbooks has an app that links your bank accounts, add receipts and has the ability import the information into Quickbooks. A great tool for the agent that needs financial organization. Docusign shared updates on their transaction manager during the expo then invited users to special event. The piano bar was a hit with their special guest Madison Hildebrand, from the hit TV show Million Dollar Listing. You will not find this many vendors in place.
This is only a snapshot of the conference. The four-day event will help your business, your network, provide information on new products and education. Join us in 2017, I challenge you to get involved in your local association, state association and attend the next REALTORS® Conference & Expo. The next conference is coming to Chicago. Don’t wait to read about the conference. Block the dates on your calendar now: November 3rd – 6th, 2017.