We certainly have a lot of conventions, meetings, classes and seminars. With state, national and franchise conventions alone, a REALTOR could spend a great deal of money on travel, hotel and registration fees. This also takes quite a bit of time when we could be out listing and selling. Why are these events so popular? Why would we spend that much money on a convention rather than advertising?
I've listed my top ten reason for attending. Be the way, I truly believe that every penny I have spent has come back to me.
10) Prizes: At the expos, exhibitors give away some great prizes. you could win cash, computers, trips, real estate classes or marketing materials. many exhibitors also give away free stuff to everyone who comes by.
9) Expo product pricing: Many vendors offer reduced pricing for the duration of the convention. Some of these are large discounts on minimum orders.
8) Deductible Vacation: These trips are business. Don't fool yourself; you will work. But talk to your accountant about what makes the trip deductible. Many REALTORS find that they can deduct a good percentage of the entire bill.
7) Networking: I am surprised at how often I have a question about real estate in other cities and states. Also, occasionally I have a question that I don't want to ask the competition in my area. I've built a database of REALTORS in every state and hundreds throughout Texas.
6) FREE education that you can't get locally: Conventions oftne offer short MCE courses.
5) Influencing Policy and Actions: When attending conventions, you're there with the REALTORS who have come to sit on committees, boards and in other leadership roles. It is a great opportunity to share ideas and suggestions.
4) Referrals: Every national convention I have attended has paid for itself through a referral fee or a referral commission. Connections I've made at the state convention have also paid off.
3) National and Designation Courses: Many national and designation courses that are rarely offered in my market are offered at conventions. These are great classes that will sometimes count toward multiple designations.
2) Knowledge about NAR and information about statewide and national issues facing Homeowners and REALTORS: You will know more than most about what's going on at the associations and in the industry. Your peers will respect you and look to you for information. Your clients will also.
1) Industry Involvement: This is our industry and to be successful, we must immerse ourselves in it and its culture. Any real estate course, state meeting, national meeting, committee, board, convention or organization that you can participate in will give back to you more than you put in. Real estate takes care of me and my family and I intend to take care of it as well.
There is no doubt that you will become a better REALTOR because of your involvement. With every meeting, your knowledge will expand and you will improve your abilities. Your clients benefit from this and so will you.
You obviously can't attend everything, but do what you can. The majority of people you will meet at these gatherings are top producers, high earners and generally happy people. You'll find the people in this crowd to be independent, intelligent, self-motivated, reliable, honest and educated. If you hang around these REALTORS for a bit, you may start to emulate them. You know what they say: Birds of a feather flock together.
I'd like to hang around with you. I hope to meet you in a committee meeting, real estate class, or convention soon.