Let me begin by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the NAR annual event with the expo being my absolute favorite part. I love spending an entire day (or two) perusing through new ideas and new technology and getting lots of brochures and cards to sort through at home later. I have been to several NAR events and have experienced it as a Realtor, as an exhibitor, and as a speaker, all at different times throughout my 19 year real estate career. That being said...
The NAR 2012 event was the most disappointing one I have ever attended. I have never been anything but thrilled when attending so this is my first time feeling this way.
Friday night, I got there, got situated, picked up my badge and goodies, and eagerly entered the expo area. It looked definitively smaller than usual at first glance. I walked the entire expo floor in one hour, covering every single booth, and even stopping to talk many times. Still... in only one hour, I was finished. I was shocked... this was IT?? Where was all the good stuff?? Where were the new ideas and the new technology?? It usually takes a full day to see every booth at the expo.
I did manage to find a few new things of interest, some I had heard about and even signed up for before attending so it was nice to meet the people behind those products/services. One I found was a tried and true... product/service I've used many times and have always been happy with:
NEW ITEMS OF INTEREST:
This was far and away, the best new idea of the show. Agents Armor is an app that you use to keep yourself safe during showings, open houses, and listing appointments. Not only is it an awesome service that EVERY AGENT should have AND USE every single day, it's inexpensive and brought to you by a man whose wife is a real estate broker. Not only is he keeping his wife safe, he's helping the rest of us as well.
They also win for best business card at the show... Nope... not an iPhone. It's actually the front of the business card.
Now check the back... and yes... it is exactly sized to the iPhone 4/4s
Ones I knew about but had not yet met in real life were:
Cartavi is like Guru or Settlement Room but with way better features and it's actually an app, not a web-based online system or software. Imagine Guru/SR for today's mobile/tech agent and now make it like 1000% better and you have Cartavi. The founders are awesome, totally down-to-earth people, who just want to make life easier for agents... totally my kinda people! Check them out...
You can try Cartavi for free and it's extremely inexpensive to purchase. I already had this one on my iPad. I HIGHLY recommend it!! :-)
This is incredible video email power in the palm of your hand... literally. Record a quick video with your iPhone and instantly turn it into an email. Custom templates are available inexpensively. Click the link I posted above and get a discount:
Save 15%, get a free template set pre-branded to your real estate company, and get your $50 custom-designed template.
The custom templates are typically $150 so the link above gets you some awesome pricing on that plus a recurring 15% off of your monthly or annual purchase.
An old friend I saw at NAR 2012:
Brandon just enhanced the Wise Agent product with Contactually, a great addition to a true stand-by product. Check it out for any of you still hooked on Top Producer. It's a worth a look and FREE to try for 30 days, then only $24.95/month with no contract, get phenomenal customer support, and they will NOT charge you extra for your assistants/team.
Aisde from the ones I listed above... the expo show was a bust. Lots of mortgage and title companies, wells fargo had the most interesting booth (as usual), typical junk food fare for eating (when will they add healthy options??), and very low on give-away goodies. My 9 year-old daughter (a trade show goodie connoisser) ran up to me after I came home and all I had was a fish bobber beaded necklace from wells fargo and a couple of empty hand-out bags. "What happened??!!" she asked me. Not much baby girl... not much...