Once again Keller Williams Family Reunion is almost here and that means it is time to plan how to make the most of the 70 hours of the event.
Hopefully you learned your lesson about the tickets and either joined MAPS to get a ticket with your coaching or you were one that bought yours right away!
If you didn't get a ticket, keep reading! There will be tips and tricks that work for you without leaving home.
Tip #1 – If you did not get a ticket make sure you are paying attention on Facebook and make sure everyone you know from leadership to fellow agents know you are looking. Many people will have to transfer their ticket. I know many that were stuck with tickets last year. Book your flight; there WILL be a ticket for you!
My name is Chad Hyams, and I have attended many Keller Williams Family Reunion events over many years and I have been able to attend in many roles:
- Team Leader
- General Manager
- MAPS Coach
- Growth and Productivity Director for the Southeast Region
- Breakout Session Leader
This means that I have been there and done that and still I attend this event every year without fail. There is always something to learn and always someone to meet. Read on to learn how I feel you can make the most of your trip.
Family Reunion Survival Guide!
The ticket system changed for KWFR due to the high demand and it will not get easier to get tickets in the future. Become a client of MAPS or be quick to click when tickets go on sale. If you didn’t get one, book your flight and hotel, as tickets will become available.
Couldn’t find a hotel room? Then you weren’t looking hard enough. This is Las Vegas and there are LOTS of hotel rooms. Check other hotels and plan to get your exercise in as you walk a little extra. Don’t like that idea, then check into vacation rentals and find a condo not too far away to share with others.
Don’t like the flights for one reason or another? Start to plan the drive to Vegas! What’s the fastest way to get there, who can you share the cost of the drive with and the actually driving with? Make it a traveling mastermind that everyone wishes they could be a part of.
Before you get near the airplane for your trip to Vegas (or in your car if you live close enough) visit FamilyReunion.KW.com and check out the breakout schedules as they are now posted. Take the time in advance to figure out the 2 sessions you want to attend in each time block. Having 2 sessions selected will take some of the stress when you can't get into a session and don't know where to head off to. Now you will be ready!
One of the questions that everyone wants to know is "how do I choose the best breakout sessions in advance from a 2 line description?" My answer is always the same, what is the ONE Thing that you wish to learn more about while at the event? Find ALL of the breakout sessions on that topic. If that doesn't help you decide, then select the instructors that you have always learned from and go listen to them. If you still cannot choose find a friend that is going to be at the event and ask which breakout session they will be in and go to a DIFFERENT one. Share notes later!
Tip #2 - To make the most of Keller Williams Family Reunion figure out your ONE Thing in advance. Turn your ONE Thing into a question and ask at least 100 different people at the event your question. You will end up asking newer agents with a fresh perspective, experienced agents, Team Leaders, coaches, instructors and who knows you could find yourself asking the president of the company, so be prepared.
- Maybe you want to know how to follow up in a better way
- Maybe you want to know how to hire better members to your team
- Maybe you want to learn how to get more listings
- Maybe you just want to learn the biggest mistake others have made to learn from
Whatever it is, figure out your ONE question and ask AT LEAST 100 people! Here's what will happen...you will get 100 different answers that when you look at later you will realize are really only 3 or 4 different answers. This will help you narrow your focus and actually apply something instead of becoming overwhelmed with amazing ideas.
Now that we have that part covered let’s jump into what to expect from a Keller Williams Family Reunion event.
Make The Most Of Your Time at Family Reunion
(because there isn’t a lot of it!)
Chaos is a must at an event this size. There will be people running left and right around the very large Mandalay Bay hotel and convention center and even some just standing still. If you are prepared, this will not be you! This event for you should be CONTROLLED CHAOS
Remember that you are NOT on vacation and this is not a chance to finally be sleeping in! This year we see the 7:30am breakout session making a return so get up and get going! If you are an early bird and you can make it happen, start each day with a breakfast appointment. You have to eat and they have to eat. Eat with someone and develop a business referral relationship, get some great coaching or just share AHA’s from the day before. Not sure about getting a breakfast meeting, then bring workout clothes because you never know whom you might get to be running beside on a treadmill.
It is the one-on-one opportunity of masterminding over a meal (or at the bar - more on that later) that will be the best use of your time during Family Reunion. Find the times to connect with people even though there are thousands running back and forth. The training at the event will be some of the best you have ever experienced and the culture will be breathtaking. Take all of that in, and make the most of the time!
Tip #3 - Plan for these meetings in advance! Who is it that you would love to get some time with a Family Reunion? Reach out to them NOW and tell them that you would like to meet and schedule a meeting over breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks. Hurry because calendars are filling already.
Do not show up at Keller Williams Family Reunion thinking you have the answer. Go with an open mind to hear what others are sharing. Many of the attendees will walk away with their pages of notes saying things like “that would never work in my town” are the ones that should have let someone else have their ticket. The ones that walk out knowing the ONE thing that they are going to implement are the ones that will succeed. Open your mind and be ready to learn from those that are already making it happen.
Gary Keller and Jay Papasan remind us in The ONE Thing, if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Take time at the end of the day, or any break you have, to look over your notes and choose THE ONE that jumps out at you. It can be overwhelming with all of the notes you will take and not knowing where to start. Usually this means you stay at the starting line and do nothing. When you leave Las Vegas (hopefully not like Nicholas Cage did) make sure you leave with a plan and focus!
Family Reunion Exhibit Hall
This is one of my favorite parts of the event, the vendor madness. As soon as you get to the exhibit hall (and do this as early in the event as possible) do the quick trick or treat walk. What is the trick or treat walk? That is when you zip up and down the aisles to each booth and grab whatever they are giving away (anything from pens to magnets to candy) and make sure you grab their information handouts. Just like on Halloween you always remember the house with the big candy bar.
Tip #4 - Even though the vendors might not like hearing this (I didn't when I was a vendor) do NOT bring your debit card to the vendor hall with you on your first visit. Do NOT let impulse shopping make choices for you.
Decide what your budget is for new services, software, marketing, and other items at the show BEFORE you get the convention center and have a plan as to what you are looking to take home with you. When you are back in your room with the marketing materials make notes on which vendors you want to return and visit later. None of the vendors will run out of what they are selling on the first day. The best times to meet with vendors are early in the morning, or where there isn't a breakout session that you click with. Don’t forget to say hello to the companies you’re already using!
- Do you need KW branded clothing? Leave room in your suitcase
- Do you want some great reading? Hit the KW bookstore
- Do you want to develop a relationship with a new preferred vendor? Find some time to talk.
Realtors are all looking for the new magic bullet. Listen to the experts speaking on panels and in breakout sessions and you will recognize that there are no magic bullets. The message that they are all telling you is work, work, work. Keep that in mind as you shop, shop, shop. Find things that work and generate more business for you... those are the things to invest in on the exhibit floor.
Always remember the lesson of Lead with Revenue. Leave your credit card at home, and bring your debit card instead! If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it!
Tip #5– Make sure you are listening to #KWFR on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram to share in the AHA's
You do not want to miss the large sessions offered at Family Reunion. You will notice that nothing competes with these on the agenda. We are talking about:
Opening Ceremonies 1:00pm-1: 30pm
Gary Keller's Keynote Session 1:30pm-4: 30pm
Vision Speech 9:30am-11:00am (PowerPoint slides are usually available after the event so please stop using your iPad to take photos)
Red Bash 4:30pm-8:00pm
State of Your Company 9:30am-11:00am
The Inspirational Brunch 9:00am-10: 30am (more below)
During these large sessions, plan in advance where your group is going to meet. This is the time to catch up with the people you came to the event with. Otherwise, spend time with people you only see at national events!
When Sessions Are Out
Family Reunion is a 24-hour a day opportunity and Las Vegas is a 24-hour town! Just because you are not in a breakout session doesn’t mean there isn’t a great opportunity to learn. Some of the best ideas are shared in hotel lobbies, certain bars and even poolside. Check out the different hotel lobbies and see which one becomes "the" place to be.
Remember that while you are out, anything that happens at #KWFR probably ends up on Facebook before the night is over! Be smart and be safe.
According to the online agenda it looks like the lunch break is back.
If there is a lunchroom, don’t sit with the people you can have lunch with when you get home, sit with new people! Meet people and create relationships. Share AHA’s with each other.
If there is no lunchroom then grab a lunch, find someone else eating and start up a conversation. Remember your job, as a Realtor is to meet people and create relationships.
On Wednesday, bring your own lunch and watch for more information on my unofficial mastermind (more on that below.)
This part of Family Reunion deserves its own section. There are too many agents that decide to leave town the night before to save money. To those that leave, you are missing one of the key things that makes Keller Williams the company it is. During brunch on the last day, Mo Anderson shares with everyone unbelievable true stories. You will hear tales of hardship, loss, and disaster and all of it will end with someone overcoming a challenge in a way that makes you want to change the world. Get there early as seats fill. Take this last chance to share a special moment with someone you don't know, as you will be able to relive the stories with your traveling partners when you get back home.
Tip #6 - If this is your first Inspirational Brunch, bring Kleenex with you.
A Few More Tips
One of the things that Keller Williams promotes is sharing and Family Reunion is no different. Use the power of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites) and as mentioned in TIP #5 remember the hashtag #KWFR. Share with each other, find each other and share with those that were unable to join the event in person.
Make the most of this event by setting goals for Keller Williams Family Reunion
- What do you want to learn about?
- Who are you hoping to meet and get a moment to talk with?
- What do you need to find out about in the exhibit hall and what should you avoid spending money on?
Bring business cards, hand out business cards and remember the lesson that Gary Keller has been teaching us since Keller Williams began…it isn’t about handing out your business card, it is all about collecting business cards to add to your database! Of course you will also want to have business cards so that you can enter all of the various drawings on the exhibit floor.
Do something to be remembered. This does not mean do something crazy like run through the convention center on fire or anything. This means don't just give your cards to people, make sure they remember you. What are you known for or what will you be remembered for? People will stop me just to know what socks I am wearing. Some people will have a giveaway that gets remembered. Kevin Kauffman and Fred Weaver are known for wearing their flip-flops everywhere. Ben Kinney can be spotted from across the exhibit hall in his REI gear. What is it that YOU will be remembered for?
70 Hours is Not a Lot of Time
Before you know it all of these hours will have come and gone. What will you have to show for it?
- Notes you will use or notes you took so you could show someone you took notes?
- A hangover because you thought you would skip the early sessions and you could stay out later?
- A stack of business cards you collected that you will do nothing with? Or worse that you will put in your database for no real reason?
OR will you use your 70 hours to:
- Develop a referral network
- Focus on the ONE (ok maybe two) things that you WILL implement into your business
- Meet new people and learn why this isn't just a convention, it is a FAMILY REUNION
Looking for me at #KWFR?
If you are looking to find me at Keller Williams Family Reunion 2017 good luck! I will not be hosting any breakout sessions or on any panels. I will be hosting an unofficial mastermind on Wednesday February 15th during the lunch break somewhere…watch for my posting about it if you want to join us!
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I can’t wait to see you all at Keller Williams Family Reunion 2017 and hope you will come find me to say hello! If not, I will see you online!