Keller Williams Family Reunion Survival Guide 2018

Education & Training with Ember Seminars and Keller Williams Southeast Region

Here we go again! Year after year Keller Williams Family Reunion shows up right around Valentines Day and some how it gets sweeter and sweeter year after year!


With 70 hours of amazing learning, networking and hands on training ahead, the limited time of the event deserves a plan of attack. Keep reading as we share with you tips and strategies that work year after year to make the event work for you!

Each year Keller Williams Family Reunion sells out and this year is no exception so if you didn't get a ticket just watch social media as people sell their tickets due to changes that life can bring. If you can't get a ticket or are choosing not to attend, there will still be some tips and tricks in this post that will work from home. 


Now, for those of you that do not know me, who am I and why do I write this each year? 
My name is Chad Hyams, and I have attended Keller Williams Family Reunion for A LOT of years and in many different roles. I have attended as:

  • Agent
  • Team Leader
  • Vendor
  • General Manager
  • MAPS Coach
  • Growth and Productivity Director for the Southeast Region
  • Trainer
  • Breakout Session Leader
  • and this year I get to add a new role...Southeast Regional Director of Expansion for the United Home Group

It doesn't matter what hat you are wearing when you attend Keller Williams Family Reunion, what matters is that you attend and that you attend with purpose!



Family Reunion Survival Guide!

How will you get to Anaheim? With Disneyland right there flights should be easy to find. Don't like to fly? Start planning the drive so you can make some great stops along the way. Take your drive to another level and turn it into a mastermind road trip and find others to drive with you!

Where will you stay? Again with Disneyland, hotels are in no shortage. Can't find a hotel or want something a little different, how about a vacation rental or AirBnB with some friends?

 ***BONUS Tip - Not attending? Make sure you are listening to #KWFR on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram to share in the AHA's. If you are attending remember to use the hashtag when posting about the event!


Before you get anywhere near Anaheim (unless you live there already) take a moment and visit and check out all of the breakout sessions in advance.

The first thing we believe you should do is set aside some time and figure out the 2 sessions you want to attend in each time block. Why 2? Because sometimes you will find a session full.

The last time we were in Anaheim the fire marshal almost shut the event down as too many people wanted to hear what Ben Kinney had to say. This time you can be sure that rooms will fill up and get closed off.

Since the breakout session rooms will fill up you should be ready to pivot during the event and by having 2 sessions selected you will remove the stress when a change must be made.

Now for the million dollar question, how do you choose the best breakout sessions in advance from a very short description? 

Start by knowing the topic you want to learn about and focus on that ONE topic. Don't take a session on Open Houses and then a session on Internet Lead Generation and then one on, whatever topic.  Find ALL of the breakout sessions on your topic of focus and go toall of the sessions that cover your topic. 

Many people will tell you to choose by instructor and this is a mistake we see happen too often. Choosing the intsructor can lead you to getting only one view on a topic. Choose a topic and learn EVERYTHING about it from all of the different outlooks. If you follow instructors they might just think you are stalking them.


***BONUS Tip - To make the most of Keller Williams Family Reunion figure out your ONE question in advance. What is it you really want to learn if you could learn just one thing?

Now ask at least 100 different people at the event your question. You never know who you will end up asking. You will talk to MAPS Coaches, agents with different levels of experience or different views from parts of the country. You will ask Team Leaders, instructors and who knows you could find yourself asking the president of the company, so be prepared. 

Remember to ask your question of AT LEAST 100 people! Want to know what will happen? You will get 100 different answers. When you take the time later to look at the answers you will figure out that really you only got 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 planned a little,  let’s jump into what to expect from a Keller Williams Family Reunion event and some more planning.


Make The Most Of Your Time at Family Reunion
(because there isn’t a lot of it!)

Chaos will happen. Pivoting will occur. These are givens with an event this size. There will be people running left and right around the Anaheim convention center and even some just standing still completely lost. Of course those that stop moving will always seem to be right in front of you. 

This will not be you if you take the time to prepare! For you, Family Reunion should be CONTROLLED CHAOS.

The first lesson of the day is do NOT sleep in. Just because you are in a hotel that doesn't mean you are on a vacation. 7:30 breakout sessions are a great place to meet people before the day gets hectic. If you are an early bird or from the East Coast you should be able to be awake and set a breakfast appointment each morning. You have to eat, they have to eat, so why not plan to eat together. Take the time to develop a relationship and share ideas from the day before


***BONUS Tip - do NOT make this meal meeting with people that you can have a meal with every other day of the year. Branch out as this is your chance to meet and connect with new people. Who do you want to meet, talk with, question? 

If you are not sure about getting a breakfast meeting set or who to set it with then at least bring workout clothes because you never know whom you might get to be running beside on a treadmill.

The one-on-one opportunity over a meal (or at the bar - more on that later) at KWFR will be the best use of your time. Make the time to connect with people while surrounded by thousands of family members that you don't know. The training at the event will pale in comparison to the relationships you create. 


*** FOLLOW UP Tip  - 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. 


A key to making it a great event is to be sure that you 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. It is too often that we hear people at the event saying things like “that would never work in my town” and these are the ones that should have saved the money and stayed home. If you walk out of a session or conversation knowing The ONE Thing that you will implement then the event will be a success. 

Review your notes often! In The ONE Thing Gary Keller and Jay Papasan remind us, if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. If you have 10 things you want to implement when you get home you won't do anything. Rank your AHA's and lessons and go home to focus on #1. Once it is part of your world you can pull your notes out and work on #2, and then repeat again and again.


Family Reunion Exhibit Hall

Time to be a kid again and go TRICK OR TREATING! As soon as you get to the exhibit hall (and do this as early in the event as possible) zip up and down the aisles to each booth and grab whatever they are giving away (anything from pens to magnets to candy) and of course make sure you grab their information handouts. Just like on Halloween you always remember the house with the big candy bar!

***BONUS Tip Even though the vendors might not like hearing this (I didn't when I was a vendor) on your first pass through the hall do NOT bring your debit card. Do NOT let impulse shopping make choices for you. You have lots of time to spend your money.

Before you even head to Anaheim figure out what your budget is for new services, software, marketing, and other items you might consider. When you are back in your hotel room with no pressure take a moment and review all of the materials. Stick to your budget and remember the lesson from MREA to Lead With Revenue! Vendors will tell you that signing up will return at least one transaction to pay for the services. Have the money first!

With the marketing materials you took, while in your room 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.

The magic bullet is a lie and the challenge is that Realtors are all looking for the newest magic bullet. If you listen to the experts speaking on panels and in breakout sessions and you will find out 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.



Group Sessions

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)

Cultural Summit        3:45pm-5:00pm

Red Bash                     5:00pm-8:00pm


State of Your Company              9:30am-11:00am

Inspirational Morning  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 so make the most of each of them! 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.


Lunch Break

If you don't know what to do during the lunch break you haven't been reading. Find someone you don't know to sit with or make sure you have arranged a lunch meeting in advance. 

 ***BONUS Tip - On Monday during the lunch break I will be leading an "off the book" mastermind session in room 208AB Grab your boxed lunch and come join us!


Inspirational Brunch

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.

***BONUS Tip - If this is your first Inspirational Brunch, bring Kleenex with you.


A Few More Tips

Social Media

Warn your audience that you might be a little crazy with your Keller Williams postings!

Use the hashtag #KWFR. Share with each other, find each other and share with those that were unable to join the event in person.

Business Cards

Remember, it isn't about how many cards can you hand out. That's just a way to spend your money. COLLECT cards from others you so control the conversation. Give cards to people that you trade with.

Challenge yourself to meet and exchange cards with someone from every state so you can create a referral network of your own 

Be prepared!

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?



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?

  • A notebook full of stuff you never will look at again just so you could show someone you took notes?
  • A headache because you thought you would skip the early sessions and you could stay out all night?
  • 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 2018 I will have 2 locations for you to join me (remember that rooms are subject to change)

I will be facilitating a panel as we talk about how to Generate More with Open Houses on Sunday at 7:30am in Room 252 ABC

I will also be hosting an unofficial mastermind on Monday February 19th during the lunch break in Room 208AB…Grab your box lunch and come join us!



Please Share This Blog and Add Your Comments

If you found this blog helpful, please share it with your Market Center, share it on Facebook and Twitter, or email it on to other Keller Williams agents.

We know that you've got some veteran conference tips, too, so please be sure to add your advice in the comments in below for Keller Williams agents who have never attended Family Reunion

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!



Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Linda Franks 01/24/2018 05:16 AM
  2. Michael J. Perry 01/24/2018 06:42 AM
  3. Carolyn Crispin 02/06/2018 07:10 AM
  4. Bob Crane 02/11/2018 08:30 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
keller williams
family reunion
chad hyams

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Linda Franks
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH

Fantastic information for new attendees and old!  Thanks, Chad.

Jan 24, 2018 05:15 AM #1
Leslie Eason
Keller Williams High Country Realty - Blowing Rock, NC
Real Estate Agent serving the High Country of NC

This is great.  I have two buyer's agents attending for the first time.  Thank you Chad!

Jan 24, 2018 05:39 AM #2
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Liked and Bookmarked ! Now I'll Reblog it to increase Readership here on AR !

Jan 24, 2018 06:35 AM #3
Richard Daskam
Keller Williams Coastal Properties - Signal Hill, CA
Your Real Estate Consultant

Awesome list! Congrats on getting featured too!

Jan 24, 2018 06:46 PM #4
Tamara Wilhelm

this is an absolute must read for any new or even returning agents to the event. I wish we could attend, I'd love to network with all of our KW connections in person.

Jan 25, 2018 05:40 AM #5
Anne Abrams

Thank you for sharing the tips! Looking forward to an amazing first FR and networking opportunities!

Jan 28, 2018 03:59 PM #6
Michael Hebron Sr

Thanks for sharing,,, I am a newbie to KWFR... Looking forward to it...

Jan 28, 2018 08:52 PM #7
Roger Taylor
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Real estate agent service all of Washington, DC

Thank you for sharing this awesome information!!!  I am new to KW from another brokerage and am excited to use your information to plan my course of learning during the #KWFR.  Thanks again for sharing!

Jan 28, 2018 09:49 PM #8
Phyllis Papkin

Thanks for sharing. Nothing to add except make sure your phone is charged and you bring a sweater. Rooms are cold!

Feb 01, 2018 04:50 AM #9
Kevin B Tolbert PA

Thank you Chad Hyams. Always one of most interesting and informed people to meet at any event. Wouldn’t mind you being one of my 6 interviews this year. And amen to NEVER skipping the inspirational breakfast. This is truly about the culture that defines Keller Williams and makes us who we are as a family. #kwfr

Feb 01, 2018 12:50 PM #10

are nice jeans & jacket appropriate for females?

Feb 01, 2018 03:55 PM #11
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Chad, I need to stay home and work with my team, but several others will be attending.

Will share this with our local KW mkt centers.



Feb 11, 2018 08:27 PM #12
Josie Wilson

Thank you so much Chad! This blog has been very helpful for a first timer like me. Great tips! Now I don't feel so overwhelmed.

Feb 13, 2018 12:56 PM #13

love the article. Also this if you dont mind

Oct 30, 2018 01:43 AM #14

love the article. Also this if you dont mind

Oct 30, 2018 01:45 AM #15
Nicholas Crane
Woodland Companies - Cadott, WI
Managing & Appraising Forest Land

Thanks Chad Hyams for some great info, even if its from last year.  I am amazed at everything that happens in 70 hours.  I hope Family Reunion is going well this year in New Orleans. 

Feb 16, 2019 03:24 PM #16
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