My wife, and traveling companion for the week, flew with me from Central Illinois to San Diego. As we ate lunch at a bustling Chicago O’Hare Airport during a layover, she asked me, “So what is important about this week?” What a great opportunity to give an REALTORS® Convention & Expo elevator speech!
On the convention front, I explained that this is a once a year opportunity to immerse oneself in educational, motivational, and business building tools. I am one of the owners of a multi-0ffice franchise firm, and I love my franchise network conventions, but NAR is several times that size, offering a scale and scope that no single company can touch. And for those from small and/or independent offices, nothing comes close to the opportunities offered by NAR each November.
As one who often cannot attend many convention sessions due to the simultaneous governance meetings that take place back in the headquarter hotels, one of the greatest perks of convention registration is access to Playback NAR. Even if I were in the convention center during every hour of sessions, it is a three-ring circus with far too much valuable content being presented simultaneously to get to all of it. Playback NAR gives attendees access to audio recordings from all sessions. That’s dozens of hours of content. I am a runner, and I spend most of my outdoor winter runs listening to convention sessions from November. It is not uncommon for me to listen to exceptionally good (or content dense) sessions two or three times.
On the governance front, there is an opportunity to watch (and if you serve on any committees, participate in) the governance of one of the country’s largest and most influential trade organizations that is more than a million members strong. I explained to my wife that items that come up for discussion and vote on the floor of the directors’ meetings very often have a significant and swift impact on the broader industry, my state Association, my local Association, and my own business back home.
As a recently installed officer of a large state association, I will be an NAR director for the first time in 2016. However, I have been at every regular NAR directors’ meeting for the last few years having not been a director. When water cooler conversations come up back home and I hear REALTORS® who misunderstand, or worse yet, inadvertently spread misinformation about something new from NAR, there is no substitute for having been there to watch and listen to the discussions in person.
If you are a REALTOR not bound for San Diego right now, understand that you are missing out. Set some goals for your business for 2016, and plan to use next year’s NAR Convention in Orlando as a reward that will pay long term dividends in the form of knowledge, relationships, referrals, and motivation far into the future. The photo shows the sun rising over the inland mountains from my hotel room at the Grand Hyatt. Wish you were here!