Real estate conferences are a great way to keep up on the latest industry developments, network with other professionals, and gain knowledge and insights from the best in the business.
But which conferences should you attend? And how should you organize your time while you’re there?
The key to getting the most out of your valuable time and money invested in these conferences and events is to plan ahead.
Why Attend a Real Estate Conference?
Real estate conferences are a constructive way to spend a few days focused on the latest real estate trends and newest technologies with other like-minded individuals who share a passion for the profession.
In addition, you’ll have opportunities to expand your network, build your reputation, and potentially collaborate with new colleagues. Whether you’re new to real estate investing or an experienced agent or investor, conferences can help you zero in on your short- and long-term goals.
In recent years, many real estate conferences and conventions have adopted a hybrid model, offering both in-person and virtual elements, so be prepared to accommodate both.
Before the Conference
Add together the cost of the conference, hotel, transportation, and meals — and you’ll quickly realize conferences can carry a hefty price tag. It’s important to do some prep work and arrive at the conference with a plan to maximize your investment.
- Do your homework: Conferences typically have a combination of keynote speakers and break-out sessions, exhibitor booths, and networking events. Read up on the speakers and highlight the “can’t miss” sessions you feel will be most valuable to you. Do the same for the exhibitors, and add key networking opportunities to your calendar. Aim to fill your schedule with a strategic balance of speakers-booths-networking.
- Rehearse your elevator pitch: In many instances, you’ll have only a minute or two to connect with a new colleague. Practice a few lines that best describe you and your real estate specialty or superpower until they flow off your tongue effortlessly.
- Download the conference app: You’ll have access to the full conference schedule, speakers, exhibitors, other attendees, and more. Plus you’ll receive alerts of any changes to the schedule, and other invaluable info during the conference. Get familiar with the app’s features prior to the conference so you can use it effectively.
- Check your basics: Make sure to pack a notebook and pen, chargers for your phone or tablet, batteries if you need them, or a recorder. Check your supply of business cards and order more if necessary. It seems like a no-brainer, but do you want to reach for your business cards only to realize you left them at home?
At the Conference
One of the biggest benefits of a real estate conference is the opportunity to network. Although some people naturally thrive on meeting new people, others may find networking overwhelming, draining, or just downright nerve-wracking. If this is you, attend key networking events with a plan in place to take advantage of these prime opportunities.
- Go in with a goal: Focus on achieving one reasonable goal per networking event, like meeting three new people outside your area of expertise.
- Ask questions: Build relationships by asking questions, and remember you have something in common with everyone in the room. You might ask someone what they thought of the last session, what kind of investing they do, or what’s unique about the market in their part of the country.
- Be a connector: Listen carefully to peoples’ answers and see if there’s an opportunity to offer value. Perhaps you can share a tip, a good vendor, or connect your new contact with someone already in your network.
- Nurture the relationships you already have: If you know in advance that people in your network will be in attendance, set aside time to reconnect and catch up on professional developments or share news on your latest projects.
- Include downtime: Don’t overschedule yourself. Be sure to include some downtime to decompress and give your brain the space it needs to recharge.
After the Conference
You’ll likely return home with a lot of information and, hopefully, feel revitalized and motivated to apply what you’ve learned. Make sure you:
- Follow up: Close the loop and reach out to your new contacts with a personal note on LinkedIn or by email. Solidify your new relationship by adding value, like sharing an article about an area of interest you talked about.
- Ride the wave: Take advantage of the positive energy you brought home and review your notes. Create an action plan to implement the key strategies or findings you feel are most important to your business.
- Share: Post pictures, videos, blog entries, and other insights to your business socials and share what you learned. Doing so provides value to both your clients and your colleagues.
Top Real Estate Conferences in 2023
Here are a few of the top real estate conferences to put on your calendar in 2023:
- ReMax R4, Feb. 27 to March 1, Las Vegas
- NAR Broker Summit, April 17 to 18, Kansas City, Mo.
- RealWorld, Aug. 6 to 8, Las Vegas
- Inman Luxury Connect, Aug. 7 to 8, Las Vegas
- Tom Ferry Success Summit, Aug. 22 to 24, Dallas
- NAR NXT, The Realtor Experience, Nov. 14 to 16, Anaheim, Calif.
- CRE Converge, Oct. 18 to 20, Seattle