One of the best ways to stay alert to emerging trends in real estate and in your specific sector is to attend relevant industry events. Just attending is not enough, however. Maximize every local group meeting, regional conference, and national expo by leveraging these tips to get the most from everyone involved from the keynote speakers to each and every attendee.

1. Make a game plan

  • Ask yourself: Why am I attending and what concrete things do I hope to accomplish?
  • Write down short, actionable goals as you answer these questions.

2. Look over the agenda

  • Highlight key presentations you can’t miss and identify their locations.
  • Note where in the schedule you might network instead of attending a presentation.

3. Make plans to meet people

  • If possible, review a list of attendees before the event.
  • Connect in advance online, especially if you are hoping to make the acquaintance of a total stranger.


4. Do some preliminary research

You increase the chance of a productive and memorable conversation if you know just a few tidbits of information about a colleague.

  • Look at websites, social media, and professional networking pages to identify mutual friends, colleagues, and interests.
  • Identify people in your niche that will be attending and be sure to meet them.
  • Be sure to visit relevant service providers’ booths. It is human nature to provide good service to people you have a personal connection with, and this is best accomplished with a handshake, in person.


5. Write and practice your elevator pitch

  • Be able to describe what you do in about 30 seconds.
  • You should have no more than three compelling points to make and design them specifically for your ideal client.
  • Be ready to discuss recent or ongoing deals.

6. Set an “engagement goal”

No, you don’t have to put a ring on anything, but you do have to shake some hands. Set a specific goal for each session, such as engaging in three conversations per networking break throughout the day.

7. Format your contact information strategy in advance

  • Designate one pocket or other centralized spot for cards received.
  • Bring plenty of your own cards and keep them in an easily accessible location.
  • Whenever possible, jot down a note or two on each card to help you remember the person later.
  • Designate a plan for card-less people. Will you exchange texts or make digital notes? Are you carrying a physical notepad? Use the same strategy every time.


Put these tips into practice at Think Realty events across the country. Learn more at

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  • Bill Griesmer

    Bill Griesmer is the Managing Member of Stonegate Capital, which buys and sells performing and distressed notes. He may be reached at

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