You are viewing our site as a Broker, switch your view below:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
NAR Midyear 2019 Recap
The REALTORS Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. have become a mainstay on our WAV Group travel calendar. I guess that is why we still refer to it as "Midyear." The meetings provide a dual opportunity to gain insight into the important policy issues and the ability to spend some face-to-face time with clients. It's always in the same spot: at Woodley Park across from the National Zoo, housed in both the Omni and Marriott. There also are some meetings a shuttle bus ride away at the Washington Hilton, just north of Dupont Circle. Since I'm a former DC'er – I worked at Fannie Mae – I already have done my share of playing the tourist in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, so I focused on work and the conference itself. The biggest surprise this year was the appearance of President Trump on the last day of the convention. But as a long-time real estate developer, is it really a surprise that he turned out for a largely red crowd? And that's how this year's NAR Midyear felt compared to past meetings: more predictable and less edgy. MLS meetings Last year, the MLS Executives meeting had a great edge to it with the appearance of Redfin's leader Glenn Kelman. He hit it out of the park and his honest, off-the-cuff style, laced with his self-confessed Jewish angst, made his presentation funny, insightful and highly memorable. This year, the star of the same meeting was a legal review. Every MLS in the room will face hurdles once the final guidelines are issued around California's CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) go into effect January 1, 2020. There was a clear sense of frustration and apprehension in the room, as one might expect. (WAV Group consultants Victor Lund and David Gumpper support MLSs, brokers, and technology vendors with compliance.) Even at CMLS "Brings it to the Table," sans a few observations in a presentation by the always solid Brian Boero of 1000watt, it was a fairly straightforward, predictable day. Brian did a great job of making the case that many of the companies that are getting the most media attention have a great story to tell and do an excellent job of telling it. His "What's your story?" pitch was spot on. That is the first question we ask when developing a communications strategy and many companies do not have a well-articulated story. Boero's comments compelled me to personally congratulate Jennifer Thompson-Kersting of My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS), who was attending. MFRMLS announced the launch of a new company under the name of Stellar MLS just before Midyear. The name goes into effect on June 4th. Merri Jo Cowen and her team have done a stellar job in creating a compelling story (yes, I was being punny). For the rest of the day at CMLS, the MLS focus was solidly on best practices. Not a lot of new ideas or trends were covered that had not already been exposed to those attending a RESO conference. But CMLS needs to be commended on the organization's efforts to source and share programs of excellence that make MLSs great. Another highlight was Chris Haran of MRED and his "Computer Vision" presentation on using artificial intelligence for photos via vendor Restb.ai. It appeared to have the most attendees engaged: taking notes, photos of his slides and asking a lot of follow up questions. RESO members and conference attendees remember the first restb.ai presentation and its cutting-edge technology well. It was particularly exciting to see one of the largest MLSs in the world adopt and deploy this new tech so quickly. Kudos to Haran and MRED. With Restb.ai, MRED is extracting attributes of photos submitted to the MLS using deep learning artificial intelligence. This adds a breakthrough value for subscribers in the data stored in the MLS. The biggest at the CMLS event was that it ended an hour earlier than originally scheduled to give folks a chance to make a key late afternoon session NAR was offering. Overall, the CMLS sessions were rich with practical takeaways. That's why it remains a "can't miss" event at NAR Midyear for everyone affiliated with the MLS industry. Next up for most MLS folks is the trifecta: Inman Connect in Vegas, July 22-26; RESO in St. Louis, Sept. 9-12, 2019; and CMLS annual meeting, Oct. 16-18, 2019 in Salt Lake City. Midyear trade show takeaways If you're of the baby-boomer generation (others can Google it), you may recall a famous advertising phase attributable to remarkable and well-earned success: "You've come a long way, baby." Ignoring the fact that this was a cigarette ad campaign, that was my reaction when I saw Homesnap's new exhibit at NAR near the entrance of the convention hall. Homesnap is the technology that powers the Broker Public Portal (BPP). The BPP is one of real estate's most successful industry initiatives in recent years. Just before NAR Midyear, Homesnap announced it had hit the one million real estate agents mark. Its growth rate has been stunning and their booth stood as a testament to its pervasiveness. Never before have MLSs and brokerage firms collaborated on reimagining a fundamental building block of our industry. The collaboration and unification of our industry around a central idea is powerful, and the execution has been better than anyone imagined. A picture is worth a thousand words. Last year, Homesnap operated out of a regular booth: this year they had a much larger and well-designed presence that shouted success. The NAR REach class had their stations set up at the end of the big NAR Pavilion area and these innovative startups stayed very busy with questions from curious prospects. Over a random 10-minute period I observed, Kleard, the newest real estate agent security technology, draw the most attendees and captured strong engagement. I also stopped by the Florida Realtors' exhibit, got a peek at their new, much more user-friendly and intuitive version of Form Simplicity. But I stopped by Florida Realtors' exhibit because they offer an on-site tech support person from Tech Helpline to troubleshoot and answer any tech questions agents, brokers, MLS execs or others might have. It reminded me to ask the industry this question: Why was NAR so quick to give every agent access to a CRM, but not have Tech Helpline provide universal tech support? In our age where an agent cannot do their job without technology working well, it seems to me NAR put the cart before the horse! Every real estate agent and broker should have easy access to tech support and Tech Helpline already does that better than anyone. Best of all, it is industry born, industry operated, and industry owned. And Tech Helpline serves about half of all REALTORS already – 600,000 in North America. Note to NAR: your members deserve universal tech support and they need it. Tech Helpline for all is a no-brainer solution. Super Sessions Two meeting highlights worth mentioning because they were rich in broker takeaways both happened Tuesday morning. The first session of the day, the Economic Forecast, featured Lawrence Yun and his next predictions and included a presentation from Dr. Johannes Stroebel, associate professor of finance at New York University, who dove into social connections on Facebook. Stroebel's heat mapsl showed how different places in the US are connected using Facebook data. Who knew that Kern County (Bakersfield area) and North Dakota were strongly connected? That indicator promoted him to dig further, and both are huge oil-producing areas. He surmised that people from California transferred to North Dakota and thus the heavy saturation of social connectedness. I guess that brokers in North Dakota should start advertising in Bakersfield, and agents should start talking to their counterparts in Bakersfield for relocation collaboration. Most importantly, social connection research shows how we feel about real estate – whether it is a good time to buy or not. There is a direct relationship between Facebook connections and attitudes about the real estate market. I expect we will hear much more about this research from Facebook and a wide number of applications this data could provide in building more effective and targeted real estate marketing campaigns. WAV Group consultant Victor Lund says, "When you think about Big Data, imagine the role that Facebook can play in predicting future real estate market conditions using deep machine learning and artificial intelligence. Facebook could drop advertising revenue and simply harvest consumer data to predict the stock market." Later Wednesday morning, the RISMedia Power Broker Newsmakers Forum had a terrific lineup of top talent. Lennox Scott, leader of John L. Scott, noted that lead generation companies (like Zillow) are shifting to lead capture companies. They are shifting from advertising firms to referral companies. Fellow panelist Michael Saunders, who runs the well-renowned Florida-based brokerage which bears her name, offered a truism. She said, "I don't think it's (real estate) rocket science, even though the tech companies make it feel that way. We are in a relationship business." "Our biggest competitors today is ourselves," said Mike Huff from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. Broker-owner Todd Hetherington of Century 21 New Millennium had added that as an industry, we need to learn from our competition, and to do that we need to get granular and know our numbers. Diane Ramirez, Chair and Chief Executive of Halstead Properties, jointly moderated the panel with John Featherston, RISMedia leader of 39 years. Ramirez was a strong addition and had a couple of comments that were candidates for the Quote of the Day. After discussing the rebranding efforts her firm has undertaken over the years, and the one they most recently completed, she offered, "Rebranding is the most nerve-racking thing you can do as a leader." Ramirez addressed the 800-pound gorilla on everyone's minds in the room, Compass, chiding that the difference between the "C" brokerage and established brokerages is the size of the dollars being used to recruit. "I have to hit profitability," she notes. The best takeaway goes to Featherston, who recommended that brokerages need to "chart the stats of those who have left your group to show others that the grass isn't always greener." Products like BrokerMetrics from Terradatum allow you to visualize the impact of a broker change. Nearly 100% of the time, an agent's production goes down when they change brokerages. Use this data in your agent retention meetings. Finally, a shout out to Peter Schravemade of BoxBrownie, who gave a funny and informative lesson during an MLS session on the ethics in virtual staging photography. The company has been on fire since it was part of the NAR REach class last year. Based on the buzz I am hearing, its technology is likely to be one of the fastest growing in recent memory. But you need to be careful. Virtual staging of a property could become a misrepresentation. CoreLogic's Matt Cohen wrote a great article about this issue. Parties + Dinners On the Midyear party scene, kudos has to go to our sister company, RE Technology. It held its annual Midyear event and it was packed to the brim, again. The music was RE Technology Partyfantastic, again, under the perennial leadership of the extraordinary talent of John Heithaus and his band members who rocked the Columbia Heights location. The best description of the event's success came from W+R Studios (Cloud CMA, etc.) leader and Vendor Alley blogger Greg Robertson. If you know Greg, you know he was dancing the night away. The next day, I bumped into Greg at MRED's super reception on a rooftop looking out to the Washington Monument. He said with a huge smile, "I had so much fun my cheeks hurt." Homesnap's reception was another standing room only event. For the last few years, the Homesnap party has offered the most convenient offsite location: across the street from both hotels. The best part was to see all the Homesnappers in attendance: Homesnap is local and many of their employees turned out to celebrate hitting their one million-agent mark. The staff's positive energy was as intoxicating as the bar's margaritas. The best story about the dinner scene in DC came from Michael Saunders. During the RISMedia Power Broker Newsmakers Forum, she told a story about getting into a hot new restaurant in DC whose distinction is providing an all "locally sourced" dining experience. Saunders nearly brought the crowd to tears of laughter as she described her conversation with her server. For every item she asked about – and I mean item after item – she was told it wasn't on the menu because "everything is locally sourced." That limited the choices to the point that someone in the crowd added, "They'll go out of business." With a look of disbelief, Saunders responded, "But it was packed!" Finally, the real star of NAR The star of NAR this year was the weather. Hands-down, mid-May may be one of the most fickle windows for weather. It typically is either sweltering with humidity north of 90 percent or pouring rain for three days like last year. This year? 70s and sunny. "California weather," one attendee told me. Even when I had the opportunity to visit my home state's Senator – Patty Murray – for a meeting as part of the Washington Delegation, the last thing she said to us was, "Go outside and enjoy the weather. It's beautiful out there today!" Spoken like a true Seattleite. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
MORE >
Realtors Discuss Benefits, Advancements in New Real Estate Technology
Automation is very much a part of the real estate industry and should be embraced by Realtors and other industry leaders, panelists said at Thursday's Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum during the 2019 REALTORS Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. The session, "Automation and Sharing Economy: How it will Affect the Way We Work and Live," discussed artificial intelligence or AI components, including Alexa, bots and OJO labs, and explained how each tool could be used by Realtors in various home sale transactions.
MORE >
Are Hybrid Appraisals Becoming the New Normal In Real Estate Transactions?
MORE >
Can't Miss Spring and Summer REALTOR Conferences and Expos for 2019
The best way to further your education and develop new real estate knowledge and skills is by attending local and national conferences. Ranging from $10 to few hundred dollars, chances are a real estate convention is happening near you in 2019. Here is a list of favorite events happening this spring and summer.
MORE >
Realogy Unveils New Real Estate Products, Programs and Tools During First-Ever Realogy Global Exchange
MORE >
2019 Real Estate Events and Conferences
From national conferences to regional and local association events, each real estate event can give an agent or broker new ideas on marketing initiatives, lead capture opportunities, and the latest real estate trends for the year. The following are ten conferences and events to not miss in 2019:
MORE >
Homebot Wins Realogy FWD Innovation Award
MORE >
NAR Boston 2018: Home Runs and Strikeouts in Beantown
My dad grew up, pre-Depression, on Beacon Hill in Boston. As a kid, we took a lot of road trips. Because my dad worked for Westin Hotels, we stayed at a lot of nice places in big towns for free. My favorite road trip when we lived in Chicago was visiting Boston and the New England area. I had been back a couple of times for business and always loved visiting this city. After this last week at NAR, I absolutely want to go back – but next time for a vacation.
MORE >
What Not to Miss and Put on Your List for Boston NAR
MORE >
Top 7 Things to Do and See at National REALTORS Conference 2018 in Boston
NAR's Conference in Boston is shaping up to be one of the best events yet. That doesn't mean you should spend all day couped up in the conference center. We've pulled together a list of seven things you should do while at the convention and while you're in Boston. If you can spare them, consider spending an extra day or two in the area before or after the conference to take full advantage of the city and its surroundings.
MORE >
7 Ways to Get the Most out of Networking Events
MORE >
NAREE Conferences Continue to Break New Ground
WAV Group attended the NAREE conference for the fifth consecutive year. More than a few of our team members, like Kevin Hawkins, have attended nearly every year of their career. Here is the inside word. If you want to be heard, you need to be a newsmaker. The key to getting access to be heard is establishing a relationship with journalists – otherwise, you are a whisper.
MORE >
Midyear Commercial Wrap-up: Data Integration Top of Minds
MORE >
NAR Midyear: Looking for the Tech Enablers
Tech enablers. That's what I will be looking for at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington DC this week, best known as NAR Midyear. I'll head down to the trade show floor and spend the rest of my time shuttling between the Marriott and the Omni lobbies talking to influencers and tech leaders. My goal is to get a handle on what new tech firms – and tech tools – are likely to dominate real estate pros' lives in the next few years. The NAR REach new program participants are high on my list. Booth 1731 – including zavvie (Hyperlocal marketing), Active Pipe (email marketing automation), Quigler (compliance checklist app), BoxBrownie.com (magic-like photo editing, virtual staging, CGI – Booth 1836), RealKey (browser-based transaction management), CurbCall (mobile lead routing), Hurdlr (like a Fitbit for agent financial performance), and Glide (transaction coordination).
MORE >
Keller Williams Family Reunion: 4 Things You Missed
MORE >
Hits and Misses from NAR Chicago
Chicago is a baseball town. Even with the Cubs disappointingly not returning to the World Series this year, you can't escape seeing someone wearing a Cubs or White Sox hat or shirt every day in Chicago, even in November. McCormick Place, home to this year's Realtor Convention and Expo, sits just two-and-a-half miles north of Comiskey Park, where the Sox play – the South Side team. So you get an idea of how far away this convention center is from the heart of downtown. And the proximity to a pro baseball park also gives me the perfect excuse to use baseball terminology to review some of the hits and misses I found this year's conference in the City of Big Shoulders. Host city Grand slam for hotels choices, restaurants, entertainment, and bars. But it's a strikeout as a convention city when half your meetings are located 30-45 minutes away at hotels on Michigan Avenue. Even with the fantastic busway, an express lane that takes only convention busses from downtown hotels directly to McCormick Place, it took door-to-door, between the average shuttle wait time, at least 30 minutes because traffic clogs the arteries to the hotels. For me, that's just too much wasted time spent on a bus, even with all the technology we have in the palms of our hands today. Oh, and the weather sucks in November. 2018 Woman NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a Realtor from Columbia, Missouri was a refreshing sight as she stepped up to the plate at the annual new NAR President press conference to field reporter's questions. First, it's been way too long since NAR has had a woman president. Second, she's at least a generation younger than most of her predecessors. She came across as energetic, smart and politically savvy. She gave props to CAR's WomanUp, a powerful new Women's Initiative, and she laid out NAR's agenda for 2018. She adeptly fielded questions from reporters. She was hitting the questions reporters were throwing at her solidly. That was until Inman News' Bernice Ross threw a curveball at her. Bernice is spearheading a woman's initiative of her own. So she asked Mendenhall – since it's been so long since we've had an NAR female President – if she had specific plans to support women Realtors during her tenure at NAR. Elizabeth just stood there, and let that beautiful slow pitch Bernice threw at her sail over the middle of the plate and didn't swing. She just kind of froze and didn't have much of an immediate answer. She did rebound later, with one of my favorite quotes of the conference. She said, "Better decisions are made when diversity is at the table." That's so true. It's hard not to root for Elizabeth, as she has charisma, just like her dad, 2001 NAR President Richard Mendenhall. Economic Forecast Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, every year, hosts a press conference at NAR to give his forecast. This year he brought along Ken Rosen, chairman of Rosen Consulting Group and UC Berkeley's Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics. They just issued a joint white paper, "Rebuilding the American Dream: Strategies to Sustainably Increase Homeownership." No surprises in what he shared: inventory is bad, the tax bill is bad, Millennials are missing out on opportunities to own a home and build wealth and that's bad, income isn't increasing as fast as home prices and that's bad, affordability is getting worse and that's bad, the homeownership rate is being depressed as a result and that's bad, home builders need to build more middle class homes yet they make more money building higher end homes and because we're not getting inventory where we really need it that's bad, home prices are going to increase by 5.5 percent next year and because home prices are outpacing income that's bad, and he predicts mortgage rates climbing to 4.5 percent, which, if you ask first-time buyers, is also bad. If you were counting all the "bad" things he said as strikes, the bottom of the inning is over. Expo Explosion When I first become a young PR Turk for a bank (I really was pretty radical in the kind of things I created for them), I heard the saying, "When times are good, Realtors drive Mercedes, and when times are bad, they drive Toyotas – it's a feast or famine business." When I looked inside the entrance to the McCormick Place West Hall, the proof we are in a time of great feasting was evident and my jaw dropped. Good times, indeed. Massive exhibits by all the biggest brands and the newcomers who want to be a big brand. Rewind not too long ago and it looked, well, about as popular as a White Sox game midweek during a day game in mid-April. It's been years since an NAR Convention not only looked this good, but delivered business to companies exhibiting. Talking to exhibitors, such as the Denver-area based predictive lead analytics firm Revaluate (full disclosure: they invited our client, Lane Hornung, CEO of zavvie, to speak on HyperLocal marketing) as well as Tricia Stamper, who oversees Florida Realtors Tech Helpline, the traffic may have been a little light on Sunday morning, but before that, they told me what others also did: It was packed with some of the best booth traffic that exhibitors have seen in years as agents were eager to engage. Best OBP (On Base Percentage) goes to Homes.com. Their exhibit was pure marketing genius, as they found ways to attract, engage, reward, create stickiness, get return traffic—you name the Expo strategy, and they nailed it. A shoutout to my fellow NAREE member and marketing superstar Patty McNease at Homes.com for her role in this. My take is that over the last few years, Homes.com has really hit it out of the park. All you had to do was look around the corner at a completely empty Quicken Loans booth (except for their staff) and you could see the contrast. Reporters are back A funny thing happened on the way out of the Great Recession—travel budgets for reporters came back, and now they are able to make important away games like this. The NAR media reception, followed by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) dinner on Friday night had a terrific turnout, with familiar and fresh faces attending the annual installation of new officers. It was quite the bullpen: professional writers from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Atlanta Journal Constitution and a gaggle of folks from the host-city paper Chicago Tribune and Tribune Syndicate, including alumni Mary Umberger and Illyce (Think) Glink! And no rain delay for this game. Biggest Goose Egg of the Convention Uber and Lyft in Chicago should be sent back to the minor leagues to fix their problems. Is it the tall buildings that screw up the GPS? Probably, but not completely. The Lyft app has my hotel's address three blocks from where it actually is. I also watched as my Uber app moved my dot, the thing that's supposed to represent me, all over the map as I stood completely still on the street. It had my dot moving around 3 to 5 blocks in every direction nonstop. Also, apparently my drivers didn't look at the address I input. Not a single Uber or Lyft driver was able to pick me up and drop me off at the correct place. Either the pick up or the drop off was botched. It was if they were intentionally trying to strikeout. I took more than 10 trips in Chicago and I've used Lyft and Uber in more than a dozen cities. Chicago has the worst record in the league for rideshare. I asked many other people at NAR and they had the same experiences. I even started asking drivers and they admitted it's messed up. A big double zero on the scoreboard for Uber and Lyft in Chi-town. Cracker Jack event I am sure every NAR party was spectacular because Chicago excels at bars and restaurants, as long as you pick the right venues. MRED and CAR co-hosted a great opening bash, with the who's-who of the hyper-connected in attendance. They had all the bases covered with the spread they provided in a terrific place inside the Tribune building. But when I walked into the CoreLogic party a couple of nights later, it was off the hook. People were having way too much fun. Then again, for Realtors, there probably is no such thing as too much fun. Because when you work as hard as these folks do, they deserve to let their hair down and party hard in the dugout. After all, this is a winning year (financially) for the folks attending. We forget how many weekends, nights, birthday parties, sporting events and school plays are missed by agents working, trying to close a deal to make a better life for their families. I get that, so when I see the joy and celebratory atmosphere that I saw at the Hard Rock, I understand why the CoreLogic folks were grinning ear to ear. It felt like a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th against your archrival. Bottom line My kind of town, Chicago is (it's actually my hometown). But Frankie, it's just not major league caliber for what a national Realtor Convention needs, unless everyone is forced to hold every meeting at McCormick. Oh, and in November, the weather sucks. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
MORE >
What's on your NAR Chicago Checklist? A Pre-NAR must read
MORE >
10 Things to Do in Chicago During NAR Expo 2017
This week, 20,000 real estate professionals will travel to Chicago to check out the latest industry updates, build their networks, and discover tools and technologies to grow their businesses. After that, why not see the sights? Continue reading to hear about the top 10 things to do in Chicago during this year's NAR Convention!
MORE >
Takeaways from the REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles 2017
MORE >
Bigger Conferences Are Not Better
The real estate industry is going strong. It's healthy and vibrant, full of bloom and exciting change. As agents, brokers, MLSs, franchises, and tech firms explore a deeper understanding of the industry's best practices, they look to conferences to gain insights and meet the people that are powering new ideas. Conferences are good, and we attend a lot of them. Our annual conference tour includes two NAR conventions, two Inman Connects, CMLS, two RESO conferences, T3, RISMedia, and a variety of franchise, state AOR, LeadingRE, The Realty Alliance, 1000Watt, Clareity, and large AOR or MLS events. Yup – that is a lot of travel. If you add up the flight costs, hotel costs, convention fees, etc., it's expensive, especially when you have multiple people attending. I remember a conversation with the event manager at Trulia a few years ago before the Zillow deal. They were attending over 450 events a year at the time. Yikes! It's old school business development – belly to belly, burnin' shoe leather. With the economic rebound, these conferences have become overwhelming. When you have thousands attending a conference, it gets out of control. Hotels are sold out, restaurants are impossible, service everywhere is stressed out. But most importantly, you can go to conferences without seeing or meeting many of the people that you want to see. It's a struggle, not fun. I remember a few years ago when conference guru Brad Inman expanded ConnectSF to New York, London, and Miami. New York stuck, Miami and London did not. I think that Inman must feel the same as I do regarding conferences. His conferences have always had tracks, but he is building micro events at his Connect conferences now. This year, he is launching the Indie Broker Summit – a meeting for independent brokerage firms that will examine how they can pursue success and excellence in the wake of franchise domination. Also, Inman is returning to his roots for CEO Summit by returning to the site in Sonoma where it all started.
MORE >
2016 NAR Annual Moments and Musings
MORE >
Deducting Travel to Conferences and Seminars
Travel to business-related conventions, seminars, or similar meetings can be tax deductible. This can include deductions for your transportation, lodging, and 50 percent of your meal expenses while on business. Learn about how to do this, as well as some of the IRS restrictions. It is much easier to deduct trips to destinations that are within North America. Such trips need only be an "ordinary and necessary" expense to be deductible. That is, these trips must benefit your business in some way. Trips outside North America are deductible only if it was reasonable to hold the event in such a distant location. For example, it would be hard to deduct a convention for New York plumbing contractors held in Tahiti. For this reason, you should generally avoid attended business conventions outside North America. Fortunately, the IRS has recently expanded the definition of what constitutes "North America."
MORE >
NAR Annual: Looking for 2017 Trends, Tech and Tactics
MORE >
Your Last Minute Guide to NAR Annual
In just a few days, thousands of Realtors will descend upon Orlando, Florida for NAR's annual REALTORS® Conference and Expo. While NAR Annual is a great place to hear industry leaders speak and participate in educational sessions, don't forget about the educational opportunities available in the expo hall itself. That's right, within that maze of booths, agents and brokers can learn about new products--and also about the solutions you already use. While you're at NAR annual, take a moment to visit the booths of the tech vendors your brokerage works with. There, you can learn about important new developments, watch demonstrations, and even listen in on short talks about topics like impressing clients and closing deals. Here's a short list of tech company booths you can visit at NAR Annual (see the full list here). Each vendor also appears in our 2016-17 Technology Guide. Use the Guide as a resource to research vendors before approaching them at the conference. (And don't forget to use the Guide's handy lists of questions to ask when evaluating a solution--it can help you make better technology decisions!) Cloud CMA - Booth 1185 CoreLogic - Booth 1065 CRS Data - Booth 1747 DocuSign - Booth 419 Form Simplicity - Booth 753 Lone Wolf - Booth 465 Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) - Booth 609 Realtors Property Resource (RPR) - Booth 327 Sentrilock - Booth 765 Tech Helpline - Booth 753 WolfNet - Booth 792
MORE >
Top 10 Orlando Destinations to Visit During NAR Expo 2016
MORE >
Learn About RPR at the 2016 REALTORS Conference & Expo
It's hard to believe November is just about the corner, and that means one thing—it's time for the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. For those of you attending the conference this year, as you plan your schedule of events and prioritize your meetings, we want to make sure you are aware of a few RPR sessions and learning opportunities. Visit the RPR Booth / #327 Be sure to stop by the RPR booth (#327) in the NAR pavilion during convention hours. RPR staff will be around to answer questions and demo the RPR platform, the RPR app, and your questions. For REALTORS® RPR is always looking for ways to help REALTORS® become more efficient and profitable. Come and see Impressing Clients and Closing Deals with RPR ... Anytime, Anywhere on Friday, Nov. 4, 2PM, room W315 A, Orange County Convention Center West.
MORE >
5 Hot Trends in 2016 to Look for at NAR
MORE >
T-3 Summit: Another Swanepoel Masterpiece
As everyone knows, there is a plethora of industry conferences these days. Some serve as open markets for industry programs, products and services, while others serve as cultural gatherings for specific industry communities, and yet others serve as destinations for those whose annual budgets provide for a wide range of discretionary travel. Each services the needs of a specific industry constituency. Over the past three years, Stefan Swanepoel has become the Michelangelo of the real estate conference circuit and his T3 Summit has become its Sistine Chapel ceiling event. Swanepoel has achieved this status through innovative program design, quality production, the right attendance mix and attention to detail. This author has had an opportunity to be involved in the production of all three T3 events and is in an excellent position to share the wonderment of the "inside track" that makes T3 an astounding experience. Anyone who has ever experienced a Swanepoel presentation, publication or analysis can testify to the thoroughness and expertise that goes into its design and substance. The T3 Summit is the flagship of this standard. Swanepoel and his team spend months designing the T3 experience. By way of example, going into the initial planning for the 2015 event last fall, the Swanepoel team was tracking 23 specific and unique game changing issues. Over the three days of the 2015 T3 Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, participants and attendees had an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about the historic basis of each of these issues, plus another five that didn't even exist six months ago, their up-to-the-minute status and their likely destination over the next year. Each of these discussions incorporated the expertise of its own "recognized" industry thought leader(s), from a cast of 29 such experts, as well as the benefits of a superb facilitator who was responsible for the full range of each subject being developed.
MORE >
Following #LeadingRE 2015
MORE >
#ICNY Day 2: Rupert Murdoch, Big Data, and Beyond
The second full day of Inman Connect NY began with Rupert Murdoch's highly anticipated keynote speech. Murdoch offered a glimpse of what realtor.com may become under News Corp's guidance, including how he intends to grow the portal by promoting via News Corp's other media properties like the Wall Street Journal. Day two also saw other real estate luminaries like Trulia's Pete Flint and RE/MAX CEO Dave Liniger take the stage. We continued to follow the action today by keeping up with the conference's attendees via Twitter (see our coverage of day one here). See below for our compilation of the best tweets of the day. ### Rosemary Buerger - Why Realtor.com? It has the most up to date data and attracts transaction ready consumers via Rupert Murdoch #ICNY Ben Kinney - Rupert Murdoch to leverage media assets ie papers, tv, etc to grow realtor.com #ICNY @rupertmurdoch humble well spoken gentleman Chris Nichols - Is REALTOR.com the right name? "I think so, what the hell does Zillow mean? - @rupertmurdoch #ICNY .LUXURY - "Be ambitious, take risks, and don't be afraid of failure." - Rupert Murdoch #ICNY #wisewords Robert Gil - Rupert Murdoch on Move acquisition: "We don't want to replace agents; you are crucial" #ICNY" Ethan Beute - "We want the shortest distance between the American dream & a family's reality to be through @realtordotcom" - Rupert Murdoch #ICNY
MORE >
Are You Ready to Become a Predictive Farmer?
MORE >
Leadership Lessons from a Former U.S. President
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: Last month, I traveled to Dallas to join over 370 leaders of the real estate industry at the annual Gathering of Eagles conference. Sponsored by REAL Trends, the event is something I look forward to with great anticipation, but this year it was more amazing than I envisioned. While REAL Trends sponsored the keynote speaker, former President George W. Bush, Trulia and Market Leader hosted a special, private session with him. Whether the attendees agreed with President Bush's politics or not, I think Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends and the moderator of the question-and-answer session, sums up on his blog how many of us felt after the session: "The President shared some deeply personal thoughts and convictions of what great leaders do when confronted with unexpected challenges." In a nutshell, the former president identified three things that effective leaders do: Surround themselves with the right advisors. Benchmark all decisions around the mission or core values of the organization. Be prepared to make the right decisions, even if they might not be popular. The key takeaway for me and several other attendees was how we can apply the former president's leadership style to our individual circumstances.
MORE >
3 Surprising Revelations at the REALTOR® Party Convention
MORE >
The Keystone Cops Needed the Work
It was almost as if all the other things happening in the industry these days weren't enough to capture everyone's attention. Apparently some were searching for just one more things to fixate on. Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of the Realty Alliance, apparently provided that opportunity when, on October 4th, as a participant in a panel presentation entitled "Reducing Conflict Between Brokers and MLSs," during the Council of Multiple Listing Services meeting in Boise, he raised a number of unwelcome issues. Cheatham shared with the assembled MLS executives the fact that the members of the Realty Alliance had come to the conclusions that their often and specifically expressed concerns (this was the sixth year in a row that they had been expressed at a CMLS meeting) were falling on deaf ears, both at NAR and within the MLS community. In an attempt to ensure that his points were received this time, the 2013 message was delivered complete with a detailed list of very specific issues that the Realty Alliance was concerned about, and a very clear notice that the group would probably deliver another message during its Fall meeting in Boston later in October. Response to Cheatham's comments echoed like a fire alarm throughout the industry, and like a bomb blast through the blogosphere. Literally dozens of pages of blog posts appeared within 36 hours (when did blog posts turn into novels?). All matter of theories, acquisitions and counter acquisitions were raised. Responses ranged across three groups: those who wanted to attack the Realty Alliance, those who wanted to attack its message and those who were on their way to dinner.
MORE >
Rise to New Heights at NAR 2013
MORE >
The Eagles Gather, Learn, Share and Adapt
It was the 26th iteration of the Gathering of Eagles. The conference, a Real Trends 'by invitation only' conclave, is generally recognized as the premiere learning and networking event for those within the top 250 North American real estate brokerages. Real Trends entrepreneur and "Gathering" impresario Steve Murray set the tone during his opening. "We are here to learn and share together." Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHG), followed up and built on that theme with a creative facilitation of a panel of brokers from Atlanta, Houston, Boulder and Austin on the "New Generation Brokerage Business Model." The room was packed as Sherry, using the "Are You an Alpha or a Beta Brokerage?" title, carefully wove the comments of both the panel members and a number of brokers in the audience into a profile of what the new business model was going to look like. The discussion provided information regarding cultures that work in the new era, space allocations, the use of new media, branch staffing levels, emerging technologies, orchestrating company growth and leading edge customer service practices. The panel included both BHG brokers and non-BHG brokers. The industry should appreciate the fact that Sherry and BHG use sponsorship resources to bring valuable information and learning experiences to everyone in the industry, regardless of franchise or brand.
MORE >
REALTORS® Really Hitting It Off a Few Rows Back on Airplane
MORE >
NAR Midyear Highlights for Brokers
So many spectacular ideas, decisions, and movements arise out of events like NAR Midyear. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to attend – but the reality is that we can’t. That’s why I was so excited that the WAV Group took some time to share with me a presentation they’ve created to summarize NAR Midyear, with a special emphasis on the topics of interest to brokers.  I’m going to share a few of the key points here. 1) Articulating the value of NAR. Ways that NAR provides value to their membership include: HouseLogic A powerful social media presence - 300,000 “likes” on Facebook A radio show with 3.3 million listeners 2) An economic update. The point that really stood out to me here is “Sequestration,” which means that spending cuts go into effect automatically on January 1st, 2013, unless a new budget is passed. 3) A legal update. There are three main legal issues relevant to NAR right now: FHA and eSign – helping to gain acceptance of electronic signatures on REO properties Home warranty (legal case: Edwards v. First American) – Home warranties are not part of the closing costs and should not be considered as such under RESPA Qualified Mortgage Standards – Frank-Dodd needs to be cleaned up. 4) Political fundraising. As you know, NAR recently increased their dues $40 per member per year. One of the main objectives for this dues increase was to raise funds for political lobbying to support home ownership rights. There has been a shift in the focus of this lobbying, however, from candidates to issues. Quite simply, the political objective of NAR is to help fight for property owners.
MORE >
Product Review - IXACT Contact
MORE >
“Best of” for Inman Real Estate Connect
Some of the RE Technology team members and many of our friends in the industry are headed to NYC for Inman Connect. We spotted this helpful blog post on the Onboard Informatics blog. They give some suggestions for places to eat and things to see in NYC. Onboard Informatics would like to welcome you to our home base of New York City during the Inman Real Estate Connect conference from January 11 – 13, 2012. And, as the “Best Of” experts, we’d be remiss if we didn’t provide you with our recommended hotspots for those of traveling in for the conference. Best place to grab a slice of pizza: Bleeker Street Pizza “Thin and crispy crust…the way its supposed to be. And you’re likely to rub elbows with a celebrity.” ~ Ira Monko, Implementation Engineer Best place for a hot dog: Papaya King “Not Gray’s Papaya or Papaya Dog or any other fake “Papaya” knock-offs…The Original.” ~ Charlie Panoff, National Sales Manager
MORE >
My Brief Nostalgia on Inman Conferences
MORE >
Post-Conference Checklist
Ricardo Bueno of Diverse Solutions published this article several months ago and we covered it on RE Technology as well. I was thinking back to the excellent post as I drove home from the NAR conference in Anaheim yesterday. As I think many of you may be new to our site (and many of you attended the NAR event), I'm republishing it today. To view Ricardo's original post, click here. A lot goes on after a conference, especially a week-long event like Real Estate Connect San Francisco! But mostly, you just wanna get home, shower and sit or lay there and decompress. So many people, so little time, lots of knowledge consumed, connections made, follow up to get done! In this post, I wanted to offer you some suggestions for settling back in and making sure you're following up on everything you got out of the conference... 1. Send out emails & or make follow up calls – personally, I like to connect with folks on LinkedIn first and foremost (it serves as my digital rolodex and I use it frequently tho I also keep business cards; lots of 'em!). Of course we then connect in all of the other usual social media hotspots like: Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, etc. If you really wanna follow up and show 'em you care, nothing says so more than the sound of your voice on the other end of the line.
MORE >
23 Things To Do Before a Conference
MORE >
'Nimbility' at the National Council of State Housing Agencies Annual Conference in San Diego
We subscribe to the Down Payment Resource newsletter. We spotted this interesting article today: Steve Auger of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation was credited as the originator of the term “nimbility.” Bob Kucab, Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, quoted Auger while giving Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) a bit of a pep talk during a special session at the NCSHA conference called “Innovating Amid Adversity.” To be sure, the HFAs need some optimism during these challenging times and achieving “nimbility”, becoming nimble, creative, innovative and fearless is surely what’s needed in the face of today’s reality. However, the frequency in which the word “fear” came up at the conference was, well, a little frightening.  Whether as-in, “fear is a great motivator” or “overcome the fear of trying new things,” and “I don’t buy into fear—don’t let fear drive decisions,” fear was definitely on the minds of many speakers and panelists. And, understandably so, given the uncertainty about the future role of HFAs. During one of the last sessions, “Housing Finance of the Future,” Garth Rieman, Director Housing Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives for NCSHA, outlined various finance reform proposals crafted by House members that could drastically affect or even eliminate the ability of middle class households to finance homeownership in the future.
MORE >
Trade Show Kings and Queens
MORE >
Video: Real Estate Connect San Francisco
We had a blast at Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco. For me, the best part was getting to meet some of the wonderful people in our industry. I thought I'd share this experience with our readers, too. So, I hassled a few people with my handy Flip camera and made this video. Click on to the next page to watch.
MORE >
23 Things To Do Before a Conference
MORE >
Gear Up for Conference Season with the 2011 Buyer's Guide
Every year thousands of real estate professionals and the "who's who" of the real estate industry flock to attend national industry conferences from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. With top notch seminars, engaging networking events, and world-class trade shows, real estate conferences can help re-energize and direct your business. For thousands of professionals, the value far outweighs the cost. For an industry of extroverts, conference season is a juggling act for managing meetings, seminars, and social events. It's easy to overbook and get overwhelmed when faced with so many options.
MORE >