The National Association of REALTORS convention and EXPO is without a doubt one of the largest and most attended real estate events of the year. This years attendance was around 24,000 according to NAR on-site sources. My favorite part of the event is the EXPO. There are literally hundreds of vendors covering every possible product, tool, technology, and service, and this year was no exception.
Here are just a few of my Takeaways, tips, and a Re-Cap from NAR 2011.
Tom Ferry came and hung out with us at the Zillow booth giving away and autographing what seemed like thousands of his best selling books "Life By Design!" I finally got one for myself too, thanks Tom. The book provides 6 essential steps to creating and delivering an extraordinary you. The line seemed never-ending but Tom just kept smiling and signing as he met and greeted every single person that came by our booth.
Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency who is also a Premier Agent on Zillow and a regular on Real House Wives of Beverly Hills, stopped by to share some of his ideas and innovations along with some BIG plans for his Real Estate future. Mauricio couldn't help but be noticed by so many fans and friends and of course spent a great deal of time taking photos and signing autographs. Take a look at Mauricio's $55,000,000 dollar listing.
As I walked around the EXPO floor, there were hundreds of booths and vendors sharing their wares and products. The Scarf King was rocking it right along with Kathy's jewelry, just as they always do. There were tons of mobile tech tools, plenty of website designers, MLS & IDX tools, software products, and so much tons more.
Wells Fargo and Chase looked like they had opened branch stores right there on the EXPO floor.
So this year, rather than get overwhelmed and allow myself to be morphed into one of those bobble-head dolls from information over-load, I decided to focus on my own personal overview of the entire event. I feel fortunate that I was able to interview many of the attendees this year and visit nearly every booth.
Here are 5 important things that really stood out to me by the time I had to leave.
These might seem simple and basic, but it's some of THE BEST fact gathering from NAR I can impart.
1. The Real estate Industry and EVERY business within it MUST BE MOBILE and MUST incorporate mobile device technology. Marketing and advertising on the mobile platform is NOT OPTIONAL anymore if you want to survive in business today. Period!
2. Your websites and blogs must be mobile friendly. Don't have QR Codes that link to your site from a users mobile device that land them on a standard non-mobile website that they can't view or read. (Believe it or not, this is more common than you might think) Go Look at your sites or Blogs right now and see.
3. Response time to online contacts/leads is the most critical piece of your business today. It only takes seconds to get a lead, and it only takes minutes to lose them forever. Answer your phone whenever possible and respond to email within 2-3 minutes, even if you have to let them know you'll get back to them later.
4. There are two types of people out there, those that know you, and those that don't. The ones that don't use Google so GET SEO! Also use sites like Zillow, ActiveRain and others where people are researching REAL ESTATE. My father always told me to fish where the Fish are, not where I think they are or where I think they should be.
5. ALWAYS use a GOOD CRM to manage and follow-up with your contacts, prospects, and past clients. There is no way to manage your business efficiently and effectively without the most important tool of all, your CRM!!!
Lastly, don't think you need to have and use every tool, technology, app, software, etc on the web. Don't try and be everything for everybody on every site and social network. Find the right IDX tools and sites that help you cultivate contacts and connect with prospects. Make sure you have GREAT capturing tools in place. Constantly and consistently keep sharpening your people and conversion skills, it's an art to be mastered.
Visit http://www.narconferencelive.com for LIVE NAR Conference updates, videos, and photos etc. Also search Twiiter.com with the hashtag #NARannual to see all the ongoing tweet streams. We'll be at NAR 2012 in Orlando Florida. We have some cool surprises in the works for next year so I hope you can be there too.