There are a lot of real estate industry conferences coming up, and they are a great opportunity for agents, brokers, and the staff at franchises, MLSs, and associations to network, learn, and let off a little steam. Most pros agree that there’s just something about being in a room full of people who just get what you do—the energy is palpable and exhilarating, and once people find their favorite conferences, they’ll return year after year!
In this post, we’re sharing 15 tips from the Constellation1 events team on how to make the most of these real estate conferences, seminars, and trade shows and make sure you get your money’s worth.
One major reason to attend industry events is—they’re fun! Organizers usually choose fun locations you might not otherwise have a chance to visit where the weather is warm and the sun is shining.
But beyond just being fun, industry events are a great opportunity to up your game and become a better professional. How?
Oh, and did we mention that the cost of attending real estate conferences is tax deductible?
All pros know that preparation is the key to success. You wouldn’t try to sell someone’s home without adequately preparing every detail of the listing, and you shouldn’t show up at a real estate conference without doing some preparatory work ahead of time.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare for a real estate event:
Truth be told, once the event starts, you won’t have time to read every session description, pick which ones you want to attend, plan your lunch hour, or know which night the most exciting mixer is on. Take time before you get there to check the schedule, plan out where you want to go and what you want to learn, and how you’ll spend your evenings. You’ll be glad when you don’t accidentally double-book yourself!
Will your former mentor be attending? What about your best work friend from your very first real estate job? Or a content creator or blogger whose advice you really admire? If you see they are attending and want to meet up, connect with them well in advance. Their schedule, like yours, will fill up quickly, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to keep your best relationships strong and make your new ones stronger.
Real estate seminars and conventions would not be the same were it not for the networking. Make time to meet new people (both during and outside of the main event) by attending at least one networking event and one “extra” event, which could be a company cocktail party, special happy hour, or offsite dinner.
We’ve all been there: you’re unpacking your suitcase at the hotel and find out you forgot your business cards, brought the wrong box, or thought you had 500 but only have five. Have extras printed well in advance of the event or consider switching to a near-field communication (NFC) digital business card that lets you share your contact information and social profiles by simply tapping it to someone’s phone. They are a game changer!
Some conference venues (we’re looking at you, Las Vegas!) are built like mazes, so it can be a huge help to take a walk around before you have to be anywhere so you can locate where the conference rooms, session rooms, exhibit hall, coffee stations, restrooms, and any other important locations are, so that once the event really starts, you don’t wind up getting lost.
You’ve planned, you’ve prepared, and now… you’re there! What’s the secret to getting the most out of industry events so you can say it was worth the trip? Here are some tips:
Carpe diem, seize the day, smell the roses… however you want to call it. Most industry events are short-lived. In a couple days, you’ll be back to business as usual. So, take advantage! Say yes to the opportunities that come your way, speak up when you have something to say, ask that engaging presenter your burning question, and invite that nervous-looking person at the water cooler into your conversation. You’ll want to return home knowing you did everything you wanted, not wishing you had done more. That said…
Don’t spread yourself too thin! You don’t have to do everything. Make sure you take a little time for yourself, so you can recharge your batteries. Skip a session and go for a walk outside, meditate in your room, or take a morning jog. Some events even have morning yoga to help you start your day off on the right foot. If you’re rested and relaxed, you’ll enjoy the event that much more.
Sure, exhibitors are there to sell you stuff. But they’re also there to help you solve your biggest challenges and provide useful tools that let you work smarter, not harder. They’re usually great conversationalists and they tend to have great (free!) swag for you to take home with you. So, go check out that CRM, that Digital Marketing Suite, that Relocation platform, and ask questions to your heart’s content. You might be surprised by what you learn!
Maybe you have no interest in artificial intelligence, listing data refresh rates, agent recruitment and retention, or social media strategy. But finding a session that’s outside of your normal market, niche, or area of expertise gives you a valuable opportunity to learn something completely new and meet people you otherwise might not have met. Sometimes, you find gems in unexpected places.
Chatting over a croissant, inviting yourself to lunch, attending a happy hour or speed networking session, grabbing coffee in the exhibit hall… you never know where you’ll meet someone who can help you out or teach you something new.
Even if you don’t usually “do” social media, sharing about what you’ve learned, whom you’ve met, and how you’re feeling is a great way to connect with other attendees, the conference organizer, sponsors, and all of your colleagues around the country who couldn’t make it. You can build strong relationships, both in person and virtually, and demonstrate that you care about networking, continuing education, and being an active participant in the industry.
Even after you’ve said your goodbyes and made your way back home, much of the work you can do to get an even better return out of your real estate conference investment has only just begun. Here are three ways to keep the momentum going and leverage your attendance even more:
If you did your conference right, you definitely met a ton of people! Don’t lose touch: add them on social media, especially LinkedIn, and send them a warm message about how great it was to meet them. Offer to help them if they need anything, and hopefully they’ll reciprocate.
Blogging is a great way to grow your real estate business, whether you’re a broker/owner, agent, or MLS/association staff. Blogs drive organic traffic to your website and give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and share everything you learned. Consumers will be glad to know you’re staying up on industry trends. MLS members will be happy that their MLS is making continuing education a priority.
Maybe most importantly of all, apply what you learned! You probably attended at least one session about streamlining your brokerage, selling houses smarter, reducing operating costs, mastering social media, using AI to write listing descriptions, or future-proofing your business. Implementing these insights will be the best way to reap long-term benefits from attending your conference, benefits that you’ll feel for years to come.
Not sure about what events you might want to attend? Here are some events where you’ll find a member of the Constellation1 team in the coming weeks and months! We’ll keep this list updated as regularly as we can.
If you’re interested in talking with a Constellation1 expert, you don’t need to wait to cross paths with us at an event! Request a callback anytime and one of our team members will get back to you.
October 3–5, 2023, New Orleans, LA (link)
October 15–18, 2023, Philadelphia, PA (link)
October 23–26, 2023, San Diego, CA (link)
Oct 23–25, 2023, Fort Worth, TX (link)
November 14–16, 2023, Anaheim, CA (link)