6-minute read Updated on December 1, 2023 Published on September 20, 2023

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 dothe 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.

Why should real estate professionals attend industry events?

One major reason to attend industry events isthey’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?

How real estate conferences help you be better

  • You can forge stronger relationships.

    Real estate is a relationship-driven business. What better way to forge new relationships and strengthen old ones than at a real estate industry event? You can see former colleagues, find a new mentor, and even rub elbows with industry legends!
  • You can learn new things.

    With so many real estate industry experts in one place giving talks, teaching workshops, sharing their insights, and revealing the tricks of their trade, you are bound to learn something new. Have you wanted to break into luxury real estate? Relocation? Rentals? Or any other niche you’ve always wanted to know about? Industry events are great places to learn from the pros. Both independent and franchise broker/owners can learn how to optimize their operations and manage their teams better, and MLSs/associations can learn more about what their members really need (and what other MLSs are doing).
  • You can stay up to date on the latest real estate tech developments.

    Our industry is evolving at the speed of light, and so is the technology that powers it. Attending industry events lets you hear right from the innovators making the technology about the challenges they’re solving, their product roadmaps, and how developments like artificial intelligence (AI) are changing what they do.

Oh, and did we mention that the cost of attending real estate conferences is tax deductible?

How can real estate professionals best prepare for industry events?

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:

Review the agenda, sessions, and any “extra curriculars” in advance

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!

Check the attendee list and set up meetings with people you’d really like to meet

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.

Plan on attending at least one networking event and one extra-curricular event

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.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of business cards (or a snazzy digital business card) with you

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!

Walk through the venue once when you arrive to get your bearings

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.

While you’re there: getting the most out of real estate conventions

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:

Take advantage of the moment

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…

Pace yourself

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.

Peruse the exhibit hall at least once

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!

Attend at least one “weird” session

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.

Seize at least one networking opportunity per day

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.

Engage on social media

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.

Leveraging industry events after you’ve returned home

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:

Follow up with the people you met

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.

Write a short blog about the event for your website

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.

Put what you learned into practice

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.

Upcoming events we’re attending

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.

Get in Touch

CMLS Conference

October 3–5, 2023, New Orleans, LA (link)

MBA Annual Conference and Expo

October 15–18, 2023, Philadelphia, PA (link)

RESO Fall Conference

October 23–26, 2023, San Diego, CA (link)

T3 Tech Summit

Oct 23–25, 2023, Fort Worth, TX (link)

NAR NXT, The Realtor Experience

November 14–16, 2023, Anaheim, CA (link)