By Jessica Hickok, 2009 NAR Conference Blogger
It’s Sunday, day 3 of the annual conference here in beautiful San Diego, and I can’t help but think I don’t want it to end…however, I’m really excited to get back to work!
Every year that I have attended the NAR Annual Conference and Expo, I always find it to be a huge shot in the arm. A shot of motivation, a shot of confidence in what I do, and a huge shot of ambition to become even better.
I have put together a list of my personal top 5 highlights of the conference this year and find it to be reason enough to plan on attending next year’s conference.
1. Networking with your peers and colleagues is invaluable.
I have attended some fabulous parties and tweet-ups and learned so many new things about how my fellow REALTORS® balance things with their personal and business life. It’s always fun to meet your online friends in real life.
2. I found out that Transaction Desk is going mobile!
The Expo trade show floor is huge and I have found some new alternatives to managing our office listings and contracts. One thing that I’m super excited about is that Transaction Desk by Instanet Solutions is bringing their stuff to the mobile device! Talk about time saver!
3. I Crossed Something Off My Bucket List.
Speaking for the first time at NAR was a huge accomplishment and opportunity for me. One of the best things you can do to learn more for yourself is to teach what you know to someone else. Again, talking with colleagues is all about sharing and learning. During our property management session, we received so many questions from others that it got us thinking and planning new ideas for the way we run our business. Thank you guys for contributing to our session!
4. I saw the Priceline Negotiator!
Granted, I didn’t get to actually meet William Shatner in person because of the time crunch I was on, but I did get to see him and snap his picture from approximately 10 feet away. NAR does a great job of setting up things to where you don’t feel excluded if you have something else that you need to get done.
5. I love what I do and I believe in the NAR organization all that much more.
It may sound cheesy, but I get all pumped up about what I do from discovering new things. And that is the biggest highlight. I’m proud to call myself a REALTOR® because it is a brand that I believe in and that has treated me, and 19,000 others, very well over the last four days. Can’t wait to see you all next year!
Jessica Hickok, a self-proclaimed blogging and Twittering fanatic, is with Dizmang Properties in Springfield, Mo. Visit Jessica’s blog: www.jessicahickok.com.
By Erica Christoffer and Katie Tarbox, REALTOR® Magazine
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) had a lot to celebrate at their annual networking event this year, which was held at the chic pool deck of the Hotel Solamar and sponsored by NAR Community Affairs, HP, HouseLogic, and the Center for REALTOR® Technology.
More than 300 young professionals attended the event, which featured wine, mini-sliders, and sweet bites of dessert. Members of YPN, which is targeted to REALTORS® under the age of 40, came from across the country to share business ideas and optimistic predictions for 2010.
YPN manager Rob Reuter honored Minneapolis with the 2009 Chapter of the Year Award. Houston and Missouri were honorable mentions. Jared James, the Web Choice for REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30, was also acknowledged.
Additionally, winners of the Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) Spotlight Awards were recognized at the event. Tina Merrit, the director of training at Virginia-based firm Long and Foster, won her Spotlight Award in the category of Advocate. As the creator of Wolkia, a real estate technology resource, Merrit’s focus is education.
Ed DeRosa, director of technology at the Florida Association of REALTORS®, received the Spotlight Innovator award. DeRosa saved the association $150,000 through his video conferencing and webinar series initiative. Brandon Rodriguez, a practitioner in Dallas, Texas, was honored in the Pioneer category. He successfully created a virtual office that competes with the bigger firms in his market.
Taqi Rizvi, chief technology officer at the Houston Association of REALTORS®, won the Visionary award. He created one of the first MLS public Web sites in the country, HAR.com, and led a team to implement more than 100 practitioner and consumer tools.
Photos by Kevin Berne
By Dawn Miller, 2009 NAR Conference Blogger
If you didn’t have a chance to go to the YPN reception last night, you missed out! The rooftop of Hotel Solamar was packed as early as 6:30 p.m. when YPNers from across the country met to introduce each other, share, and exchange ideas.
If you did go, I hope we had a chance to meet! Start looking for #ypn and #joinypn on Twitter to help find your fellow YPN REALTORS®. We’ll be able to do more networking, socialize, and maybe even send a referral back or forth.
By this time in the conference you have probably been going nonstop. From meeting to forums, to the expo and receptions. Recharge your batteries tonight, because tomorrow I want to take you on a trip around the world!
Don’t leave the conference without meeting some fellow international REALTORS® tomorrow at the International Networking Center found on the international side of the expo. There will be many networking times throughout the day to meet REALTORS® from many different countries as early as 10 a.m.
Don’t forget to visit my friends Claudette and Roberto at Playa Boninta Beach Residences booth and Luis with Boomers Abroad. I had the opporunity to meet them in July during an International Real Estate Expo in Dominican Republic. As you’re leaving the international side of the expo, take some time to visit with Amanda Dykes at the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing booth where they have incredible opportunities to mix luxury home marketing and International real estate together!
By Nobu Hata, 2009 NAR Conference Blogger
Friday night’s NAR/YPN get-together was unlike any other REALTOR event I’d ever been to. Members of 47 national chapters networking, talking shop, and bouncing questions off each other, not to further their business, but to further their YPN cause both locally and nationally. A group of people taking this new, open, collaborative model of real estate to the next level for the betterment of our industry. ”Our” industry. Who’d have thunk that?
Membership and sponsorship drives? Well, yeah.
Local media and PR relations advice? Seriously?
YPN model collaboration? Yes, please.
Educational curriculum sharing? Please do!
Local and national political action? Tell me more.
I don’t remember hearing one iota of “me” the whole night; it was “us” and “we.” It was a decidedly un-REALTOR like evening.
My Minneapolis YPN chapter was voted Chapter of the Year for 2009. I was stoked. Honored. Less than 24 hours later, however, I can’t help but think that this award is a testament to a group of current and future real estate leaders, who at critical mass started setting the blueprint for the future of our industry.
So I urge all of you on the fence about YPN, get on board! Get involved! We’re getting stronger, and we’re not going away.
By Brian Copeland, 2009 NAR Conference Blogger
This week in San Diego, I had an opportunity to interview three YPNers about the biggest challenge they face going into 2010. Here are the results:
Agree or disagree? Answer in the Web poll below. What is YOUR biggest challenge?
By Brian Copeland, 2009 NAR Conference Blogger
Coming from one of the “land locked” states, Tennessee, I sometimes forget the perks of coming to a place like San Diego. As the sun rose over the bay outside my hotel this morning (a rarely seen site for me since I’m a late sleeper and this time change is killing me), I reminded myself of the opportunities I need to take-in while I’m here.
1. Architecture: Walking from the Holiday Inn to the Westin this morning, I had to take pause at the the Spanish influenced buildings that seem to just pop up. On your walk from session to session, hotel to hotel or cocktails to dinner, don’t forget to look around and check out San Diego’s amazing architecture.
2. Public Transportation: As a REALTOR, I also see myself as a city/county advisor. Oftentimes, I find myself called by a media outlet or a public official to ask my opinion on something. Take this opportunity to sample San Diego’s public transportation (rail and bus) to articulate the pros and cons when you are called on for input in your city. I’m amazed at the convenience to get from downtown to the staple Fashion Valley Mall (home of the Apple Store). The bus makes it super easy to get to from the airport to any hotel near NAR for approximately $2.00. Any city like Nashville, Louisville, Charlotte or Kansas City can take cues from a city with a strong mass transit.
3. Eat Seafood: The lobster and steak I had last night on the bay would have cost me EASILY $50+ back home in Nashville. Accessible oceans don’t rise every day outside my town! $24 later, I’m full…uh…really full of yumminess from the sea. When you’re tempted to order your normal chicken and salad, don’t forget you can actually afford fresh seafood here.
As we “Chart A Winning Course” over the next few days together, I thought the site outside my hotel window was a great way to symbolize the time, the huge cruise ship. While we’re technically not on vacation, you still have the chance to live it up like you’re on a cruise and learn from those you normally don’t see. I can’t wait!
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
For those of you who will be attending the 2009 REALTOR® Conference and Expo in San Diego, there’s going to be a really exciting and valuable forum entitled “Diversity, Youth and Politics” on Friday, Nov. 13 that you’re not going to want to miss. The forum will address how Millennials and Gen X’ers have impacted political campaigns, have influenced American culture, and are changing our organizations and the way we do business.
The forum will feature Heather Smith, executive director from Rock the Vote, and Pete Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute think tank and strategy center. The forum is being co-hosted by NAR’s YPNs. And our very own Keith Kanemoto, 2005 “30-Under-30″ winner and past president of the Longmont, Colorado Board of REALTORS®, will give his views on involving younger REALTORS® in our associations’ work now rather than later, and incorporating fresh, technologically-savvy ways younger members prefer to do business.
The last half of the session will be an intergenerational, town hall discussion. We will discuss how we can collaborate as an organization to involve younger members, Rock the REALTOR® Party and make your voice heard on legislation impacting the real estate industry.
RSVP now and read more about our speakers: http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/ypn
“Diversity, Youth and Politics” will be held on Friday, Nov. 13, from 8:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m., in the San Diego Convention Center, room 4, upper level. Plan to arrive early, as seating will be limited. We hope to see you there!