I don't get to out of town conferences much. I eat up local stuff, like the New York City REBar camp, two Raincamps and those sorts of things, yes, but I have yet to go to NAR or other more far away events because it is hard to get away. One pilgrimage I am making for the third time, however, is Triple Play in Atlantic City, a joint convention of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Realtor Associations. The simple reason is that it is a chance to shift from working "in" my business to working "on" my business.
In 2009 I came down for a day to check it out. I hardly recall the sessions I attended, but I did run into the triumvirate of Scott Forcino, Stephen Fells, and the late great Joe Ferrara, all of whom I knew from a few sessions at the Lucky Strikers Social Media Club. I was relatively new to real estate blogging, and Joe, whom I considered a celebrity, was complimentary of my writing. WOW!! I ended up staying the duration and spending quite a chunk of time with those three, and I took a renewed commitment to my writing from the event. Sometimes, the best part of a professional convention is the conversation you have in the hallway or over a beer. That was where the red meat was for me that year.
Last year I returned, this time to soak up as much as I could from the sessions. I got to experience Nicole Nicolay, Darryl Davis, Bill Lublin, and Amy Chorew among others, all of whom were simply awesome. I broke bread with Patrick Healy, Joe Sheehan, and Dawn Bricker, all of whom I consider friends. The Keynote speaker, Stuart Varney, was absolutely electrifying. It was another excellent experience where I took tools back to my business and applied them.
I am proud of the results since that week. While so many firms are closing or merging with larger enterprises, our firm has grown to 26 licensees. Barring a catastrophic collapse of pending transactions, I will personally, for the 5th year in a row, close over 40 deals and qualify for my association's highest sales award. In a depressed industry where progress seems borne of trench warfare, these are good things to note.
The point is not that one conference provides an epiphany that works magic. It is that learning and a commitment to understanding new things and skills is crucial to survival, growth and staying ahead of the curve. That is one of the reasons why I am so against the New York State exemption from continuing education for brokers no matter how many years they have been active, and why I drove 3 hours in the fog last night to get here.
Learn, apply, adopt and adapt. Rinse, repeat. I am eager to discover what I can take back home and use to help grow my company and make more clients happier.