Earlier this week, Erica Ramus dished a few insights on why a realtor should consider attending the #NARLegislative Meetings and Trade Show each May in Washington D.C. in her post titled Take Me to DC! 3 Reasons to Attend the Meetings. Her rationale on all three points is 100% spot on.
#NARLegislative Meetings & Trade Show’s main drive may be the ability to connect with and have important industry related discussions with policymakers during Hill Visits or what I call a meeting of the minds during the 80+ committee meetings to hash out industry specific issues. It is truly amazing to see the work and collaboration that is accomplished in a matter of six days when realtors from every single state come together, can put their competitor differences aside and bond together to become one unified voice for the betterment of our industry and to advocate for homeowner property rights. What I find even more fascinating is how we come together with one common goal often as strangers, but over the course of the week we end up like lifelong friends or family.
Every year when I attend a real estate industry or a technology event either inside or outside the borders of Texas, I am often asked why I spend the money to attend or time away from my business and family. My response to those local and national colleagues is that they will never completely comprehend the value return on the monetary and time investment unless they check it out for themselves. Of course, I could save a few hundred bucks and a whole lot of time traveling to the event locale by follow along online via blog posts and social streams, but I would be missing out one very important key component, PEOPLE. What drives me personally to trek to local, state or even national events such such as the #NARLeglative Meetings & Trade Show are the genuine face to face conversations and the connections I make with colleagues I’ve never met or have connected with online socially for months or years. It is evident based on our actions, we have the same mission for attending – to collaborate, connect and cultivate our friendships long after the event is over.
Often times the biggest take away does not immediately impact your business, but rather it positively impacts your life first then delivers professional benefits down the road. Taking the time to connect face to face free of electronic devices makes you realize how important deeply rooted relationships with people actually are. Without these people and connections, we wouldn’t have a business to speak of. This week, I witnessed three separate instances where hundreds of people were stopped in their tracks. The first happened the moment we arrived at the gate at Reagan National Airport and the flight crew requested all passengers to remain seated, but then asked the families of the fallen police officers onboard to deplane first. The entire plane applauded for the families who had lost a loved one. This morning I trekked across the city with Karalyn Hoefer from Lincoln, Nebraska to further connect and soak in the surroundings/amazing architecture. When we arrived at the Washington Monument we were greeted by a police officer blocking off the roadway. A few minutes later the Presidential motorcade breezed by on the way to the Fallen Police Officers Ceremony. The last happen as I arrived at Reagan National Airport for my trip back to Austin, Texas. Upon arriving at the wing where my gate was located, I saw hundreds of travelers not moving an inch then I heard everyone all begin to clap. A few minutes later approximately 50 Vietnam Veterans deplaned at the gate I was about to depart from. As the Veterans saw the crowds not moving an inch, applauding, cheering and often giving hand shakes or sneaking a high five, many shed a few tears and other began to smile.
While this take away does not immediately impact my real estate business, I know the experience will contribute to my personal growth and me being a better person, professional and volunteer leader and this is why I take the time to attend industry related and technology conferences and events throughout the year.