Last Updated on November 18, 2022
For the past 12 years I’ve attended and had the honor to present on a variety of topics at the yearly NAR conference. While I’m there I always try to bring back as many takeaways for our Agent Inner Circle community as I can… but this year was different.
Usually my favorite takeaway comes from a class I attended, a question I’m asked, or maybe even a booth I visit at the expo, however this year my biggest takeaway came from a hurricane. (Don’t worry, I’m including my other takeaways too.)
An Industry-Wide Commitment
The hurricane I’m referencing isn’t a metaphor, I’m actually talking about Hurricane Nicole that hit Florida during the conference. What was amazing wasn’t the storm itself, it was watching everyone, myself included, scramble to fly in early in order to attend the conference during a hurricane!
I’ve known for a long time that our industry is filled with dedicated and passionate people, but braving a hurricane to keep pushing our industry forward gives a new perspective on how far many of us will go to support the American Dream of homeownership.
Takeaways from My Sessions
Now that we’ve covered my takeaway from the circumstances, let’s dive into the conference itself and discuss the more practical items you can use in your everyday business.
I had the honor of presenting two sessions at this year’s conference – the first was a session for The Residential Real Estate Council (RRC/CRS), and the second was my main session for NAR, on the key topic of inclusivity.
Don’t Worry, We Aren’t Going to Hack You…
For RRC, my friend Craig Grant and I did a live hacking demo. We showed the audience just how easy it is to compromise their phones over WiFi using a $120 device that’s publicly available on the Internet, and a point and click interface with no coding required.
We then shared a few incredibly simple things the audience could do to protect themselves, but these are all strategies we’ve covered on Agent Inner Circle before. The biggest takeaway wasn’t the solutions themselves. What everyone seemed to take away from that class was that they needed to get rid of the mentality that “it couldn’t happen to me”, and start taking some time to educate themselves and implement these strategies into their business.
The article I linked above is certainly a helpful starting point, but I couldn’t hope to cover the entirety of this topic in one article. That’s why Craig Grant, Juanita McDowell and I created an in depth course for RRC on Data Security that will become a designated certification in 2023. If you’re interested in booking the course, please feel free to reach out.
How To Write Inclusive and Impactful Content
For NAR, I created an entirely new presentation on How to Write Inclusive and Impactful Content, and the biggest takeaway from it was quite different from the live hacking demo.
I covered our use of language, and how we can ensure that we’re writing content that speaks to everyone, while simultaneously improving the impact the language has. As I hoped, this turned into an incredible conversation among the audience that elevated all of our understanding.
After the session, and over the following days, members of the audience shared many things they took away from the class, but overall I noticed 2 main takeaways:
- The majority of people in our industry have the best of intentions, but may not understand the full impact of the language they’re using.
- With a simple strategy for writing objectively and choosing words with empathy, every agent can successfully write property descriptions, ads, or any other content that is both inclusive and impactful.
I couldn’t hope to cover this entire strategy in a synopsis, but if you’d like an encore presentation as a class or webinar through AIC – please let me know in the comments below.
Sessions I Attended
Beyond presenting, I had the opportunity to attend some awesome sessions and I’ve brought back my best takeaways.
Life Changing Habits
In the opening session for the event, Jay Shetty shared a number of life changing habits he and others have used to reach the level of success and awareness that they have today. During this discussion, he shared his acronym for TIME, which perfectly sums up the core habits he’s built into his everyday life, and those he suggests everyone adopts:
- Meditation or Mindfulness
Working with Today’s Hyper Connected Consumer
In my friend Craig Grant’s session on Working with Today’s Hyper Connected Consumer, he covered how and why consumers are changing in their needs, expectations, patience, and loyalty, and what a Real Estate agent can do to ensure they are adapting at the same pace.
What was super interesting to me, is even through all of the changes that Craig went over he summed things up by saying – “at the end of the day, building and maintaining relationships with your clients, friends and family is still the most important thing to connect with the Hyper Connected Consumer.”
For those that follow our blog, or are already successfully using Service For Life! to connect with your sphere of influence, I’m sure this strategy falls in line with what you’re doing.
How to Use Canva for Real Estate
The next takeaway came from my friend Marki Lemons, who did a spectacular job covering Canva. She went over the essentials for working with the tool to build a brand and a number of great templates any agent can use, but my favorite nugget was a bit more conceptual in nature.
Marki included a short note about balancing your professional brand with your personal marketing. This is a great point, and a distinction a lot of agents need to keep in mind. Canva can be an awesome tool for developing a sleek brand, but it doesn’t replace all of your personal marketing touches. As always, wise words from Marki.
The REALTOR® Expo
When it comes to The REALTOR® Expo, it’s always interesting to see if I can find things that are innovative and might change the ways we do business. This year I saw 2 such candidates:
Productive (productive.app) is a tool which essentially helps with all of the calls you’re already making. It allows you to record and transcribe your calls, automate the creation of notes and tasks from them, and automatically log the records to your existing CRM.
Each one of these items individually may not revolutionize the way you make calls, but as a complete package it streamlines the process for what would otherwise be manual data entry – definitely worth checking out.
Robot Ink Marketing
Robot Ink Marketing lets agents mass produce what look like handwritten letters, cards and even envelopes – but they are actually created by machines!
If you already use Service For Life!, you know that personalized marketing is the most effective marketing, and Robot Ink Marketing’s technology has the ability to take it one step further by putting pen to paper for you!
I had the opportunity to speak with their Founder & CEO about creating an integration between Robot Ink Marketing and Service For Life!, so agents can use our templates to easily create handwritten-style content, so be on the lookout for this integration in 2023!
On To 2023!
The NAR Conference provides a great way to recap the previous year, and an opportunity to set some of your priorities straight for the year ahead. As we move into 2023, know that you are part of a deeply dedicated industry that is focused on innovation, accessibility and inclusion, which makes me believe we are all moving in the right direction.