Aristotle’s quote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” rings as true today as it did then.
That is my most valuable takeaway from the 2017 NAR Conference and Expo held in Chicago this month. Coming together with REALTORS® from all across the country, one realizes we all face the same issues. Networking and listening to the advice from those who have found solutions to some is priceless. Plus, my fellow attendees’ energy and excitement was infectious!
I can’t possibly touch on all of the informative and engaging events from the four-day conference, but here are some of the highlights:
The conference addressed very important issues affecting both homeownership and REALTORS®. If you want an in-depth analysis, visit NAR’s website to learn more and read the REALTORS® Statement on Senate Tax Reform Bill.
NEW NAR PRESIDENT
It’s not all work and no entertainment, though! A highlight was the installation of Elizabeth Mendenhall of Columbia, Missouri, as the 2018 President of the National Association of Realtors. Both Missourians and Kansans are familiar with Elizabeth’s name, and to have this Midwesterner as the leader of NAR is exciting. And believe me — there were celebrations at several of local receptions.
And speaking of receptions, there was no way I was able to fit in all o tehm, but I did attend the RPAC Major Investors Reception held at the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair). That bit of information is a bright shiny object that could take me off in another direction, but I will stay on track and let you know it was a marvelous place to hold the reception. The museum was closed to the public, and we were able to take in all the exhibits. As fun as it was, Julie Horseman, my co-pilot on the flight simulator, and I learned firsthand we need to stick with our current occupation!
Some of my favorite trainers, like David Knox, Jackie Leavenworth, Brian Buffini and Ed Hatch, conducted classes. You had to be early to get a seat — it was not uncommon to have a full house and the sessions closed.
Michael Phelps delivered a great program as guest speaker at the General Session and was available for photo ops at the NAR booth at the Expo. A lot goes on in the General Session — see for yourself here.
The Expo encompassed 100,000 square feet and hosted no less than 437 booths. There was no fear of reaching your steps. The booths peddled everything and anything even slightly related to real estate. The Infinity Massage Chair was a little of a stretch to me, but that didn’t prevent me from trying it out. My favorite booth was hosted by the NAR CRT Lab, which “tracks emerging technologies that will affect real estate, educates its members, advocates for the proper use of technology and innovates when there is a gap between what is needed and what is available.” Their work is fascinating to me.
You may be wondering, “Why should I care? Why would I go? What’s in it for me?” My answer is that it is paramount to your success as a real estate professional to get face-to-face with likeminded professionals, learn about the issues and trends that will affect REALTORS® and homeowners and become better educated to work through these issues. Plus, you’ll have a little fun while you’re at it!