When the Conference Calls: Taking Advantage of the Opportunity to Travel
Real estate agents travel all the time for their jobs. Within their market area, agents spend many hours of the day travelling from house to house, city to city, and county to county meeting with clients, showing houses to potential buyers, and attending closings.
But real estate agents can benefit from travelling outside of their own market area, as well. Though you might not be selling houses in places like San Francisco, Miami, New York, and all of the places in between, if you are able to travel to and attend professional real estate conferences in areas outside of your own home base, you may walk away with something as valuable as the clients that you get from traveling within your own area. Though many agents may be hesitant to take time out of their already busy schedule to travel far and wide to conferences, it is important to realize that even though these conferences and networking experiences are always fun, they are not vacation. Here are some of the valuable things that you can gain from travelling for work.
1. A Larger Network:
Sure, it’s important to grow your real estate network in your own home-base. Your home-base is, after all, the bread and butter of your business. They are the ones who will buy from you, list with you, and give you leads to new clientele in the area. But of almost equal value are the connections from conferences that you can add to your network of nation-wide friends. Why is this so important, you ask? At Century 21 Novus, my own company, for example, over the years we have successfully managed property, sold houses, and found homes for people living out-of-state. Although, yes, the majority of our business derives from a loyal customer base in the West Georgia area, it is not uncommon for us to do business with individuals from other regions. You never know when someone will be looking to buy, sell, or manage property in your market, and you never know where exactly they will be coming from. By building relationships with agents nationwide, you increase your chances of out-of-towners being referred to you to help with their real estate needs in a new and unfamiliar market.
2. A New Perspective:
When our real estate agencies are experiencing success, we often shy away from changing anything in our business model. If what I’m doing is generating sales, then there is no need to change, right? Wrong. As entrepreneur and investor Robert Herjavec recently wrote in an article entitled Good Shouldn’t Be Good Enough, “Don’t get caught up with a successful quarter or year—that’s how the acceptance of mediocrity begins…. remember the target’s on your back and that mystery competitor out there has 24 hours a day to outdo you.”
Think about when you were first starting out in real estate. Back then, you were trying to think of new and innovative ways to drum up business and get people to choose you over the more seasoned and well-known local agent. If you’ve been in the business for a while now, it probably means that you were successful in doing so. Now that you have years of real estate experience and success under your belt, don’t forget that there are young agents in your area that are the agent you used to be—ambitious, pioneering, and looking to take the local market by storm. Don’t become complacent in your success. Keep owning the local market with your own ambitious and pioneering spirit.
Go to these conferences and learn about new technologies and new sales tactics from other real estate agents. Their unique perspective on the real estate industry can be the extra push that your business needs to continue to outdo other agents in your area.
3. A Confidence Boost:
Conferences are designed to increase your knowledge and grow your network. But an unexpected by-product for me was the confidence that I gained from attending these conferences, as well. Though I learn a lot from every agent that I meet at these events, I’ve also learned that they can learn from me and my 17+ years in the real estate industry as well. Understanding my own value and unique knowledge and skill set has helped me tremendously in my capacity as a real estate agent and owner back home.
Gaining confidence in myself has empowered me to be an even more active voice in my community and in my market. It has given me the ability and the bravery needed to implement new technology and new sales strategies, even when other people in my area aren’t doing those things. Gaining confidence through speaking and sharing with others at conferences has not only helped me give back to the real estate community, but has given me new ways to give back to my own community by becoming a better, self-assured real estate agent whom they can trust with all of their buying and selling needs.
Though travelling is fun, even for work conferences in the real estate industry, it is valuable experience as well. Don’t shy away from attending conferences because you’re afraid to step away from the office for too long. Remember that what you’re gaining from the networking and learning opportunities provided at conferences is sometimes just as valuable as the work that you’re doing back home.