Members Talk Back About This Year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo


NAR’s Annual Conference in the wonderful city of New Orleans has come to an end, but the lessons, the connections, the networking, and the feelings are just starting to solidify and strengthen.

For my last NAR Conference Live post I wanted to get outside of my own thoughts and words, and get some feedback from some of my members from here in Birmingham. Some of them are veterans of these events, and some were attending for the first time. All of them are back in Alabama and ready to grow themselves and their businesses.

Here’s what they said:

NAR really did a great job this year promoting International Business. All of the events, information, and networking were truly “world-class”. Our business has truly become a global business, and NAR has done a great job recognizing that and have given its members the tools that they need to be successful in the global community.
 –Brian Sparks

The old adage “real estate is local” is no longer applicable. More and more transactions are global and are supported by lenders, title companies, coordinators, and insurance agents that may be in other cities, states, or continents. Technology has made this a truly global industry without borders.
 –Janet Hamm

I have already requested and received information from a San Francisco area agent I met in one of the classes. A second agent will send information to me later this week from The Woodlands, Texas. I am sending information to an agent in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Yes, the large meetings at NAR conventions are informative but I believe the most valuable is networking with agents from across the country. I am always surprised at the contacts made and information shared agent to agent. What a way to learn!
 –Dot Mash

As a first time attendee of a NAR conference I can say this conference was life changing. The topics discussed were phenomenal and should be easy to implement into my current and future business strategy. Meeting other agents from across the country and the WORLD was invigorating. The industry feels new and exciting to me, just like when I was a “newby” agent. The possibilities are endless for all of us, residential, commercial, and affiliates! 2015, here we come!
 –Luciana Guin

REALTORS® Convention & Expo for me can always be information overload. There are literally layers upon layers of information that simply cannot be digested. Even with the best laid plans on your handy-dandy convention app, oftentimes you feel as though you’re slugging around the convention complex ankle deep in muddy trenches in search of that illusive ‘key’ to becoming the best of the best REALTOR® you can be.

And even though there were several colleagues from my own association and from around the state in attendance, amidst 18,000 people anonymity is the shield that affords you liberty to discover the REALTOR® world unencumbered and free.

A recurring theme and take away for me from the REALTORS® Convention & Expo was best said by Captain Mark Kelly, and later echoed by Brian Buffini and Jackie Joiner Kersey, so I’ll paraphrase a bit: how good you are at the start of something is not the truest indication of what you can become.

What? You mean I can improve as a human? Improve in my profession? Sharpen my skills and positively effect my world and those I love (family, friends, colleagues, clients)? Talk about HOPE! Isn’t that what we are all in search of – hope? Hope that we are doing a work that has meaning in a world that is often void of meaning?

Whether I ever take the national stage to share how I succeeded in real estate, I’m convinced I have something to share with others and am now a little better equipped to do so.

Thank you NAR. The week was well worth it.
 –Faith Harper

Andrew Sims is the Communications Director of the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® in Birmingham, Alabama.

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