The Three Things I Learned This Year


A profound question – What are three things I learned at ‪#‎narannual‬ NOLA

As I reflect on my NOLA conference experience I can’t help feeling proud to be part of the REALTOR® community. My conference experience was very different this year, you may even say a different perspective.

Karel Murray asked me a profound question that brought me insight and tears:
What are three things I’ve learned at this convention?

Who would have thought this simple question would have such a powerful meaning for me.

My first insight is that I have AMAZING friends. So giving of their time and energy to assist me. That somehow the few days a year we share together create incredibly strong bonds. Relationships that started from an online space have blossomed into something so much more IRL (In Real Life).

Secondly, patience is truly a virtue. There is so much going on at convention that you MUST make choices and sacrifices. Most importantly you need to stop and take time to connect. I had an opportunity to connect with NAR President Chris Polychron on the expo floor. It was a truly beautiful moment. As I approached he interrupted his conversation with two lovely women to immediately introduce himself to me. Chris shared with me the story of his brother and some of the challenges he faced being wheelchair bound growing up. He then insisted on taking a photo with me. Now what was really special was Chris got down on a knee to put himself at the same eye level as me. It’s those little moments away from the hustle and bustle that create lasting impressions.

The third is that people genuinely want to be helpful, they just might not know how. I’ve found that the best of the best show up for these conferences and get involved. It can seem daunting sharing your thoughts on how to “Raise the Bar” in real estate when the countries largest trade organization moves smoothly and surely like a freight train down the tracks. How do you move the needle, change the bearing and make a difference. While talking with Christian Paschall Zarif and Philip Becker NAR YPN Vice Chair we discussed how many associations are struggling with developing leadership and getting younger REALTORS® involved. One of the duties in the NAR Core Standards is leadership development. Christian told us how her association has tied that objective with helping offset the costs to send a YPN representative to the Midyear and National Conference. That these events drive home the importance of participating in organized real estate and the friendships and connections made generate opportunities every time.

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Nate Ellis is a top national speaker and educator for the National Association of REALTORS® and the California and Contra Costa Associations of REALTORS®.

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