I’ve been busy the past several weeks attending real estate education events. First was the NARPM Convention (National Association of Residential Property Managers) in Las Vegas last week. Immediately upon return, there was three days in Austin at the Texas Association of Realtors Winter Meetings at the Hyatt. Then last Monday at an all-day Realtor Technology Forum, stupidly named “xplode“. I’m all educated out. Now I need to figure out what to implement and what to ignore. The “ignore” list is huge. The “implement” list is small.
But there is one thing all these Real Estate related education conferences have in common other than real estate. They could all double as Baby Boomer Conventions. Very few young Realtors.
While in Las Vegas the first night, Sylvia and I ate in a steak restaurant in our Casino/Hotel the, Orleans. While eating, looking around at the 1960’s decor and all the old people there, I commented to Sylvia “we’re the youngest people in this place”. She responded with one of the gentle, rhetorical “wife” responses that every husband will recognize, “So, you think we look younger than everyone in here?” Translation: “Uh, we look that old too, honey”.
No way! Say it ain’t so! I’m 49 and 1/2 and these people all look so old. Like they’re at least …well, … 50. Or older.
I guess maybe my age-perception of myself and Sylvia hasn’t kept up with the actual aging we’ve experienced. We were both in our late 20’s when we started in real estate. As of Sept 2012, we’ll both be “in our 50’s”, like the average Realtor.
Question: Will us older Realtors be able to relate to and help the younger generation of buyers?
I’m day three of five into the SXSW Interactive “Festival” in Austin. Though I wasn’t at first certain that a convention like this would be a valuable use of time and money, I am now convinced it is, and I know exactly why I’m here.
I’m here because I want to gain insight into new and emerging technology and how we as humans, and business people, interact with that technology. Also, as a professional in an industry that has been chronically and predictably behind the curve and late to the party on almost all new and emerging internet technology, I can’t rely on real estate workshops and conventions to keep me up to speed. In a way, at this point in history, SXSW Interactive is more relevant to my real estate business than any real estate convention could be. It’s causing me to wonder if I shouldn’t attend more non-Realtor related educational opportunities.
So, below, are some initial observations and insights about my experience thus far.
SXSW Interactive Attendees Are Definitely in a Different Tech League than Realtors
The contrast is palpable. This is revealed in the level of conversation and discussion I am experiencing not only in the workshops, but also at the lunch table with people I’ve met. I spoke for 30 minutes this morning with a guy launching a startup to better connect job seekers with jobs that match their needs. His niche concept is very interesting, and I thought it even more interesting that his business, like mine, is essentially one of matching people with a solution to their needs.