I’ll be travelling to the Keller Williams “Family Reunion” convention for 5 days in Orlando later this month. Sylvia and I have attended the Family Reunion together every year since joining Keller Williams in 2005, and we also attend the yearly “Mega Agent Camp” held here in Austin. Sylvia is staying home this year due to scheduling conflicts, so I’ll be flying solo and taking good notes to bring back home, and some new ideas to implememt in our business.
Are these real estate conventions worth the time and expense? All totaled, I’ll drop about $1,200 to $1,500 on this trip, plus lost productivity while I’m away, plus the torture of airline travel, hotel stay, and lugging around the “convention bag” full of trade show stuff, goodies and the notes and handouts that are accumulated each day during classes and workshops. And, finally, when I get back home, I’ll have to work hard to get caught up. Is it worth it? Maybe a vacation would be better.
Yes, it is worth it. You couldn’t pay me to not go. Here are some internal stats from Keller Williams:
Agents who attended the 2008 Family Reunion convention …
- Took twice the number of listings in 2008 as KW agents who did not attend.
- Sold 81% more houses.
- Closed 47% more buyers
- Completed 61% more transactions than agents who did not attend.
Attendees who attended BOTH the 2007 and 2008 Keller Williams Family Reunion convention…
- Took almost three times the number of listings in 2008
- Sold 146% more houses.
- Closed 74% more buyers
- Completed 104% more transactions than agents who did not attend.
I don’t have additional stats, but I’ll bet these same agents also produce better numbers such as percentage of listings closed, number of days sold, list to sales price ratios, etc. You name it, and I’ll bet the convention goers beat the non-goers any way you slice it.
Why is that? Why do agents who regularly invest time and money into their education and professional betterment, outperform agents who don’t? Well, as my 12 and 15 year old daughters would say, “duh”. The question answers itself.
Whether you are a plumber, painter, midwife, accountant, inspector, actor, teacher, or even a professional clown, you will continuously improve your skills and abilities if you regularly surround yourself with those who do it better than you.
What this means is, when you hire a Realtor, one of the interview questions you want to ask is, “tell me about the educational events you’ve attended recently, what you learned and why it will be beneficial to me if I hire you to list my home for sale (or help me buy a home)”.
If the answer is, “Well, let’s see, I take my 15 hours of Mandatory Continuing Education every two years”, then you might be interviewing the wrong agent.
This is not to say that agents who shun conventions cannot be good, or that every agent who does attends convention every year is automatically better than the rest, but you stack the odds in your favor when you decide to hire someone who never quits learning how to do a better job.
The biggest excuse I hear from agents who don’t go to convention is, “I can’t afford it”. And I’ll ask, “did you go last year?”. “No” they say. “I couldn’t afford it last year either”. And I think, “Hmm, I can’t afford not to go”.