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Opinion Editorials

Why the same old real estate conference speakers?



Same old, same old

Have you been to a real estate conference in your city lately? Have you been to a real estate conference across the country lately? Have you done both and noticed that many of the speakers are the same between cities?

I may be jaded, but I can’t help but notice that there are only so many speakers being tapped for real estate conferences across the nation and have to wonder what conference organizers are thinking? Are they scared to add new speakers and talent or are they simply shilling by putting their sponsors up on stage?

Regardless of the reason, the content and speakers are getting stale at real estate conferences and I’d like to know if you have noticed it too. Tell us in the comments below what your thoughts and experiences are!

Watch Real Estate Expert Herman Chan put the REAL back in REALTY. In his show Habitat for Hermanity, Herman skewers the real estate business and pokes fun at his fellow agents, all the while empowering buyers & sellers with behind-the-scene tips & secrets of the industry! Get a glimpse beyond the glitz & glam of real estate. It's a hot mess! Featured on HGTV, House Hunters & other media outlets, Herman is the undisputed Real Estate Maven whose helpful & hilarious commentary you just can't live without! In fact, his real estate TV show has just been optioned in Hollywood!

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  1. Fred Romano

    June 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Never been to any RE conferences and have no plans to ever attend one!

  2. Herman Chan

    June 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    thanks for sharing fred! any specific reason for the conference adversion? we'd love to hear!

    • Fred Romano

      June 16, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Seems like it would be a waste of valuable time and money to me. I have no need for "gurus" telling me what to do.

  3. Sara Bonert

    June 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Hey Herman! I don't know if you remember meeting me, but we chatted at Inman Connect this year in NYC (about hosting our own HGTV shows, haha). Just wanted to say that I would come see your big personality on stage any day! I defintiely agree that there is a lot of repetition – some of it good though, but some maybe not so much. Best to you!

  4. herman chan

    June 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    sara! of course i remember u! i DO read your facebook posts. hope your move went well! as for landing our own shows, i'm crossig my fingers (& legs!). oh btw my new episode for HouseHunters will debut on hgtv 6/20 930pm pst. please tell ur peeps to tune in. take care love!

  5. Mike Mueller

    June 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Couldn't agree more!
    Couldn't agree more!

    Wait, did I say that already?

  6. Mike Bowler Sr.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Herman, you have a great point on the same message coming out at conferences. Most agents leave events completely overwhelmed with the fire-hosing they get with all the apps, tools, and sites they "Must Have" to succeed. I'm happy to see many educators are starting to understand that taking that relationship off line and developing better relationships is really they name of the game vs. every shinny object that comes along.

    I enjoy hearing about the success stories of one or two good programs vs. many. Ranted enough, hope we meet sometime soon at a bootcamp or maybe at Inman Connect SF if you plan to attend. Thanks for sharing.

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      yes, usually content overload is a problem at conferences, but so is the underwhelming delivery. hope to c u soon!

  7. Sara Bonert

    June 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    the dvr is set!

  8. could not agree more, and some of the ones that I have see have a stick so far up …well, nevermind that.

  9. Matt Thomson

    June 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    The only conference that I regularly attend is Keller Williams' Family Reunion. Other than the obvious same speakers (Gary Keller), seems like we get new info, new takes, and new personalities each year.
    I think a bigger issue may be who gets to be a real estate speaker. Seems to me many of the gurus, coaches, and speakers are often times big personalities who couldn't cut it in real estate.
    Some, like Ben Kinney, seem to be an exception and are actually producing, but many don't have impressive resumes in terms of production.

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      hi matt! were u at the anaheim family reunion this year?

      i hear ya about RE gurus who aren't even licensed, but on the flip side, a lot of big producers have the personality of a dialtone OR are so competitive that they'd prefer to share their tips….

      a happy medium would be nice!

      • Herman Chan

        June 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm

        i mean they'd prefer NOT to share their tips

  10. BawldGuy

    June 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Matt — Bingo!!

  11. Joe Spake

    June 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Totally agree! I think everyone in RE has been enamored with the "gurus" at some point, and has wanted to hang with the cool kids. Conferences staffed by career presenters, in real estate or other areas, just don't do it for me anymore.

  12. Tina Merritt

    June 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Hence why I am not going to Inman SF this year. Seems the sponsors have taken control over selection of speakers.

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      hey tina, u ain't the 1st one to say it's been hijacked by sponsors…it's lost its edge, which i suppose happens when you have increasing corporate oversight.sigh

  13. Dan O'Halloran

    June 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I 100% agree. Matt also brings up a great point about the lack of speakers who are actually producing. To me, I feel that the RE Barcamps offer some of the best "free" value out there. Nothing better than learning from your peers and their real experiences. We've got one coming up this week in Boston.

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      i feel really bad b/c andy kaufman, who started RE Barcmaps, is in my own office, and i've never been to one. i will have to change that soon! thx for reminding me

  14. Jason fox

    June 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I have an opinion on this matter that is best not shared. However I will say that just 2 days ago I was sitting with my friend and he showed me the new email for a fairly popular conference, my reply, him again?

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      lol. i won't probe. don't ask don't tell , right?

  15. Sean Carpenter

    June 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Herman – I agree with you that many of the names remain the same. I think part of that is the event organizers know what they're going to get with a speaker who has been around before. Many of the attendees will have seen them before and enjoyed them the first time, had great plans to incorporate some of their ideas but then, after leaving the event, allowed "life to get in the way" and never implemented anything. This second opportunity to hear the person might be the spark they need.

    I am always excited to hear new speakers and as a trainer/educator myself, always appreciate the opportunity to deliver a new message from a new voice to the audience.

    I guess as long as The Eagles and Crosby, Stills and Nash keep selling out arenas on the "Final Farewell Tour," the promoters will continue to bring them in. Much like the new and talented acts, vehicles like REBAR camps, video and local Tweet ups is how their "word of mouth" will grow.

    • Herman Chan

      June 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm

      yeah, when they are smaller or in their nascence, things like RE Bar camp , tweet ups aren't conferences per se. and that is when it's cool, authentic and in the moment. once something gets co-opted and dubbed a conference, typically it's the beginning of the end.

  16. Marc Davison

    June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    You're so much fun to watch and there's a real point to what you're saying. Funny thing, I wrote on a very similar theme over the weekend. So when it publishes this week, consider it an addendum to your post.


    • herman chan

      June 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      awesome! plz post link here, cant w8 2 read it. …and thank u for the compliment about me 🙂

  17. St. Lucia Vacation Rentals

    August 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Even if real estate conference organizers are recycling the same old presenters, the real estate industry is nevertheless moving on with fresh new ideas. More and more, real estate market conditions are forcing realtors to develop new business strategies. Savvy realtors are taking advantage of real estate technologies to sift through the noise, find and follow realtors who are thinking and moving out of the box.

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(EDITORIAL) I’m a big fan of the Bullet Journal method, but sticker-loving tweens have hijacked the movement. Worry not, I’m still using black and white bullet points with work tasks (not “pet cat,” or “smile more”).



bullet journal

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Last week, I was at Starbucks, doing some marketing work. This was apparent to all who could view my laptop by the big 72 type “Marketing” headline that I was working on in my browser.

A man sharing a table, with no apparent laptop of his own, was taking interest in what I was doing. He was mid-40s and he was ambiently stalking and sizing everyone around him up. He was swallowing and always “about to talk.”

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Anyone that’s ever worked from a Starbucks has met Justin.

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He excuses himself and gets into his 2002 rusty Kia, and drives off.

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“Chris, we met at Starbucks,” he says, “This is Justin. And I was wondering if you were open to financial opportunities for your family.”

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Justin confirmed that yes, he was in Amway. And he was really glad!

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“Sure,” he goes.

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“Yes,” he said, “Definitely.”

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“Yes. Yes it has.” Justin admits.

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Would $75,000 per month change your life?”

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Will you be paying with a Visa or Mastercard?”

Justin paused for a moment. “This was a waste of my time,” he finally said.

“You don’t really have a business!” he spat.

Well done, Justin, well done indeed.

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funny females promoted less often

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