I’ve always rolled my eyes at real estate conferences. Thousands of people. “Rah-rah” motivational speakers. Chicken dinner buffet lines. That was my perception for 8 years…so I never attended one.
Until last week.
After three days in Miami for the Luxury Portfolio portion of the LeadingRE Conference, my perception has changed. Independent real estate companies like mine (Windermere Real Estate) can belong to Leading Real Estate Companies of the World as a way to create global exposure. Luxury Portfolio is the arm within LeadingRE that adds marketing power to our higher priced listings. All weekend I learned from the best of the best in the real estate industry and participated in networking opportunities to expand my network. The speakers and classes I experienced were all geared toward luxury real estate and the affluent consumer.
Here are my 3 biggest takeaways:
- Anticipate client needs before they’re verbalized. This is by far the biggest ah-ha moment of the weekend and it translates to all clients. When my clients ask for something and I provide it, I’ve met their expectations. When I take time to listen and hear my clients and then provide what they’re needing before they ask? I can exceed expectations. Providing such service seems daunting but challenging myself in this area will be worth it!
- Middle Class Mindset. The vast majority of affluent consumers identify as growing up in the middle class. The definition given of “affluent” is a person who owns $1,000,000 in investible assets. The implication of growing up middle class is that the middle class mindset usually never leaves people, even when they build wealth. Affluent consumers are embracing companies in the “shared” economy like VRBO.com and Uber or Lyft. Even Turo.com, which allows customers to rent a luxury vehicle for less than basic models, or 11James.com, a subscription based luxury watch service, have grown in popularity.
- Networking. I made genuine connections with roughly 30 different people at the conference and walked away with business cards from nearly 50 more. One of the highlights was meeting Laura Brady with Concierge Auctions. Concierge Auctions works with local real estate brokers to create an auction format for the most elite properties in the world. It’s a unique model for selling real estate, but their results so far are impressive. I’ve admired this company from afar but was able to hear Laura speak in person and meet her briefly on the final day of conference. I’m now writing down a goal of participating in the Concierge Auction’s first sale in Washington state. Let’s make it happen!
As you can see, I’m clearly reformed. While I may now just be particular about which conferences I choose to attend, I certainly have an open mindset regarding them in general.