Unless you are living under a rock, I am sure you have heard that BiggerPockets is hosting a real estate conference October 6 to 8 in Nashville, Tenn. They have not hosted a conference in seven years, so it is safe to say many of us are SUPER excited about this upcoming event. And I am very honored to be speaking at the conference alongside many other rockstar real estate investors.
Many BiggerPockets members are excited about the conference but have not yet booked their trip and bought their ticket. Maybe you’re having a hard time committing due to all the competing areas in life—family, kids, job, running a business, etc. While we can’t make all of the conferences as real estate investors, we must make the effort to attend some of them. I have been a real estate investor for close to 15 years now, and I can tell you there are two things that have helped propel me to the next level as a result of attending such conferences:
- The people I have met.
- The information I have learned (and applied).
I am a big believer in attending local meetups and networking with others through online forums like BiggerPockets’. Additionally, I am a HUGE believer that attending conferences can make an enormous difference in your life and in your investing business.
A Word of Caution
I would highly recommend before you attend any conference to get very clear about your current and future investing goals and goals for attending the actual conference. Most people attend conferences with no real intentions or goals. Every time I attend a meetup or conference, I make sure to establish three to five outcomes/goals I have beforehand.
Sometimes these goals are specific: “I want to meet and get to know X person.” Sometimes my goals are more generalized like, “I want to learn more about what software people are using for investor relations.”
If you don’t go into the conference with some established goals and intentions, then anyone you meet or anything you learn can distract you and move you away from your goals. Of course, always keep an open mind, but before attending any conference, answer these questions for yourself:
- What are my goals for this conference?
- What information do I want to learn?
- What people do I want to meet and connect with?
- How can I show up best at this conference and play FULL out?
- As a result of attending this conference, what results do I want to see?
OK, now that we discussed some of the questions you need to answer prior to attending conferences, I want to share four key reasons WHY you should be attending real estate investing conferences (in person).
I am not sure about you, but sometimes life can be very busy. We don’t always make time for the important but NOT urgent tasks like attending conferences (that we know we should do but just don’t make the time to do). I can tell you I have had these feelings over the years, as well. There is a lot to prepare for when you attend conferences—babysitters, kids’ weekend activities, family, business, life at home, etc. However, you need to put that aside and ask yourself, “HOW can I attend this conference?”
There are endless possibilities in the world. If you want something bad enough, resourceful people figure out a way to make it happen.
One of the greatest advantages I have received from the conferences I have attended has been the education, information, and resources I have walked away with. Most conferences have keynote presentations, plus panels and breakout sessions with top industry leaders. You can learn the most up-to-date resources and strategies within various topics of interest.
For example, I attended a great real estate conference last year, and one of the speakers talked about the importance of creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) and building a team of virtual assistants (VAs). Now, this was not the first time I’d heard this, but this was exactly where I was in my business growth. As a result of attending the conference, I began getting my act together, writing down SOPs for my various businesses, and even hired a coach to help me achieve my goals.
The point is, I wouldn’t have been inspired to do this if it were not for that conference.
The other phenomenal benefit of attending and participating in these real estate investing conferences is the networking. You are brushing shoulders with people who are from different walks of life, different geographies, different niches, and different experiences. I have met so many amazing people over the years.
When I walk in, I’m sure to have specific networking goals. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
- Who are the people I want to meet and learn from?
- How can I contribute to other people here at this conference?
- Who are the people I want to meet and build a relationship with?
- How can I talk less and use my ears more?
Your questions and networking goals might be different than mine. I just encourage you to have them in order to get the most out of the networking opportunities. Here are some other tips:
- At the breakout session or keynote, try not to sit with people you know really well. Meet new people instead!
- Attend all the happy hour events to meet new people, even if this is not your “thing.” These can be just as helpful as the breakout sessions.
- At the breakout sessions, get there early and make sure you introduce yourself to the people sitting close to you.
- As you chat with people, listen for ways to add value to their life and world. If you promise to connect them to someone or help them in some way, make sure you do this within three days of attending the conference.
- Don’t be one of those people who is always on your phone while at a conference! Stop it! I think this distracts people from being fully present. Unless you need to check something important or make a call, don’t be sitting by yourself, waiting for a breakout, and scrolling your Facebook feed. You should be chatting with someone close by to network. Play full out when you attend, and stop staring at your phone!
One of the other benefits of these conferences is growth. There are so many ways to grow as a result of attending. I mentioned it earlier but I am going to say it again. You are going to grow as a result of these two areas:
- The people you meet.
- The information you learn.
I love conferences, because I become very self-reflective. I am constantly asking myself, “What am I learning that I can apply immediately that will help achieve my goals in a more simple and easy way?”
I go into the conference with this context, and that is the lens I have when I am talking to folks during a networking event. It’s also the lens I have when I am sitting and learning from someone during a breakout session or keynote session. Remember, conferences ARE NOT about listening to speakers and saying to yourself, “Wow, they are so good. I won’t ever be where they are.”
Don’t do this to yourself. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and everyone in this business is on their OWN path. There is no right or wrong. The key is to be open and receptive to finding ways to grow as a result of attending—both personally and professionally. What makes these conferences so powerful is they are FULL of like-minded people. Learn from them, and apply these lessons as you move toward your goals!
4. Problem Solving
One of the greatest benefits of attending conferences is being around such active, smart, and giving people, who are not just “talking” about real estate investing but are actually active in the business. As you would likely agree, all of us—whether you are a newbie or more experienced—are dealing with some type of challenge in our investing business. Bring this challenge to the conference. I am sure you are going to meet someone or hear a presentation that gives you insight into how to solve that challenge in a new and fresh way.
Real estate conferences have the amazing ability to help you move through your problems powerfully, because they get you out of your day-to-day grind and into a world of growth, possibility, and positivity.
One of the most important things you can do is actually USE what you learn at the conference. It would be a bit overwhelming to implement everything you learn and keep in touch with everyone. However, you can make a goal for yourself to take three things away from the conference and implement them in the next 30 days. Make a goal to build a relationship with at least three people from the conference, as well.
I hope this article inspired you to consider making the investment in YOU to attend conferences in person. And I sincerely hope to meet you at the BiggerPockets conference in Nashville!
Are you attending an upcoming conference? What are your goals? Do you have tips for other attendees?
Share in the comment section below.