Together Again! REALTORS® Meet Face-to-Face at the Industry’s Largest Event

Posted on Nov 19 2021 - 3:43pm by Paige Brown

Credit: AJ Canaria, MoxiWorks

Over the course of the past 20 months, virtual events are just one of the many things that agents have had to learn to adapt to, but that changed this month. From November 12-15, more than 7,000 real estate professionals gathered in San Diego, California for the REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

NAR Annual is the largest yearly event for the most successful agents, brokers and service providers in the industry. And, although 2021 was a somewhat scaled-down version of the conference, there was much excitement and things to see and do and talk about at this year’s event. 

Credit: AJ Canaria, MoxiWorks

The conference included impactful, thought-provoking sessions, including a general session on Friday morning with NAR president Charlie Oppler and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Rohit Bhargava about trend spotting techniques that will help agents dominate in a post-pandemic market.

Our own RISMedia Power Broker Forum also took place on Friday morning. “Setting Your Sights on a Record-Breaking 2022” featured the following industry heavy hitters: Cindy Ariosa, SVP, Regional Manager at Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.; Helen Hanna Casey, CEO at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; Anthony Lamacchia, Broker/Owner & CEO at Lamacchia Realty, Inc.; and Allan Dalton, SVP of Research and Development at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, HomeServices of America (pictured below, second from left to right).

Credit: AJ Canaria, MoxiWorks

The discussion, which was moderated by York Baur, CEO of MoxiWorks (pictured above, far right) and John Featherston, founder, president and CEO of RISMedia, Inc. (pictured above, far left), was wide-ranging, but always came back to the question that is on the mind of every real estate professional: what will the housing market look like next year? 

 "I think prices are going to continue to rise in 2022,” said Lamacchia. “Not to the extent of 2021, but inventory is simply too low in this country.”

Hanna Casey and Dalton both agreed that the focus should be less on trying to forecast where the market is headed and more on clients’ individual needs with the acknowledgement that markets move in cycles.

“We have to be prepared for cycles in real estate but we also have to look at statistics,” said Hanna Casey. “Millennials are having children later, getting married later and buying a home later than generations before them."

Other well-attended sessions included Saturday morning’s general session with former NFL quarterback Drew Brees (pictured below), as well as the general session with Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, which closed out the conference late Sunday afternoon. Both Brees and Biles spoke about their successful careers and related stories of overcoming adversity to real estate professionals that are still trying to navigate a global pandemic.

As anyone who may have attended an NAR conference in the past knows, the heart of the event is on the expo floor. The sprawling expo was open to all attendees, as well as expo-only registrants, and featured endless networking opportunities, short information presentations, exhibitor product demonstrations and themed pavilions.

This year’s expo hall was bustling despite the smaller crowd size. Walking around the floor, there was a palpable sense of relief and excitement.

This sentiment was also shared by exhibitors, including Melissa Schmitt, Regional Director at Pillar to Post Home Inspectors; and Anthony Torres, Event Manager at Buffini & Company.

“Along with myself and others at Buffini & Company, we’re excited to be connecting with people again,” said Torres. “[Attendees] are actually talking to people, making connections and feeling like they’re bettering their business by being here.”

Credit: AJ Canaria, MoxiWorks

Zoom and other virtual platforms have been a lifeline for agents over the course of the pandemic, but Schmitt touched on the importance of actually being able to make human connections again.

“Our favorite part of the expo is getting to learn about our brand new agents, and also seeing our agents that use us, saying hello as they stop by and keeping those relationships alive,” said Schmitt. “Plus, we’re working with and building relationships with other vendors here to advance our technology and what we do.”

There was no shortage of opportunities for agents and brokers to reconnect with their colleagues and business partners in San Diego. In addition to the set NAR Annual schedule, there were offsite dinners and events organized by leading real estate companies, including a massive block party in the city’s historic Gaslamp District sponsored by Homesnap and (pictured below). The block party was complete with fireworks and a performance by country musician Keith Urban.

On Friday night, RISMedia hosted our Power Broker and Newsmaker Reception & Dinner. The annual event was created to honor the achievements of those firms who ranked in RISMedia’s annual Power Broker Report. This year’s dinner also acknowledged those selected as RISMedia’s 2020 and 2021 Newsmakers, as well as those inducted into the Newsmaker Hall of Fame in those respective years.

Related: RISMedia Celebrates Innovation, Perseverance and Achievements at Power Broker and Newsmakers Event

In a year that most will never forget, the 2021 REALTORS® Conference & Expo was among the most memorable real estate events in recent history. We hope to see you in 2022 at NAR Annual in Orlando, Florida, happening November 11-14!

For more information about this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, click here.


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