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This past week I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando. In fact, not only did I attend but was also lucky enough to speak to communications directors from around the country on one day; and present to the general REALTORS® in attendance and hold a book signing on another day. It was an incredible week, but like any incredible conference, I was determined to walk away with greater knowledge.

So here is what I learned:

1) REALTORS® are awesome people! I can’t tell you how much fun I had with so many of you in attendance. You guys know how to have a good time and still show up in the morning for the sessions and meetings. I will say that I will never forgive Steve Pacinelli for somehow getting me to ride The Incredible Hulk at Disney World, though. What was I thinking?

2) Social media is an amazing connection tool – I tried to spend as much time meeting as many people as I possibly could, and I was amazed at how many of us who are connected on facebook and twitter were in attendance and how many of you I was meeting in person for the first time. It was awesome!

3) We must force change in the message that is being forced on us in many cases – I will not name names here because that is not my goal, but I was a little disappointed to see some of the presenters talking about the same things that they were talking about five years ago as if nothing has changed. We must force our educators who are gifted to communicate their message with you, to challenge themselves and their content and not rest on their past successes moving forward. Relevancy is what it is about going forward for you and your clients and you depend on many of these speakers to take the time that you don’t have to learn about what is “new” and “coming soon” so that you can leverage the latest tools and ideas with your buyers and sellers. Having said that, many of the presenters did a fabulous job and proved that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. I just don’t think that presenters should have a lifetime job as a speaker because they have the ability to speak. You have to have something new to say.

4) The staff at NAR deserves a big pat on the back for putting this Conference & Expo together because it is a massive undertaking and they do a great job – They may have been in the background but everywhere I looked I saw the staff of NAR helping agents get where they were going and answering questions. At one point I even had a question after I had lost my badge and I got a response within 10 minutes by email. I speak at a lot of conferences and that is not normal while the event is in session. So kudos to NAR and the whole staff for once again making it an enjoyable and memorable week. As a REALTOR® you owe it to yourself to implement what you learned and maintain the new relationships that you have gained.

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer. James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate, Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit and or visit his website at