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Group of Multiethnic Cheerful People ApplaudingAt this time of year, we’re all focused to some degree on resolutions, goals and moving forward with a clean slate.

Invigorated by the fresh start, many people make real, meaningful changes in their lives or careers. They hold on to the clean slate, uncover a newfound sense of commitment and develop better habits, producing better results.

If that’s your inclination, I’d like to suggest a goal to add to your list: Attend a professional convention in 2015.

Why? Because it’s absolutely one of the best things you can do for your career.

Just Do It
If you’ve never been to a multi-day conference or convention, you probably don’t realize what an impact it can have on you.

Obviously, the agenda is the foundation of any event—whether it’s a regional coaching seminar, your brand’s national convention or a massive industry gathering (the November REALTOR® Conference being the granddaddy of them all). The schedule of classes, panels and educational sessions is your starting point in gauging whether the event will be relevant to you.

But here’s a secret they don’t tell you in the brochure: The magic really happens in the margins. It’s the conversation you have with the person sitting next to you while you’re waiting for a session to begin. It’s the dinner you have with six people you didn’t know a day earlier. It’s the amazing generosity of successful people who are willing to share their ideas with you during a cocktail reception.

It’s the connections you build. The friends you make. The relationships you develop.

Add those elements to the formal education, the incredible coaching and the motivational recharge built into these events, and what do you have? You have a 2015 resolution you really should keep.

It’s an Investment
Conventions aren’t free. They cost money. They cost time. And if you give yourself the chance, you can find a million reasons not to go. But fight that urge.

Consider that at your very first convention, you could:

  • Meet an agent (or several of them) with whom you exchange referrals for many years.
  • Hear an idea that opens the door to entirely new avenues of business.
  • Take a class that prepares you for a challenge you didn’t anticipate and wouldn’t have been ready for.
  • Realize that an aspect of real estate that seemed incomprehensible is actually understandable when you look at it a certain way.
  • Get introduced to someone who becomes your lifelong friend.
  • Rediscover why you got into this business in the first place.
  • Leave the convention with more skills, more confidence, more contacts and more resolve to be better than ever.

Make Your Move
So, register for the convention you’ve been considering, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to do but have been putting off. And if you don’t have one in mind, find something that would suit your needs.

Remember, time goes by quickly. February will be here before you know it, and your good intentions for the new year can start to fade. Don’t let that happen.

Get yourself to a convention this year. You’ll be glad you did. And a year from now, when you’re planning for 2016, attending your next one will be automatic.

Vinnie Tracey is president of RE/MAX, LLC.

For more information, visit