California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) put on its annual Region 2 Education Day Real Estate Expo in Corning, CA, September 20-21, 2017, and it was a lot more fun that I imagined it could be. Corning is a 2-hour drive from my home in Mt. Shasta, CA, so I booked a hotel and went down Wednesday night for the Meet & Greet.
The event took place at the Rolling Hills Casino. The casino has an attached hotel called The Lodge, and another hotel across the parking lot called The Inn at Rolling Hills. I chose The Inn because they had a bigger pool, a hot tub, and a nicer gym. In fact, the receptionist told me that the fitness center at The Lodge was “out of order.” Say what?
The Inn was quite satisfactory. Friendly staff, good size rooms, and cozy king size bed, and A/C which kept the room at a nice sleeping temperature. Oh, and a Keurig coffee machine for that essential morning joe.
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 4:30pm – Meet & Greet
The Wednesday night mixer took place at the Event Center adjacent to the casino. This Meet & Greet consisted of a small gathering of people who opted to book a hotel the night before the big event so they didn’t have to face early-morning travel on the day of the expo. The intimate crowd hung out near the bar, enjoying drinks and conversation with peers and friends, both old and new.
Some of the vendors had set up already, so a few of us got a head start on filling our shwag bags before the crush of people arrived on Thursday. As the mixer wound down, I hit the casino floor for a few runs on the slot machines.
Around 7:00pm, the Meet & Greet crowd moved over to Timbers Steakhouse, the restaurant within the casino, where we enjoyed dinner and more libations. It was great fun meeting fellow Realtors, and lenders from different areas, including Terry Mays of Axia Home Loans of Redding, who was generous enough to pick up our table’s entire tab! You better believe I got her card, and will look forward to sending Buyers her way in the near future.
After dinner, I enjoyed a late-night soak in the outdoor hot tub, before retiring to my room, where I enjoyed a good night’s sleep in a comfy king-size bed.
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8:00am – Education Day
I skipped out on the free breakfast voucher, opting instead for a liesurely start to the day with my in-room coffee maker. Properly caffeinated, I dashed across the parking lot to the exhibition hall.
In contrast to the previous evening’s intimate vibe, the Thursday crowd was grand and vivaciously bustling about the vendors’ tables exchanging biz cards, entering giveaways, listening to vendor pitches, and squirreling away as much branded merchandise as their bags would fit.
9:00am – Geoff Macintosh, CAR President
By 9am, the room had settled, and we were treated to a short keynote by California Association of Realtors president, Geoff Macintosh. He offered interesting statistics on the California real estate market.
- There are 198,000 members in C.A.R., yet if you do at least 5 transaction sides per year, you fall in the top 17% of Realtors in terms of sales rankings (Woohoo – I’m in there like swimwear!)
- Siskiyou County currently has 2.9 months of inventory. That means if nothing else came on the market, it would take less than 3 months to sell out our inventory
- 3 top destinations for people moving OUT of California are Oregon, Texas, and North Carolina
9:30am – Young Professional Network, Redding Chapter
Next up, four members of the Redding YPN chapter shared a presentation on their recent fundraising events, which benefit local charities and youth groups. YPN’s efforts are indeed commendable, and the group’s commitment to serving their community is quite inspiring.
9:40am – Carolyn D’Agosta, Broker, Expert Witness
Carolyn’s presentation titled, “What NOT To Do,” covered all types of real estate boo-boos, boners, and blunders that she has seen in the field, and she was fervently warning us against making the same mistakes.
Not only is Carolyn D’Agosta an active Broker, she’s also provides expert witness testimony, and litigation support in real-estate related court cases around the country. Carolyn preaches the gospel of “fearless disclosure,” which she feels is an essential way for Realtors to protect themselves against liability.
While Carolyn’s presentation started strong, and certainly contained a beneficial message, about halfway through, she seemed to lose focus, and her narrative meandered.
By the end her presentation, Carolyn had shifted from coming across as a stern, experienced voice of reason to sounding more like a cranky grandma who’s always getting on your case about being a total screwup. But maybe that’s just me.
- Commit to 100% clients-first professionalism
- 70% of litigation is over non-disclosure of material facts
- Breach of fiduciary duty is the #1 foul throughout the country
Just as the audience was getting restless, it was time for a short break.
Checkout time at The Inn at Rolling Hills is 12 noon, so I chose this break to run back to the hotel and pack up my stuff. I must’ve gone over my alloted 15 minutes because when I returned, the next speaker was well underway.
10:45am – Devin Maple, Supervising Special Investigator for BRE
Devin was a fast talker with an equally quick wit. Although his subject matter was dry, he peppered his presentation with enough sly jokes and pop culture references to keep it interesting.
Devin spoke about ethics, violations, and infractions that cause Brokers and Realtors to get audited, investigated, and punished. The crowd seemed quite interested in this topic because when moderator/time-keeper Mike Matherly strode onto the stage to cut Devin off, the crowd got downright hostile. Later, Mike joked that he received “death threats” for not letting Devin finish.
11:30am – Lunch!
In the parking lot adjacent to the conference hall, several white tents had been erected containing tables, chairs, and two snaking lines of buffet tables filled with a delectable assortment of entrees, sides, salads, beverages, and desserts that was equally impressive and delicious.
12:45pm – Terry Watson, Easify, LLC
Post-lunch speaking engagements are not easy. The speaker has to regain the attention of a crowd that files back into the venue and either slumps into a food coma, or starts getting antsy thinking about all the work piling up at the office.
Not an issue for Terry Watson.
From start to finish, Terry absolutely slayed. He engaged the crowd right out of the gate, and delivered a hilarious presentation with the delivery of a stand-up comic. His comedic style incorporated the bombastic indignation of Chris Rock mixed with the nasal whine of Urkle.
While his content was all over the map (Logos! Magnesium supplements! Business Cards! Urinal Flies! Standup desks! Books! Apps! Podcasts!), his humorous, rapid-fire delivery kept your attention at every whiplash turn.
- Never stop having FUN!
- Make your business consumer-centric
- Change your strategy to change you business
- It’s not the PERSON, it’s the PROCESS
- Only have a problem ONCE
- Tell your clients what’s ABOUT to happen, NOT what’s happening NOW
1:45pm – Vendor Drawings
All of the vendors had some type of drawing at their tables, which guests entered by dropping their business card in a receptacle. The prizes ranged from wine, cheese, and food baskets, to gift cards and certificates, to a giant stuffed teddy bear.
At this time, all of the vendors snaked across the stage reading the names of the winners. Much to my chagrin, I did not win the giant teddy bear, which meant it was a perfect time to get back to the slots. I hit the casino again, and won about ten bucks – a perfect time to call it a day.
I heard there was a final speaker named Richard Hunt, who presented a Market Overview Analysis. But after the histrionic fireworks of headliner, Terry Watson, a data geek spouting facts and figures just ain’t gonna cut it. After all, if you’re booking a concert, you don’t put James Taylor after KISS.
Besides, I was itching to hit the I-5 and head back to work up in Mt. Shasta. Those houses ain’t gonna sell themselves!
Nikolas Allen is a Realtor® with J. Harris & Associates Real Estate in Mt. Shasta, California. He helps people through the complex process of buying and selling their homes. For more real estate news and info, follow him on Twitter @nikolas_allen and Instagram @nikolas_allen.