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REALTOR® with Prudential New Jersey Properties, Moretti Division, in South Plainfield, NJ. Contact me for assistance with selling or buying properties in New Jersey! President of Robin Taylor Roth Enterprises, LLC - Training, consulting, and social media for small businesses. Living in New Jersey and loving it. Proximity to Manhattan opens the world to us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Conference Participation - Virtually

If you are a REALTOR®, your broker and your local association probably encourage you to attend conferences.  There are so many to choose from!

The National Association of REALTORS® has a conference every year, usually at the end of November / beginning of December.  Your state association probably has at least one conference every year, or may cooperate with neighboring states to run one larger conference.  And there are other conferences and workshops offered by professional groups, such as Inman.

For a few years, I have been participating in regional conferences and workshops focused on real estate marketing and technology.  Some of these, like the RE Barcamp workshops are spearheaded and organized by energetic local REALTORS and service providers.  These are fun days, with an informal format:  people with solid experience in some aspect of real estate technology volunteer to lead presentation-discussion sessions.

Another conference series I have enjoyed are those sponsored by Inman:  Inman Connect.  These conferences are held semi-annually, alternating between San Francisco (July or August) and New York (January).  One of the many helpful aspects of these conferences are the vendor booths, where you can talk with the people who are creating new and better applications to help brokers and agents do their jobs more effectively.  Inman always gathers together thought-leaders and innovators to provide insights into today's real estate trends, and has opportunities for hands-on learning, too.

Of course, few of us have the time or money to participate in all of the conferences that might interest us.  However, thanks to Twitter, you can participate in all of these conferences virtually.  These days, every conference has an official "hashtag" associated with it.  For example, the RE Barcamp hashtags invariably start #REBC, with one to three additional letters that identify the location (#REBCNY, #REBCPHL, etc.).

When you have logged into your Twitter account, search for the appropriate hashtag, then save the search.  You will be able to scan everything that is said about that conference.  Admittedly, some of it will be social in nature ("I'm on my way to #ICNY"), but much will be informative content.  Conference hashtag searches are valuable because experienced Twitter users (including me) do "tweet-reporting" from the conferences, specifically to share what they are hearing.

To find the relevant hashtag for a conference that you wish you were attending, search Twitter for the name of the conference - or ask your Twitter followers.

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