By Mike Taylor
The 11th annual RE/MAX Commercial Symposium boasted a lineup of speakers that provided attendees with extensive and valuable information, as evidenced by the furious note-taking at the packed venue. Also on the agenda: extensive networking opportunities.
“I came here to network and see where RE/MAX Commercial is headed as a brand, and to discuss industry topics and listen to the speakers,” said Aaron Tobler, a Broker Associate with RE/MAX Alpine View, based in the Colorado Western Slope town of Montrose. “I’m getting all of the above.”
The upward trajectory of RE/MAX Commercial was not lost on those at the two-day event, held Sept. 16-18 in Denver, walking distance from the RE/MAX LLC headquarters. RE/MAX boasts more than 650 commercial offices and divisions, and more than 3,300 commercial practitioners, who last year amassed $13.4 billion in commercial sales and lease volume, and closed more than 32,900 commercial transactions.
“As things become more decentralized, those brokers who make their money by controlling information are going away,” said Doug Winfrey, Brand Manager, RE/MAX Commercial, pointing to an increased emphasis on client services based on industry expertise and experience. “That’s where RE/MAX Commercial stands to add value.”
“We opened one office last year, and just opened another,” said Vic Hung, who hails from Taichung City in the central part of Taiwan. “Real estate is quite established and regulated there, but we definitely need more experience, particularly in residential. I hope this will be a great opportunity to mingle with people in the network.”
Bill Minter, with RE/MAX Island Realty on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, said he came for the networking, along with “expansion of my professional background, and to learn more about what RE/MAX brings to the table.” As for RE/MAX, he said, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Winfrey, who told attendees his main role as Brand Manager for RE/MAX Commercial is to be their advocate, said his goal for the RE/MAX Commercial Symposium was twofold: “One, put panels and educational sessions together so that attendees would feel they’re leaving with something valuable; and two, talk about commercial real estate disruptors.”
Both aims were evident throughout the two days. Presentations included Avi Spielman’s “Blockchain and the Future of Commercial Real Estate,” and real estate visionary Tony Giordano’s “Modern Day Commercial Marketing.”
Giordano told attendees he spent $5,000 on his website after studying what the biggest agents were doing. “The top 10 percent don’t want to look equal to the other 90 percent,” he said. “If my site has a ‘wow factor’ too (along with another top agent), I’ll get an appointment, too, and I’ll beat him.
“Why is a website so important? Because it’s the modern-day first impression. It needs to stand above competitors, not beside it. They (prospects) will probably never visit it again, just that one time.”
Giordano also said real estate professionals should have a minimum of 2,000 friends on their personal Facebook page, aside from their business page.
“Real estate is a contact sport,” Giordano said. “Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Real estate is a numbers game. A Realtor will say, ‘I’m going after quality, not quantity.’ Shut up! You’re never going to find quality unless you have quantity.”
Those are just a couple of the nuggets Giordano shared.
“If you didn’t learn something new from Tony,” Winfrey said as he took the microphone from Giordano, “I don’t know what to tell you.”
And that was before even more disruptive discussion from Mark Levine, professor at the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management. His topic: “The Impact of Driverless Vehicles on Commercial Real Estate.”