Industry Decoded: Jack Miller
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Industry Decoded: Why conferences are more valuable than ever 

T3 Sixty CEO Jack Miller understands that budgets are tight, but investing in a conference is an investment in your business — if you're committed to learning.

September 13, 2023
3 minutes

Thinking big about residential real estate success requires a big-picture perspective. Industry Decoded features industry experts who can enrich your understanding of issues affecting the industry as a whole.

Our consulting team is in hundreds of conversations every month with brokerage leaders, team leaders and executives in our industry. And there is no way to sugarcoat this: There is a sense of malaise over parts of the industry right now.

Many people who would normally engage and be present at industry events are simply not there.

This has been evidenced by low attendance at the late summer conferences that serve to kick off the fall conference season. Attendance is down 30-50%, which in many respects, is not surprising.

Why? The typical refrains: 

"I'm nervous about money, so I shouldn't go." 

"Corporate has put a hold on travel and conferences." 

"I'll go next year — save me a seat."

There is a part of me that hears this and thinks, "Yeah, that makes sense. Times are tough. Tighten your belt. Make cuts. Be fiscally disciplined."

Then, there is the other part of me.

This part yells at the top of my lungs, "THIS IS WHY YOU GO TO CONFERENCES!" To learn. To network. To prepare. To be the sharpest possible weapon you can be for your clients, your agents, your team. To find the one thing — business practice, service, vendor, tool, narrative — that can turn your world around.

That's the reason a friend of mine attends a large mastermind group twice a year, without exception. During the mastermind, he'll listen for the one thing he thinks will greatly change his business — and then he does it. I've watched this happen. Sometimes it occurs on the first day, sometimes the last. And I've thought, that is a person that is committed to learning — and to executing.

If you attend conferences mainly to drink and say hi to old friends — which is fine! — maybe the expense isn't worth it.

But if you go to learn, to get a competitive advantage, to find the one thing that can change your business and set you up for the market to come — now is the time to show up.

There are incredible conferences coming up. The planners are all sweating the details, lining up powerful speakers and leaders to bring their best to you. I've talked to many of them, and they are working tirelessly to make these conferences amazing and to bring you real value. Here are some of the conferences worth considering in the next month or so:

  • Built How Live, September 12-14, Phoenix

  • FUBCON, September 25-28, Los Angeles

  • Leading RE Global, September 29-Oct 1, Portugal

  • L'Attitude, September 27-30, Miami

  • CMLS, October 3-5, New Orleans

  • HousingWire Annual 2023, October 10-12, Austin

  • RESO Fall Meeting, October 23-26, San Diego

  • T3 Tech Summit, October 23-25, Ft. Worth (our company's fall conference)

Take a look at what they have to offer, and decide if you're ready to learn and to strengthen your business.

Note: A version of this column first appeared as a LinkedIn post last month.

Jack Miller has held leadership roles in the real estate industry for over two decades and is currently CEO and president of T3 Sixty, one of real estate's leading management consultancies. (T3 Sixty founder Stefan Swanepoel also founded Real Estate News.) Jack also contributes to the Swanepoel Trends Report, writing about brokerage industry trends, technology in real estate and emerging business models. The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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