It’s always a pleasure to sit down with first-time Connect attendees and get their perspective on the week they’ve just experienced. We recently did just that with Deanna Wyman, the director of training at Re/Max Results, Minnesota, who shared some of her thoughts and first impressions, and revealed what was most helpful to her and her business, and how Connect compares to other conferences she’s been to.
What was your favorite session, and why?
I was lucky enough to host a roundtable discussion at Hacker Connect on Monday. Our topic was, “The future of workflow”, which is actually a fairly broad topic, as we learned. We had a wide array of skill sets and backgrounds at our table, which lead to some interesting (and conflicting) viewpoints at times.
One participant sat down at the table with a very specific issue he was trying to solve, and the rest of us were quick to offer solutions and recommend tech tools. Every one of us suggested a different solution, and not a single one of them were solutions this individual had heard of or previously considered.
I researched each of them later and discovered that they were likely all good solutions to the problem. Go figure. My big takeaway from this? There are truly a million ways to do any one task, and almost all of those ways are the correct way to do it.
How did this Connect compare to previous Connects, or other real estate conferences you’ve been to?
As this was my first Connect, I don’t have previous Connect experiences to compare this to, but I do have other real estate conferences to compare it to. Connect is probably the single most valuable conference I’ve ever been to. It’s the conference to go to if you have a specific problem to solve, or if you just want to stay at the forefront of the industry.
One of my favorite things about attending conferences is that I get to absorb a ton of information in a relatively short amount of time. I can pop in and out of sessions, get key takeaways from each, then at the end of the day, scribble some notes in my hotel room and start the next day with an open mind and a fresh page in my notebook. When I return home, I have a bunch of ideas for new courses to offer our agents, and I’m feeling inspired.
This was magnified by about a thousand at Connect. I’m honestly still trying to wrap my head around the entire experience.
What was the most meaningful thing you took away from your time at Connect?
If you want to be great, surround yourself with great people. One of the best things about ICNY was the networking. I loved the opportunity to meet people I’ve only seen in Facebook groups, and to speak face to face with people I normally only see via Zoom.
Spending a somewhat immersive week with people who have near-celebrity status in my world was humbling. I’ll admit I was star-struck at times. The high-level conversations and nerdery that ensued was inspiring. I took away so many pearls of wisdom and started to see things from viewpoints I hadn’t previously considered.
In my role at Re/Max Results, I oversee the training and development for almost 1,200 agents. That’s no small task. I can sometimes find myself stuck in my ways, and it’s refreshing to have other viewpoints to consider.
I really appreciate the opportunity to network with my peers or with real estate professionals outside of our organization. I see a lot of value in getting other opinions and seeing things from other angles. All of this benefits our agents, as I get to bring them new courses, new ideas and, occasionally, a new product.
Which session surprised you the most?
The session that surprised me the most was the opening session at Tech Connect. There were a lot of useful things said, and the live Q&A was quite valuable. It was there that I had a revelation: we need more classes on the fundamentals of being a successful agent. I had been so focused on tech classes and how to use the tools we offer that I had lost sight of why I’m here in the first place: to help our agents be better.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we need to throw away our technology. After all, I had this revelation at Tech Connect. I realized that learning how to use technology is quite different from learning how to actually implement it in a business setting.
Take video for example. Everyone says if you aren’t doing video, you’re missing out. But what are you missing out on if you aren’t doing video? It’s the human connection. Technology isn’t a replacement for human interaction, rather a way to further the human interaction and personal communication in an increasingly impersonal era.
What was your favorite experience outside of the speakers and sessions?
My favorite experience outside of the speakers and sessions was getting to connect with friends and colleagues from across the country. Between lunches, meetings over coffee, dinners and the occasional party or two, I had so many incredible networking opportunities. I really value that.
But if we are looking for my absolute favorite experience outside of the speakers and sessions, I think it has to be when I got out of my comfort zone and had the chance to do some things I wouldn’t normally get to do. A small group of us took in the sights from great heights in a helicopter one morning, and we lived to tell the tale. I think that might have been one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.