Photo by Anand Patel, www.twitter.com/Anand_Tampa, at RETSO 2012, Duluth, GA
Another RETSO (RETechSouth) is in the history books. RETechSouth began 5 years ago as a way for real estate industry professionals to come together and learn how to use up and coming technologies and systems to bring more business. This is my third RETSO, and I look forward to it more and more every year. As with past events, this one topped them all with a fresh, timely and relevant perspective on social media and technology not only for us to consider in real estate, but for our lifestyle and lives. However, as today’s final events got underway, I couldn’t help but thinking about the three things I really hate about RETSO!
1. I can only be in one place at a time.
The event opened strong with Bill Lublin ( @billlublin on twitter ) doing an outstanding job as MC and delivering opening remarks. This lead right into a simply captivating session with Jeff Turner ( @jeffturner ) making us all think very carefully about whether we were using social media, or it was using us. I absolutely love being challenged to look deeper into my daily habits to separate what is really working from what really just amounts to noise. This set in motion hours upon hours of amazing speakers delivering amazing content, which required difficult choices of which ones to attend and which to skip. Do I learn tips for balancing social media with a customer focused strategy, how to create a better user experience in my website or learn how “Facebook Ads Eat Google Adwords For Lunch”? The entire conference was focused on examining helpful tools like video, lead conversion, marketing, legal updates, and tackling some of the most controversial topics in our industry today. And yes, I’m referring to the Syndication Showdown Cage Match with Rob Hahn ( @robhahn ), Jay Thompson ( @PhxREguy )and Bill Lublin. No final determination was reached on winners/losers in this topic, but what’s important is that it was discussed. I’m not really sure that there is a right/wrong, black/white answer for this. I see it more as another opportunity for our current industry practices to once again adapt to new tools and technologies. Another session of truly honorable mention was delivered by Matthew Shadbolt ( @Corcoran_Group ). Did you know that there are over 150 internet addiction centers in Korea? I sure didn’t. Matthew reminded us that electronic devices have OFF buttons for a reason. I could name every session and presenter in the series, as they were all outstanding, but that would make this an even longer article.
2. Two days go by WAY too fast.
RETSO 2012 Session, photo by Ken Cook ( @thekencook on twitter )
The planned sessions are wonderful. But much of the magic happens outside of these sessions at the lunch and dinner gatherings, tweetups and sometimes even a little karaoke. It’s during these times that we can discuss the current topics and classes and bring to real life the numerous relationships which have often begun online and from a long distance. This year, many attendees came from places as far away as California, Oregon, Russia and Australia! Unfortunately, I missed meeting face to face with some of the great people I’ve hoped to meet.
The highlight of my between session time was getting the opportunity to meet Nicole Beauchamp ( @nikkibeauchamp ) in person and spend more time with Debbie Kirkland ( @FloridaSunSales ) and of course, my very awesome local friends Sarah, Lane and Ken. I’ll have find opportunities to connect with those I missed before next RETSO!
Fast forward, past the sessions and evening events, to Brian Copeland’s ( @NashvilleBrian ) presentation – Viral. I’ll tell you that I was glad the room was dark, since he literally brought a tear to my eye. In usual “NashvilleBrian” fashion, he brought serious thought and reflection about with fantastic humor and deep compassion. Brian challenged us to consider, whether we want to be viral for a few brief moments, or provide social value giving ourselves a much longer and more rewarding ride with the opportunity to make things better for others along the way. And with that, the session are over.
3. I really, really HATE when RETSO is over!
Item number three has been nagging me all day. After what appeared to be the end of the event, Brad Nix ( @bnix ) came up to close the event with a special announcement. It seems that I’m not the only one who really hates when RETSO ends. Brad announced their plan to do more with regard to carrying on the positive momentum of RETSO beyond the actual event. It is great news that Daniel Rothamel ( @drothamel ) will be taking on the new role of Community Curator for RETSO. I absolutely LOVE that Brad and all of the RETSO team is working hard to give our community a place to share and grow ideas which will help shape our industry. It makes me a little less sad to see the event end knowing that the momentum and fire, as Daniel put it, will continue to burn and flourish.
To EVERYONE who worked so very hard to provide another fabulous RETSO and everyone who did his/her part by attending and participating, I say THANK YOU. You’ve all made a difference in my life and probably others, as well. Now, to make plans for RETSO 6.0!!!!!!!
RETSO 2012 The End, Photo by Ken Cook, @thekencook on twitter