Throughout the autumn trade show season, the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference (NAR) is one of the ‘main events’ for the real estate industry. San Francisco’s Moscone Center hosted an estimated 22,000 REALTORS® earlier this month, encouraging every attendee to “Rise to New Heights.”
The conference offered a number of opportunities to do just that, including a broad range of courses on essential topics – government and regulation, housing trends, sales success, the latest technology and more. Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address, with a focus on effecting positive change by supporting job creation and homeownership. And NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, known for his clear and engaging presentations, was a major draw in his own right, with a highly anticipated session on economic issues and trends.
So, how did we fare in this robust environment? Our booth was designed to be dynamic and attention-grabbing, and with the efforts of the associates who represented us, we achieved that goal. Our bright, modern floor plan featured a large video wall playing a message on the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) changes and our staff welcomed a number of visitors.
We were genuinely amazed at the number of people who stopped by to compliment their local Stewart offices – a wonderful testament to the job our associates do in the field. There were also those who brought minor concerns to our attention, which we did our best to address; not every transaction is perfect, but it’s essential to us that we learn from mistakes and strive to provide the best service we can.
Perhaps most importantly, many REALTORS® shared that they were largely unaware of how the CFPB’s integrated mortgage disclosure rule (final rule was issued after the conference on November 20) would would affect their business. Our feature video explained many of the basics, and Stewart’s own Noah Blanton, Division President – Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA, was on hand to answer questions.
This truly positioned Stewart as the thought leader on the topic, and complements our CFPB educational efforts that have previously been focused on lender and title agency customers. Discussing CFPB provisions with REALTORS® at NAR gave us some of the momentum we’ll need as we continue our efforts as real estate professionals work to understand the changes.
All in all, the 13 associates staffing Booth #6368 played host to many of the real estate professionals in attendance, making hundreds of connections along the way. Coming face-to-face with these important customers helps us build relationships that are a source of strength for Stewart, and for our colleagues throughout the industry.