March 15th 2023
Every year, right at the end of February, RE/MAX International holds its annual convention. For many years, the location varied, always in the U.S., and always far enough south that it was below the snow line. But as the size of RE/MAX International grew, so did the size of the conventions. And with each growth spurt, the number of potential site locations dropped as there were fewer and fewer cities with the convention capacity to accommodate.
For the last number of years, the convention has been held in Las Vegas, the convention capital of the world. And this year, marking the 50th Anniversary of the RE/MAX organization. Very few alternate locations could have handled the almost 10,000 attendees who traveled from around the globe to be there in attendance.
The format of the convention has changed as well over the years. Traditionally the convention started with an Opening General Assembly. And while that was very much a part of the program again this year, the convention was actually a couple of days old by the time the Opening General Assembly was held. The first couple of days were filled with specialty training, full and half day, as well as a wide array of one-hour topical sessions, with everything you could wish for available: social media, team building, branding, lead generation, distress property marking, intro to KV Core, vacation properties, the list just goes on and on.
The general opening sessions featured David Liniger, founder of the RE/MAX organization who took us for a walk down memory lane, right from the early days of RE/MAX in 1973, through periods of gradual then exponential growth, into franchising, global expansion and going public and ending with a quick look into the future.
The session included speeches by Nick Bailey, President & CEO, a feature cameo of this year's Miracle Child for CMN, along with an overview of the incredible part RE/MAX has played and ended with a keynote message from Author/Adventurer/TV Host, Bear Grylls. Amazing to see the legendary Garden Arena at MGM Grand filled to capacity with 10,000 wrist lights twinkling to the music.
A new addition to the curriculum was a special Canadian reception. But with 1,000 Canadian delegates on hand, it only made sense. One of the key components of any convention is the establishment of a referral network between agents. And in Canada, since most referred business flows East to West, connecting with fellow Canadians made a lot of sense. It was great to see the ballroom packed with some 1,000 agents all from north of the border.
Wednesday morning we were treated to another general session, this time featuring trainer/coach Jared James and followed by Jon Dorenbos, former NFL player first with the Eagles, then the Saints.
In addition to huge general sessions, each day was filled with break-out training sessions. Every hour offering a multitude of topic choices as we have already mentioned. And during the entire convention, the Marketplace was available to agents. A place where they could meet suppliers, and exhibitors who provided a mind-boggling array of business help and solutions, supplies, and systems.
In addition to supplies, marketing, and agent exhibits, two very special events are held each year at the Marketplace. The first is the ice cream social. A great (and tasty) event giving agents an opportunity to mingle and socialize as well as shop and learn. And the second features CMN, with live events and broadcasts as well as both a live and a silent auction.
For years now RE/MAX on all levels – Internationally, Regionally, office, and agent has embraced CMN (Children’s Miracle Network). Not sure how much was raised at the CMN Auction during the convention, but this past year alone RE/MAX donated $10,862,533 dollars to the CMN cause, bringing the total RE/MAX donations to date to $197,413,869. Proud to be a part of it.
The final wrap-up, as always, features a special speaker, not so much addressing the real estate business as addressing life. This year’s session featured world-renowned drummer Mark Schulman with lots of anecdotes from his many years accompanying celebrities like Cher, Billy Joel, Pink, etc., leaving us with a timely real-life message to live by today, tomorrow, and forever.
With that, another R4 convention came to a close. But mark your calendars. Next year the convention is bumped a month later. End of March. That means the weather should be warmer and pools will be open. Held at MGM’s sister hotel, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. No doubt it will be another amazing event. We will report on it again to be sure. But so much better if you are actually there. You absolutely will not be disappointed.