From Santa Cruz to Vegas

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I’m goin’ to Vegas. And no, I didn’t just win the Superbowl, but at times it feels like I did. Other times, it feels like I’ve just been pushed under a bus. Such is the real estate bidness.

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I’m going to come right out and admit it: I love Las Vegas. Las Vegas is one of those really polarizing town – you either hate it, or you love it. I have yet to meet anyone who told me, “I feel kind of lukewarm about Las Vegas.” That town seems to bring out some really visceral reactions in people.

As it happens, I’m not going there to have a good time, although I may, in spite of what’s on the agenda. I’m going there to attend a couple of seminars – two in the same week! One seminar is so I can get started on getting my CRS Designation. I’m a great believer in Realtor designations – those are the strings of letters you often see after Realtor’s names: Joe Blow, Realtor, GRI, ABR, SRES. Sound familiar? I have two Realtor designations – GRI (Graduate of the Realtor Institute) and e-Pro (“e-Professional”).

Why do I believe in getting designations, especially since hardly anyone outside the business knows what they mean? For several reasons. One reason is that there is very little training and education that is required for Realtors, really. The barrier of entry is just so low into this profession, all kinds of hacks and wannabes fill our ranks. Getting designations is just one little way to differentiate yourself – at a glance – from the rest of the crowd. Another reason is that I actually care about being knowledgeable and professional, and a little education and training never hurts. And, while I said that hardly anyone outside the real estate profession knows what those designations mean, many of my colleagues in the industry (especially experienced, long-serving Realtors) do know what those mean, and when you see an offer coming in from someone with, say, a CRS designation, you kind of know that this person is likely to have something of a clue as to how the business actually works.

I actually have another designation, too, but it’s not a Realtor® designation. I’m an RDCPro – a Residential Default Certified Professional; in other words, I’m a certified “expert” in REO (“real estate owned” – bank-owned foreclosure property). And that brings me to the other seminar happening in Vegas the week I’m going.

There’s a super-secret, invitation-only, one-day conference going on. Actually, I didn’t get invited, sniff. But I heard about it, and I wrote in and asked to be invited, and they sent me an invitation. I also invited one of my colleagues, who is bound and determined to break into the REO business. This super-secret REO conference is to last just a single day, right smack in the middle of the CRS seminars. So I’ll do one two-day CRS seminar, take a day off to play in Vegas, then do this REO seminar, and then two more days of CRS seminars…and then on Sunday, I’ll fly home.

It’s going to be pretty punishing. Not the seminars, not Las Vegas – no no. It’s going to be punishing staying away from my business right now, for a whole week, during the busiest time of year – how many deals will I lose? Also, when I come home, how much work will have piled up on my plate? I shudder to think. But, onward and upward – I am committed to being the highest caliber Realtor I can be, and if I have to go through Vegas on that journey, well that’s just as well. I’ll be out of town from June 8 to June 15 – I’ll bring a laptop with me, of course, and my cell phone – I’ll be out of town, but not out of touch.

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