Don’t Waste Valuable Trade Show Opportunities

By Jared Grant

I just got on Southwest Airlines flight 32 leaving Las Vegas for Oakland California.  The airport I am leaving was filled with many tired faces of brokers, developers, retailers, restaurateurs, and many others who work in some aspect of commercial real estate.

While they are heading home to different parts of the world, they all shared one purpose for the last three days.  They were all returning from the International Counsel of Shopping Centers main event in Las Vegas commonly referred to as Recon Las Vegas.

If you have never been to Recon Las Vegas it is an amazing congregation of real estate players looking to connect, learn, and work on transactions related to the Retail property sector.  All told more than 65,000 people attend this annual event.  There are hundreds of exhibitors with properties they are looking to lease.  There are also different service providers, software, and tech tools sharing the latest technologies being developed in commercial real estate.

On reflecting on this year’s show, I started thinking about people’s perception of commercial real estate agents and brokers.

There are many new inexperienced agents and brokers that attend.  There are also many who lack the skills to negotiate and move deals forward to completion.  There are also brokers and agents who simply are not willing to hustle.  In fact, I suspect that most of the people at this event are here because its in Las Vegas and not because of the tremendous opportunity it represents.

But there is also a select group of people who attend the event to take advantage of building face to face relationships.  After all, that’s what real estate brokerage is really about.

That’s the real value brokers and agents provide to their clients.

Sure they have to have the skills to understand the process of buying, selling, and leasing commercial real estate.  They also need to know how to evaluate a property’s financial performance and come up with an accurate market valuation.

But those are all skills that can be learned. The real value is creating opportunities by building and maintaining relationships.

Successful brokers know that events such as Recon Las Vegas is really about meeting people face to face and building a relationship that can make transactions possible.

Remember, success is about doing the things that others are not willing to.  So at the next networking event, instead of standing around talking to people you already know, talk to as many new people and find out how you can work together.

You may just learn something new from these other professionals in the conversation that can make a big impact in your business and profitability. There’s a wealth of information that others have amassed in their brains. And guess what? Many are very willing to teach and share with you.

Yes it’s an ego boost for some of these guys and gals to impart their brilliance on you, but in reality I think it’s more people relating to like minded people. We naturally want to share what we know when others are likely to appreciate it.

My advice to you is to start planning some events like Recon. It doesn’t matter if you are an apartment broker, office broker, land developer there are multiple organizations to fit your area of expertise (or future area of expertise). Use google to search for these events all over the country and beyond.

Get out there and meet other professionals. Build some great relationships. Get and pass along referrals. Lastly, always keep growing your mindset and skill set.

Onward and best of luck,

-Jared Grant

Managing Partner, Grant and Lewis

“Grant & Lewis is a fully licensed real estate brokerage company dedicated to making the lease administration process easy. Through the combination of highly trained lease administrators and customized software, Grant & Lewis can help investors to get more out of their commercial real estate investments.”

Steve Walters
Steve Walters
Hi I'm Steve! Commercial real estate agent and co-founder of Straight Talk Commercial Real Estate Academy. My vision is to educate and empower real estate professionals, investors, and would-be real estate folks into the fun world of commercial property. I truly believe in the power of it to transform lives for the better. It starts with proper education paired with a "can-do" attitude! Check out some awesome free training at

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