Lessons From Wichita

Three days was all I spent in Wichita, Kansas last week but it was enough to reaffirm my faith and hope for the real estate industry. The RAPDD (Realtor Association Professional Development Directors) Summit was held for the fourth time bringing Realtor Association Education folks together with real estate instructors from across the nation. The Summit creates energy among its participants and gives them an outlet to display their collective passion and concern for the education of real estate professionals (and amateurs). As a first time participant, I was impressed.

The RAPDD Summit is the child of Karen Becker of the Wichita Association of Realtors (soon on her way to the lucky state of Minnesota). Karen has designed (and delivered) a platform where two of the three primary players in real estate education: directors and instructors (the third is agents) have the opportunity to learn, share, motivate and empower one another. The primary focus is the delivery of quality education to Realtors. Many classes are held for both Directors and Educators with some of the best being given for the combined audience. A wide range of topics were addressed with the focus always being upgrading knowledge and professionalism in the real estate business.

Some lessons and some highlights:
1. Even during challenging times in both education and the actual real estate business, there are a wonderful core of caring, driven, motivated individuals ready to elevate the standards of Realtors and Realtor programs everywhere. Every Director I met (and the ones I already knew) has a passion for education and it shows.

2. Educators are cool. This was something that I might be slightly biased about but once again it was clear to me that my colleagues in the training world are pretty fantastic men and women motivated to do whatever they can to make our world a more productive, professional place.

3. Karen Becker is a linchpin. In his book, linchpin, Seth Godin describes linchpins as the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous, but they’re indispensable. She has developed something great, empowers it with her vision and delivers it to the appreciative masses.

1. Classes. Zan Monroe’s train the Trainer class. Great insights into the teaching loop delivered in Zan’s unique style. Larry Kendall’s lunch keynote on Vision presented with Larry’s keen insight. But while I enjoyed these two classes specifically, everyone that had a platform to educate delivered without fail.

2. People. As mentioned, I met some very wonderful people from every part of our business. Thanks to them all for enriching my stay in Wichita.

3. The Speaker Summit. Twenty educators each given ten minutes of stage time to strut their stuff, impress the crowd and show their commitment to education. I’ve taught one hour classes, all day and even multiple day settings, but I can tell you first hand, that ten minutes is tougher to prepare for than you can possibly imagine. One shot. Do or die (or something in between). Great fun!

As a passing note, I stayed at the Broadview Hotel, downtown, for two nights and while I heard stories of Clarence the ghost – I had no encounters with him.