It’s that time of year again: your annual opportunity to connect with the top resource people in the reverse mortgage industry, from loan originators to lenders, recruiters to government officials, attorneys to financial counselors, and more.
Below are ten tips to help you maximize your NRMLA Convention experience, both before and after you visit the City By the Bay November 13-15th:
Before you go:
1. Set goals. While wardrobe matters, conference intention is even more important. What do you want to accomplish by participating in the industry’s premier gathering? Your objectives might include:
- Building business
- Solving problems
- Connecting with specific people
- Attending certain sessions
2. Pack it in. Besides goals and clothes, be sure to pack business cards, smartphone (plus at least one other device as back-up), chargers, notepad, pens, portable premiums, and whatever else you might need when meeting potential new business associates or referral partners.
3. Network smart. As a follow-on to goal setting, use the NRMLA conference to network smarter, not more intensely. It’s better to make fewer meaningful connections and establish beneficial beginnings than to head home with a profusion of new contacts and no clear sense of who these people are or how you can help one another.
4. Practice self-care. Take good care of yourself while traveling and participating. Get enough sleep, rest during the day if you need to, and observe social mores, especially when it comes to food and alcohol. You never know when a major referral resource or other valuable contact is watching.
5. Don’t dine solo! While there’s no need to nosh if you feel like skipping a meal, when you do sit to eat, use the time wisely. Choose a table where people you want to connect with are sitting, or invite others to join you. A casual atmosphere can be one of the best places to create or further new connections.
Action steps afterwards:
1. In the cards. While the people you met are still fresh in your mind, create a folder in your digital address book called “NRMLA contacts 2017″ and add each name now. It will keep everyone from this year’s meeting organized in one place for ease of reference and follow up.
2. Reach out. Email each contact, remind them briefly what you talked about at the convention (sports scores and dog breeds count), and suggest connecting further. If they’re geographically accessible, an in-person meet-up for lunch is a great idea. For distant contacts, a phone call, Skype, or Google Hangouts session may be the best way to get further acquainted. If you promised to provide a link or other info, it’s a perfect reason to email now: they’ll appreciate your professionalism and follow-through.
3. Send digital invitations. Invite new contacts to connect on LinkedIn, your Facebook business page (if you have one), and any other sites where you have a presence. Once you’re connected, see who else among your contacts might be a good contact for your new friend, and foster an introduction. You’ll strengthen your reputation as someone who helps others succeed.
4. Put good ideas into practice. What’s the best new reverse mortgage idea you discovered at NRMLA? Break it down into action steps and begin to implement them immediately. Periodically check your progress against the original description to make sure you’re on track.
5. Set 2018 Conference Goals. It’s not too soon to start preparing for next year’s conference. Create a digital or physical folder labeled NRMLA Convention 2018. Review what went well this year, what you could tweak or eliminate, and any ideas you’ll want to hone as the year unfolds. Put all of this information into the folder. Add quarterly or even bi-monthly calendar “check-ins” so you stay on top of your conference prep as 2018 unfolds. It’s the best way to ensure your participation will lead to worthwhile outcomes.