Even when it comes to working with reporters who cover our industry, the real estate business is unique. Think about it. You could spend a month and tens of thousands of dollars on transportation, lodging and meals, trekking across the country to meet with a couple of dozen reporters, or you could attend a single conference and in a few days accomplish much the same thing.

That’s exactly what’s happening in Denver next week: an opportunity to meet with journalists, face-to-face, who write for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Dallas Morning News, Newsday, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Orlando Sentinel, Atlanta Journal Constitution, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Orange County Register, US News & World Report, Miami Herald, and dozens of other major newspapers and industry publications, from Inman News to The Real Deal, from Crain’s Business New York to San Francisco Business Times, and many more.

Brown-Palace-Hotel ImageThat’s the magic of NAREE: the National Association of Real Estate Editors, which next week holds its annual spring conference in downtown Denver, June 14-17 at the Brown Place Hotel.

NAREE is nearly 90 years old and has more than 650 active and associate members worldwide. Active members are reporters, writers, columnists, bloggers, editors and producers for digital, print and broadcast news outlets. Associate members write for and blog for industry publications, author real estate books, or disseminate information to digital, print and broadcast news outlets.

And for the last 51 years, the NAREE Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference seems to nearly outdo itself each and every year – a seemingly impossible task, until you attend the conference.  Most conferences you end up with a few takeaways. A NAREE spring conference often delivers a notebook full.

Denver Dialogue  

What will make Denver dazzle is the dialogue: both the conversations on the stage from the panels and those created spontaneously at the meal tables and in the hallways.

The lineup of speakers at NAREE conferences over the last decade has been exceptional, largely due to the extraordinary local volunteer support in each city. Great local volunteers have also been backed by the superior guidance of a dynamic duo: Mary Doyle Kimball, the Executive Director of NAREE, and Ralph Bivins, head of RealtyNewsReport.com, a NAREE Past President and long-time NAREE master conference orchestrator.

Marilyn Wilson, WAV Group founder, is on a can’t miss NAREE panel on Thursday, June 15 right after lunch at 1:05 pm: “Disruptive Technology: Home Buying in the New World Order.” I sneaked a peak at Marilyn’s notes and she’s going to cover some of the findings from the latest Consumer Research that the WAV Group has conducted on this topic: what buyers are saying is important and what’s not. She’s also has been working with several brokerages with new business models and will share what they have found has worked, and the growing importance of consumer protection in the age of automation.

She’s on a stellar panel with Rick Sharga from Ten-X, Mike Barnett from Property Panorama, and Erik Eckhardt, US CEO of Purple Bricks, a flat-fee agency from the UK.

But that’s just one of more than two dozen sessions, and top experts that include Douglas Yearley, CEO of Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded home builders, Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of CBL & Associates REIT, Paul Weech, CEO of Neighborworks, Dr. Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, among many others. Economist from CoreLogic, RedFin, Cushman & Wakefield, NAR, Home Advisor and Trulia are all participating as well. Plus, there will be hands-on tours of Denver’s “cutting-edge projects and hip districts,” according to NAREE.

Professional development mecca

For professional journalists, NAREE delivers even more, with NAREE University offering sessions twice daily throughout the conference. Combined with their journalism awards – highly-coveted nationally – and the renowned Bob Bruss Book Awards, the NAREE conference is jammed-packed from the early morning breakfasts to the late night wind-downs in the president’s suite.

And that may really be truly the best part of NAREE: the social interaction that it fosters. In our Digital Age, nothing still is more important to success in business than trust. And there still is no way to build trust more successfully and completely than spending time with someone and getting to know one another.

As a NAREE member, who first joined in 1986 very early in my career (before there were child labor laws), I have developed many strong professional, as well as deep personal, relationships through NAREE.  As I said in the beginning: as in many things in real estate, NAREE truly is unique.

I am ready to be dazzled in Denver.

Learn more at www.naree.org.