For more than 50 years, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) has met three times a year to hold journalism conferences. Of all the events that WAV Group Communications attends, none pack more value into a few days than NAREE. The peer exchange is unmatched in our business.

If you are not familiar with NAREE and you do corporate communications, PR, or real estate coverage as a journalist, blogger or author, this is a “must-join” organization. Membership information is here.

Their gatherings, coupled with their annual NAREE Network Membership Directory that includes everyone’s contact details and profiles, make your membership investment worth every penny. Since 1929, the non-profit NAREE has been a place where real estate writers, editors, columnists, authors, and communicators come together to learn, as well as exchange ideas and best practices and get to know one another better. More than 600 professionals– active (journalists) and Associate members (communicators) –meet three times a year, a winter meeting at the International Builders Show (IBS), a fall meeting typically help during the NAR Annual Convention, and one every spring.

This year the spring conference is in Austin, June 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Austin on the banks of Lady Bird Lake. Yes, attendees will get a great view of Austin’s famous “Bat Bridge.”

Awesome Austin

NAREE was last in Austin almost ten years ago, in 2010. Former NAREE president Shonda Novak wrote the condo explosion in Austin, which has changed the city’s skyline since then dramatically. From the 58-story The Independent (nicknamed the Jenga Tower) at the western edge of downtown to the 38-story Northshore, across from the Hyatt. On the docket, Novak reports, is the tallest building yet at 66 stories and to include apartments and office space.

Austin is a hotbed of high tech, and it is home to top real estate innovators OJO Labs (AI leader), the Austin Association of Realtors®, and Redfin. This tech drives massive economic growth, impacting real estate on two fronts: the overall market and the significant number of hot real estate related tech startups.

In addition to OJO Labs, according to BuiltinAustin hot real estate related tech startups include Opcity, Homads, ListingSpark, Rabbet (Construction), RealHQ (Agent Pronto), RentHub, RealMassive (CRE), RealSavvy, REThink CRM, TenantCloud, and Turnkey Vacation Rentals.

I love going to Austin – despite the horrific traffic to and from the airport during rush hour. Like its famous music scene, the food scene also rocks. My two top shares: Clay Pit for Indian food and Franklin’s for BBQ (worth the wait and reopened a year and a half ago after its fire closed it for several months).

NAREE Line-up

The tentative NAREE Spring Conference agenda is online and will be updated as we get closer. The highlight for me comes Friday afternoon – the “Meet the Press” function. It’s speed dating with reporters. NAREE attracts the “Who’s Who” of reporters who cover real estate. Name a top US news publication or real estate trade and they are likely to have someone in attendance – or even several folks.

NAR gives a Midyear Economic Forecast, and we typically get insight into cutting-edge firms. My colleague, WAV Group founding partner Marilyn Wilson, will be helping out on one of those panels. The annual NAREE Awards will be Friday night – honoring top reporting and now in its 69th year!

The social aspect built into the spring conference makes it the most special NAREE event of the year and an excellent opportunity for newcomers. Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the NAREE current president hosts a hospitality suite with an open bar and delectable treats. Because of generous sponsors, there’s often a giveaway item (or two) that you won’t toss away but use.

Bottom line: if you work with real estate journalists or are one, join NAREE and we’ll see you in Austin at the end of the month!

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