The morning started off with investors from all over the US slowly meandering their way into the massive masonic Scottish Rites Temple sitting off the shores of beautiful Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland. The idea of networking at 7 a.m. on a Saturday wasn’t exactly at the top of my to-do list but the chance to meet with so many other experienced investors was well worth the 4 a.m. trip to the Bay Area. I got there early so that I didn’t miss out on anything and actually made it there early enough to help the other volunteers set up a table with name tags and itineraries. Before long, investors were piling into the grand ballroom and the quiet whispers of the morning became a slow and steady roar, as investors from all over the US introduced themselves to each other, exchanged business cards and shared their stories of where they’re from and why they’re here. I even met investors from as far away as Alaska. Before long it was time to start and J Martin kicked off the two-day Summit with some encouraging words and a taste of what we were going to experience over the next two days.
When I first got invited to the event I was excited, as I had never been to a real estate summit before. Though I had been to many meetup and REIA groups, I’ve never been to such a large event with so many investors under one roof. Not only was it a great opportunity to meet with so many other like-minded people, but an excellent chance to hear some really useful information from the keynote speakers who are obviously very experienced and quite successful in their field of endeavor.
The way it was set up, discussions were held in two separate rooms, the Grand ballroom and the room next to the ballroom – so you could choose what topic you wanted to listen to. Sometimes it was difficult to choose which topic I wanted to hear as there were so many great subjects to choose from. Ultimately , I leaned more towards the multifamily and notes discussions, however there were many more great topics to choose from such as syndication, increasing cash flow, and even big profits with tiny houses.
The speakers chosen for this event were inspiring, dynamic and really know their stuff. They knew how to capture the audience’s attention and came armed with plenty of slides, examples, and actionable knowledge. Some speakers had only information to share while other’s had products to sell – but all of them had really interesting and useful information and the products they were selling seemed well worth it for what you were getting. After every three or four speakers they would hold a discussion panel with those same speakers and give the audience an opportunity to ask questions that would be answered by everybody on the panel. This was a great chance to get different perspectives on the same topic from industry leaders.
During the course of the day it was obvious that the speakers had much more to share with us, but given the limited time frame to talk, they could only provide so much. With so much great info to share, some of the speakers went over their allotted time and others were forced to start late and had to scale back their talk , but they still managed to provide us with lots of information. The great thing was that they all made themselves available to talk with people after their discussions and took the time to answer questions individually and exchanged business cards – this way you can always reach out to them and get more information.
In between the speaker’s there were short breaks and opportunities for the rest of the investors to mingle with each other and do some networking – in many cases this is were some of the real magic happens, as connections are formed and as we all know sometimes all it takes is one great connection to change everything. In this case there were many great connections to be made.
It wasn’t all business, however. At the end of the first day session we had happy hour and everybody had a chance to mingle and drink and just enjoy a relaxing environment. Enjoying a Royal Crown on the deck overlooking the beautiful Lake Merritt and laughing with new friends was a great way to top off such a wonderful day.
The next day was filled with just as much useful information and once again it was difficult trying to decide which topics I actually wanted to listen to – but I had met some of the keynote speakers earlier and was eager to hear what they had to say and in some cases that’s how I decided. None the less, I was able to take away something from every discussion. Day two was also capped off with happy hour and was a great chance to take a collective sigh of relief and to digest and discuss all of the great information we just spent two days taking in.
I didn’t attend the first summit two years ago, so I don’t know what it was like – but if it was anything like this one, then I can understand why so many people were raving about it and gave it such great reviews. This is an event that I would like to see happen again next year and hope it becomes an annual event. J Martin – and all the volunteers that help put this together and organize it so well – thank you so much!