This last September I attended the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Annual Marketing Conference at LA Live in
Los Angelese, California titled "Putting the Dream Back In Homeownership!". As President of the local affiliate chapter CAHREP and real estate practitioner it is with both a sense of obligation and a great pleasure that I participated in this event.
I did feel like a small blog about my experience was in order for a few
reasons. One, to report to my members who were not able to attend and maybe encourage participation next year. Two, to inform anyone interested
in the great things that Latino professional organizations like NAHREP are doing, especially in these difficult economic times and how our community is in the forefront of both the struggle and a huge part of driving force behind the economic recovery. Finally, there is a benefit from reflecting on the experiences and refresh in my mind the information, the message and most importantly the people that I spent time with.
We all know the vital role housing has played in the financial health of economies, within families and in the macroeconomic vitality of the nation.
From beginning to end, from my fellow members and presidents to the corporate executives of the Bank of the Americas and Wells Fargos of the world,
there is pretty much a call to action to outreach to the Latino population to educate, assist and serve in all maters of housing and financing needs. All parts of the conference from the speeches, the break out sessions, workshops and side meetings served to meet that beacon.
Our welcome reception at Club Nokia got the groove going with a huge ice breaker and words from John D. Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for HUD and the NAHREP leadership.
The general sessions were the large gathering opportunities with VIP panelists and presenters. Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch provided a “keep it real” spirited message at the welcome session Monday morning. Workshops, seminars for professional development followed, including luncheons and receptions.
As far as workshops, I attended: New Advances in Short Sales, Lending to Latino Homebuyers in Today’s Market, Code of Trust, Breaking into the Commercial Real Estate Arena, and finally…Building Wealth and Financial Planning for Small Business.
I would say I enjoyed the Short Sales and the Commercial RE workshop the most. One of the problems with conferences in general is retaining all the information provided. This time I tried to take photos of the slide presentations whenever it was possible.
One of the most enjoyable parts is just hanging out with my fellow NAHREP members and meeting important leaders in the industry. One guy I was happy to see is Julian Hardaker, a new CAHREP member who I‘ve done business from my days as a mortgage broker with Clarion. I really think he enjoyed it . At the Wells Fargo reception down at the Palms Restaurant I had a great time enjoying the fine food and chatting with Eugenio Alemán, Senior Economist for Wells Fargo and a native of Argentina. I introduced him to Paula Franco, the NAHREP President at the Utah Chapter and they hit it off. I hope to bring him to Denver soon! Also spent a good time with the gang from Dallas like Joann, Guillermo, Carlos and Daisy and her husband from Florida. From there it was the Conga Room for Chase’s VIP reception. George Artero, President from Seattle made sure we all had a great time. All I have to say is that there is a video I made with the fun activity they had prepared for us - look for it. I believe that night we ended up going to the official after hours reception at The Vault where the organizers had live music and a great atmosphere prepared for us. I danced some norteño besides my usual salsa/merengue. This is pretty much how it goes, attend, watch, observe and learn during the day and get to have fun and mingle at night.
I would say one special highlight was having basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speak at the Gala Dinner. He talked about his DVD On the Shoulders of Giants and also took open floor questions from the audience. That guy is TALL. Besides enjoying that experience, I did sit with one of the most fun group at my table. I can probably go on for a good while but I can just sum it up as a great get-away moment where as an organization we can focus on what we do for a living and have fun doing it. It really energizes you and makes you wonder what you should be doing personally, professionally and with your local NAHREP community- CAHREP in my case. I encourage anyone to look for videos, photos, articles, agendas etc from the conference and dig further. You may very well be a part of it next year.