This September I had the pleasure of speaking at, hanging out in the pool, and MCing the Royal LePage National Headstart conference. I didn’t have any expectations going in other than I knew Realtors liked to have fun, and well I like to have fun so I thought we may just get along!
I was blown away.
The people were incredible. I’ve only spoken at a couple of conferences, this was by far my favourite. I basically made 300 friends that week.
As I was reflecting on an amazing couple of days it was it dawned on me, these Royal LePage folks really get it, I learned a TON. And here is what I learned.
1. If it’s not fun it’s not worth doing!
Pretty sure Sir Richard Branson put that on the cover of his last book The Virgin Way. Words to live by and yes, learning can be fun.
Day 1 the afternoon was a “team building” competition where you were put into teams and had to compete at different competitions testing your knowledge and skills in several different areas. It was UNREAL! Like Big Idea Camp for adults. The company running it was Canadian Outback Adventure and they did one heck of a job. I was skeptical at first because, well, how many “team building” games have you been to that are actually fun? Yeah, not many! This one was hilarious. They had an elaborate scoring strategy, brain games, physical games, and team work style games. If only all corporate conferences were just team building competitions.
2. Culture starts at the top
Before I gave my keynote Phil Soper, the CEO of Royal LePage Canada spoke. Generally when I go on the senior leaders in organizations leave because what could they learn from me? This has happened many times so I come to expect it out of leadership. Not this leader, he stayed the entire time, asked questions after talks, and engaged with the folks he serves on a daily basis. It was really refreshing to see a national company have a leader who’s willing to ride a motorcycle to fundraise for their shelter foundation. He down to earth but very smart, the type of person you want on your team.
3. Location location location!
Especially for a Realtor focused conference! Harrison Hot Springs was probably the best setup for a conference other than Vegas. It’s situated on a beach, there are boat tours, fishing tours, golf, and yes several outdoor and indoor hot springs pools. I’ve never seen so many people in an outdoor pool, it was magical. You really become a family eating breakfast together, learning together, competing together, then yes soaking in the tub together.
4. Caring more is still your best competitive advantage
Royal LePage as a group have a national charity called “The Shelter Foundation“. 100% of donations to the Shelter Foundation go directly to helping people as the Administrative costs for the Shelter Foundation are covered by Royal LePage. How amazing is that? Royal LePage actually DOES care. I was floored. They really get it. The foundation last year raised over $500,000.
They raise money for women’s shelters across Canada by organizing a major trip/hike every two years. Those going on the hike have to raise a minimum of $5,000 to donate to the Shelter Foundation as well as pay their own way on the trip. The first year they hiked Machu Picchu and last year they did Iceland.
5. You’re Only As Strong As Your People
On the second day of the conference I got to MC the day time programming. I also got to listen to 4 amazingly successful Realtors from all over Canada, and a couple keynotes from people much smarter than me. I was downloading apps I was hearing about, taking notes and literally getting a lot out of the conference. Everyone can teach you something.
Thanks to Royal LePage for your hospitality. You made one bearded boy from the prairies feel like home. I met so many amazing people doing so many great things in their communities. I was astounded by all the stories of “oh yeah I’ve been trying to build up my community for years!”, or my favourite, “we don’t do much, just been volunteering here for the past 20 years.” Is was very inspiring. I kept saying to these people KEEP DOING IT!!! You’re the reason our lil ol’ country is growing.