I just nicely got back from the National Association of Realtors convention in Orlando, Florida. It was my first NAR convention and what an experience! There were approximately 20,000 REALTORS present from all over the world. One day I had lunch with a Broker from Bugaria. THAT was an interesting experience. They have only had a real estate market for 15 years and you still don't have to have a license to sell real estate.
The conference sessions were very good and one of the big themes this year was "social networking". This included the use of blogs, Twitter, facebook and so on to promote and sell real estate. It was all very interesting with many panel discussions around the subject.
On a more fun note I got to see Blue Man Group at their Universal Studios location which was a real treat. If you have never seen them before, I fully reccommend that you do if the chance arises. It is truly an experience.
The entire Universal Studios location is quite amazing. Hundreds and hundreds of acres in prime territory. The money spent there would be in the tens of billions of dollars. We stayed at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, one of three Loews Hotels at Universal. It was supposedly designed by Steven Speilburg and is a replica of Portofine Bay in Italy. This is a shot taken across the "Bay" by the water taxi to Universal.
I think that is where most of the Canadians stayed. Shuttle busses took us back and forth and I had a chance to talk to many REALTORs from across Canada and the US. Most are doing well and say it is not as bad as the media trys to make it. Some of the REALTORS I spoke with from the Calgary area mentioned that it was slowing down but that it was really just back to normal. However, I think we are going to see some people coming back home which may help us with our labour shortage a bit.