RESO Confabs are Real Estate’s Club 33

by Kevin Hawkins on March 10, 2018

Denver will be my fourth RESO Spring Tech Summit. Compared to many of the RESO Disney Club 33leadership, who, like WAV Group, work for companies that are charter members, I’m still a newbie. Even so, RESO conferences have come a long way from the Chicago spring meeting I attended in 2015 at the NAR HQ.

This year’s tech summit is set for the pop-themed Denver Curtis Hotel, April 24-26. There’s the Jimmy Buffett and Star Trek-themed guest rooms. Others have Pac Man machines in them, an inspiration for the conference theme: “It’s Game on for Data Standards.”

RESO conferences have become our Club 33. For the non-Disney super fans, Club 33 is the exclusive, private club side of Disneyland and Disneyworld that only a limited number of people get to experience.

I make the analogy because RESO Conferences are limited to 300 people, attract the brightest tech minds around, and are attended by many industry key decision makers and influencers. It’s a genuine VIP crowd. It is so intimate that you can get face time with anyone attending. And when you leave, you often feel like you were part of something special. That’s not hyperbole: ask a first-timer what his or her experience was after a first RESO meeting, post-2015.

Then vs. Now

The most significant difference back then: I think I counted three women in the room; I almost fell over. As a PR person about to take on the communications program for RESO, this needed to be fixed.

Fast-forward to Denver, and you will see a speaker lineup that has more women on stage! Katie Ragusa from TRIBUS, Lisa Stanley from OSCRE, Holly Trachovsky from BuildFax, Liz Tewksbury from NEREN MLS, and Laura Stukel from CMLS.

I remember that the seat I selected at NAR didn’t give me a clear view of some of the presentations: there was a pillar in the way. Now conferences are at uber-cool hotels that have character and are typically located in the heart of each city’s vibrant downtown area.

Today, RESO Conferences don’t just circle back to Chicago annually: they head to up-and-coming, exciting cities. Places you want to visit, or discover you had no idea they were such great cities. Austin, Kansas City, Nashville, San Diego, and Denver with Milwaukee, Boise, St. Louis, and New Orleans are all on the horizon.

Content is the key

At RESO conferences, the other thing I believe keeps improving is the content. Survey responses that the staff and fearless leader Jeremy Crawford, CEO of RESO, personally comb through after each meeting allows RESO to course correct to provide better future content.

This year, two things stand out for me: Innovation Competition winners and a “Diving into Deep Learning” workshop – a mini-conference-in-a-conference on Friday – featuring Intel’s Sergey Ermolin, a Silicon Valley’s veteran with a passion for machine learning and artificial intelligence. If you want to get your Geek on, you need to be in Denver on April 26 from 10 am to 2 pm to attend this!

Innovation Competition

The Innovation Competition is going on now. The winners get an opportunity to present at the RESO Spring Conference, sponsored by the Austin Board of REALTORS®. Winners’ transportation and hotel expenses are part of the prize. The idea is to find breakthrough ideas that use standardized RESO data. The data is being made available to contestants from the Austin Board of REALTORS®, CoreLogic and the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) via a Development Reference Server.

Participants have to submit a 3-10 minute “Pitch Video” of the innovation they have created. They must use the ABOR, CoreLogic and RESO MLS Data Developmental Reference Server in the solution they show. All Submissions must be uploaded and made available to RESO on DropBox by Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Videos can even be a simple recorded GotoMeeting presentation: judges are looking for content, according to Crawford at RESO, not video production value. The lineup of judges is impressive: Kyle Campbell of Hack Capital, Constance Freedman of Moderne Ventures, Stan Marin of Austin Board of REALTORS®, Mark Birschbach of Second Century Ventures/NAR, Adi Pavlovic of Keller Williams’ Innovation Labs, Maria Seredina of Zillow Group, and Josh Lopour, who was the lead architect and host of this RESO event.

Workgroup element

The other core component of RESO conferences are the in-person Workgroup meetings. RESO Workgroups is where the sausage is made. Creating data standard for the entire real estate industry is a painstaking process, but the result is worth billions of dollars in savings, and scores of years in development time – literally.

In Denver, the Workgroup meetings, which typically are monthly by conference call, often provide the opportunity for more in-depth discussions and welcome new ideas. Any RESO member can join any Workgroup. This is where you get to have your greatest influence on the future of our industry. You can learn more about RESO Workgroups at

Almost sold out

I am telling you about our industry’s Club 33 because once again, it’s nearly sold out. Because it’s also one of the most affordable conferences, it fills up fast. I mean, how many real estate confabs do you know charge $350 for members and $450 for non-members (before April 12). And that includes THREE breakfast meals, TWO lunches, and sponsored receptions. Unlike Club 33 (which has a $50,000 initiation fee and $15k a year dues), RESO also is real estate’s best bargain. Register here – but be quick about it as that limitation number is real.

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