Talk to Wheaton REALTOR® Michael Parent if you want to know how attending his first IAR Fall Conference & Expo helped his career. Although he’s learned a lot in the 10-plus years that followed, understanding what customers value most has been one of the best benefits he could imagine. And even that definition has changed recently.
“These days, clients can get plenty of information on the Web,” he says. “But to make myself really valuable to my clients, I need access to information they don’t have. And I need to share it with them.”
Parent estimates that the upcoming conference will be his 11th, but he’s excited about attending because he always learns something new. “When you haven’t gone to a conference before, you’re a little in the dark. You may be tempted to say you don’t have the time or you can’t afford it. But once you go, you realize there’s a lot more to this business than just residential sales. The strength of the state association is far-reaching and connects people from all over Illinois.”
In past conferences, Parent says the information provided in Legal Updates proved valuable, as well as explanations about how RPAC supports IAR members. He’s always brought back information to share with colleagues. A member of the IAR Board of Directors for two years, Parent has served on numerous statewide committees since 2011, including two years on the working groups for: business issues/license law, political fundraising and the fall conference/inaugural gala. He has served on the Young Professionals Network for five years.
He is also the current president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® and is a broker with Coldwell Banker and vice president of operations for Burnet Title’s Chicago Region.
“If I met someone who wasn’t planning to attend the conference in September,” says Parent, “I would ask why. Ultimately, what I’ve learned has inspired me to become more involved and made me more valuable to my customers.”
Parent hopes to see you at the conference in Chicago, where walk-ins are welcome.