A real estate expo is an exhibition of the country’s property market as well as décor among other elements of the real estate industry. Basically, real estate expos are a crash course in real estate. In Kenya, one of the biggest expos is the Kenya Homes Expo that is usually held at the KICC. An expo can be local or international. As a citizen, it is important to take at least a day to attend any real estate expo. In these times of economic hardship and an uncertain future, it is important to understand an industry that contributes to about 15% of the country’s GDP. Expos are meant for everyone from professionals in the industry to potential investors, developers and even those hoping to play some part in real estate. At the crux of it, everyone is a stakeholder in real estate. Below are some reasons why you should attend real estate exhibitions.
For Buyers and Investors
The processes of owning property can be quite complex especially if there are issues. If you are a newbie in real estate then you will want to have a full idea of how you should go about engaging in the industry. You will find out how to get the best professionals to help you with the processes and how to go through the processes affordably. You will be able to collect information on some details that you might not easily come across like for example new décor ideas. You can get some valuable information that could help you make a decision on whether or not you should be a real estate investor.
There will always be something you have trouble understanding in real estate. If you are a newbie in the real estate game, you will feel out of your depth. You will constantly run into words you do not know. To get some of the best real estate advice, you would have to pay consultation fees. There are usually stands all around with professionals eager and willing to answer questions about anything really. If they cannot answer, they will usually direct you to someone who can. At these expos, there will also be a few sessions with real estate professionals
If you are thinking of building your own home and need some inspiration, the expos are a good place to be. You will get to see what developers are doing and all the advancements in real estate. You, therefore, have the opportunity to steal some ideas. You would not know about new types of tiling without visiting specific well-stocked shops. By visiting these expos, you have the chance to be properly plugged in. This will be a lot like window shopping. Imagine being able to get prices and see the offerings of different vendors all in one roof on one day?
If you are looking to buy property, you definitely will not be able to visit every single house on the market. That would be very expensive, to pay the agent for each of those. How else can you get to see as many property options as possible? How could you possibly have a more conclusive idea of what the market looks like? The expo will offer you a look at all the options you would have as a property buyer. You would be able to scope numerous real estate companies and agents. You would also find out what your options are in terms of house qualities. The idea is to have the entire real estate market all under one roof.
- Direction of the industry
This is more for investors. As an investor, you should know where the industry is going if you are going to put your money in it. What are the trends? What is the future of the industry? This is how you know where to put your money. This is how you know how to diversify your real estate investment. You will also be able to find out if you should make the investment or not.
- Meet professionals
Any real estate newbie will have trouble finding the right professionals. In some cases you will try out a few, losing consultation money in the process. These expos are a great way to find professionals. You would be able to conduct preliminary interviews. The thing about people you work with is that you will always have a bit of a sixth sense about the right one. A brief conversation will tell you if you need to engage this person further or if you should move on to another potential. To put it simply, the expo can be window shopping for real estate professionals.
For Professionals and Sellers
A professional in the real estate industry will need to know people. Working in real estate is a lot about who you know. At an expo, you would be able to meet like-minded people. People who could help mentor you during your career. People who could offer you apprenticeships. People who could introduce you to the next level of your career. People you could partner with later to open your own shop. You could also meet potential clients. People who could buy from you. People who could become lifelong clients constantly buying property from you and even referring their friends to you. As a professional in real estate, your network is your net worth.
- New trends
If your job is to sell houses, then you will need to know what everyone is doing. You need to have something to tell clients when they ask you what you think they should invest in. This is a great asset to have. This ability to steer clients right will help your career. You should know if a new house you are trying to sell is on-trend too. This will help how you market and sell it. You will also be able to help clients bring their properties up to date so that they are more sellable.
- Show and tell
An expo is one of the very few places where you can shamelessly brag about your aptitude as a professional in real estate. Be prepared to talk about what you do, how you do it and even what you have done. Be armed with evidence of your successes. Carry your business cards with you. You should be able to tell everyone about your work as well as show them your prowess.
What to do…
- Budget time
The expo runs for about three days. It covers about three floors of KICC with thousands of people showing up to participate and just have a look around. You should, therefore, budget your time properly. A good strategy would be to start upstairs and sort of move against traffic. Many people will at the bottom floor then move up. You should also try to show up early before the lines form outside and it takes you too long to get inside.
- Start with areas of interest
The stands will be arranged in such a way that similar ones will be clustered together. You should, therefore, start with the stands that interest you the most then visit the rest with whatever time you have left. This will allow you to get what you need and want out of the expo and some extras too. Starting with your areas of interest is especially useful if you have limited time like if you can only attend the expo once during the entire time.
- Attend talks
As mentioned before, there will be some talks with real estate professionals. These talks are usually partly Q & A. Any professional in real estate would benefit from these talks. A professional would also learn how to get on the panels for the next year from attending these. It is about learning how the successful get successful. A prospective real estate investor or property buyer would also benefit from these talks because they would learn how the system works. The talks should not be a priority unless of course you have additional time or they are your reason for attending.
- Take notes
Anyone who attends an expo should bring a notebook. This experience is worth recording and documenting. Write notes on things the professionals say. Make notes on interesting findings. You might not be allowed to take pictures in some cases but if you are then go ahead. Keep all the business cards. If you can, keep in contact with the people you meet and arrange follow up meetings for professional reasons.
Expos will be crowded and usually, the sun chooses that day to come out proud and hot. Bring a snack and some water. These things will not be cheap there. Bring a friend too. May you find what you need.