Cramming for the Conference

There’s a lot of information packed into the REALTORS® Conference & Expo preview in the September/October issue of REALTOR® Magazine. The whole issue is organized around education, and while most real estate professionals can’t help but learn something new every day, that daily learning experience pushes into high gear at NAR’s annual conference.

But, since the latest issue isn’t in your hands yet, I thought I might share a special sneak preview from one of the featured conference presenters. Mark Leader is a contributing author for the new book Concrete Jungle: Survival Secrets for the Real World, and will be explaining the creation and maintenance of social capital in Orlando this November. The entirety of chapter four of the book is an interview with Leader titled, “Social Capital: How to Build and Maintain Professional Relationships.”

Of course, there are a lot of people talking about relationship building in one’s neighborhood, both on the block and online. What Leader adds to the conversation is explaining how it works and why:

It’s as if you walked into a room where everyone was shallow and self-serving, rather than trying to fit in, you could be the one person everyone remembers as genuine and comfortable to be around.

The best thing about the interview setting of this chapter is that it gives an idea of how Leader embodies the advice he’s giving. Sure, it’s easy to say that the hard sell doesn’t work in social media, but what are the concrete steps a salesperson can follow to truly build social capital? Leader offers these ten principles:

  1. Put relationships ahead of financial gain
  2. Have a burning desire to be of service
  3. Accept no favors from anyone without providing favors in return
  4. Pick your battles: Never enter into disagreements with clients about trivial matters
  5. Never flatter a customer for the purpose of gaining something
  6. Never compliment friends and associates unless it’s genuine
  7. Never give it away for free
  8. Live out your social ideals every day
  9. Constantly focus on speaking optimism and joy…
  10. …and your enthusiasm will become contagious.

Why should you consider checking him out at the conference? Well, in this chapter, Leader offers this pretty compelling “guarantee” to readers:

You can send me into any marketplace in California, Florida, Ontario, British Columbia, or you could send me into Southfield, Michigan, and I guarantee you I will have the salespeople do more business than the average REALTOR® would do during the best of times.

But for myself, and perhaps my fellow book scanners, Leader’s concentration on lifelong learning might be the best indication of what may just end up being an unmissable conference moment:

I try to read a new book on a regular basis and I pay attention to what others who have been down this road before me have to say.

This confirms my long-held suspicion that leaders read. So, follow Mark Leader’s lead and start loading your Kindle and picking up good reads for the road. The REALTORS® Conference & Expo will be here before you know it.

Update: The conference preview is now live on REALTOR® Magazine Online. You can learn more about Leader’s upcoming presentation in Orlando here.

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]

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  1. Great priciples to follow!!