Self-proclaimed conference junkie Agent 251 (Jason Will) talks with Cherie Moman, Director of Education, Marketing & Communications for the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), about the upcoming Momentum University Conference happening April 11th through 12th in New Orleans, LA and why he thinks it is something "different" & needed. Jason shares the origin, mission, reasons for and risks creating a "new and impactful" type of Real Estate conference of this size. Hear the roster of national keynote speakers and expert panelists guaranteed to deliver high-value knowledge and inspiration on health and wellness, mindfulness and mindset issues as well as tactical things that are going to help attendees move the needle both in their personal and professional lives. Also, learn how this event is designed to deliver more than just one great rah-rah weekend but ignite a community working to build momentum in life 365 days a year? Some think Jason has gone "crazy" undertaking this big event and massive risk. Give this show a listen, make up your own minds, and let us know what you think.
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Full Show Transcript
Jason: All right, let's get started. Welcome to the "Agent 251 Podcast." I am your host, Jason Will. I am joined this morning by Cherie Moman, I got that right, Cherie?
Cherie: You sure did.
Jason: So actually, you are having me as a guest on your podcast, but I want to go ahead, after you guys get a chance to air this episode, put it out to our Agent 251 listenership. So I appreciate this opportunity and we're gonna be talking this morning about our Momentum University conference that's gonna be happening April 11th through 12th of 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
So Cherie, take it away, it's your show now.
Cherie: Oh, well, fantastic. Well I was looking at the website that you have and I noticed a quote that you put that says, "I want people to look forward to this event as the most impactful thing they do, not only for their careers, but their lives every year." So to me, this is a different kind of conference.
Jason: It is.
Cherie: And so, right. So I was just curious what else you have planned besides the traditional sessions?
Jason: And you know, there's obviously gonna be a learning curve. I think April 2019 is gonna be a big education for us in this conference space. This is new to us, but I myself am a conference junkie. I spend no less than 50 grand a year traveling, east coast, west coast, to events. And part of that is mentorship from Tony Robbins who says that we should be participating in one immersive event, one live event, per quarter, and I far exceed that.
But so the goal for this one, I think some things that make it unique, is that we're focused on a lot of different aspects of building momentum in life. So we want to talk about health and wellness, mindfulness and mindset issues as well as tactical things that are going to help us move the needle both in our personal and our professional lives.
So for instance, we have Tom Bilyeu as one of our keynote speakers. And so Tom's not gonna get up there and talk about how to become an awesome real estate agent. He's gonna get up there and talk about how you need to get out of your own way to become the best possible version of yourself. So he's all about that we really can.
You know, I think a lot of people in some point in their life have heard somebody tell them that they can be anything they want to be if they just put their mind to it. You know, you probably were told that as a child, I know I was by teachers and family members. But Tom says that statement is absolutely true. And so we're gonna dive deep in that in April. So that's one of the things that sets us apart.
But it's interesting, when we were talking about this yesterday and we're doing our pre-show interview, I got an email from one of our Momentum team members who is reaching out to real estate agents and broker/owner managers across the country, and really, this particular exercise was she was emailing people who have experienced our keynote speakers. Have they been a part of a Mastermind or some educational setting, prior conference, whatever the case may be. And we got an email back from this particular agent who said, "You know, I really don't need another conference, and I really don't need to be motivated, I'm really self-motivated."
So it was basically like, "I'm happy to help you and provide you the back story on one of our keynote speakers," which in this case is Sharran Srivatsaa who is an amazing guy. I would recommend anybody, any of your listenership, to go to 5amclub.net and register and get on those calls every morning. It's actually 7 a.m. our time, so it's a Pacific Time call. But Sharran's an amazing guy, an amazing business leader in our industry. But she was basically saying she wasn't gonna go.
She was happy to help, happy to support us, but not gonna go. And so it got my wheels thinking about your question of, "How does this make us different?" And one of the big things is that we're gonna start very, very soon, I'm talking like in less than a month, we're gonna start the university portion of Momentum. And so we're gonna have all kind of resources on our website, and like I said, we're gonna have... You'll be able to find an intro to yoga class, things about diet, exercise, meditation, tips on how to stay organized, time management.
But this email that we got from this particular agent said that, "I go to these events, I get all charged up and I get all these ideas, and then after the event, there's really no follow-up. There's nobody to guide me through what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong." And I was like, that just speaks to the goal, really, the foundational aspects of our conference is that we're gonna start transferring skills, like I mentioned, in the hearts and minds of our followers and we're gonna do it well after the conference.
So I think she's on to something. You know, the real estate industry, our space, maybe it doesn't need another conference, but we can always use another community, a strong community that transcends brokerage affiliation and really follows and engages with its audience, its members, its community 365.
So one of our slogans is, "Momentum 365," so this truly isn't a wham-bam one-time deal, "Thanks for coming, maybe you'll come again." It's like we want to get invested in your life and your business 365.
Cherie: Yeah, so it really is a lifestyle with that.
Jason: It really is. I mean we truly want to build a community and we want to travel the country and meet with these agents in their offices, in their towns. You know, shine a light on them. I'm passionate about the real estate industry and just love the people in it. And I feel like I have so much to learn.
So this is a conference that's coming to people through the lens of a student. You know, we know we don't know everything and we know we have so much more to learn. And the industry already has a high level of collaboration. But one of the things, for instance, that we are really expressing sternly to anybody that participates in terms of taking the stage at Momentum is we don't want you to hold back. If we find a speaker that shares a little bit but won't pull back the curtain completely, there's a good chance that they'll have a limited involvement in our company.
So I'm all about total transparency, and I want these people to get on stage and just turn it loose because I used to be one of those agents that kept every little secret close to the vest and was very just, "Keep flying below the radar," I didn't want people to know my secrets. And you know, my life really changed when I started just collaborating, not only with agents that are on my real estate team or on my brokerage, but from agents across the country. You'd just be surprised what this would do on, say, referral basis. If you invest in the life of an agent across the country, this whole "law of reciprocity," it really is a real thing. People want to reciprocate the investments you want to make in them. They want to return that favor.
Cherie: Well, and I think it would elevate the whole industry too. I mean here at ACRE, at our core, we are advancing relationships that enhance our industry. And I think that you're talking about the same kind of thing here with your conference and with your university.
Jason: And I think it's important to note that my original goal was to host this in the city of Birmingham. I wanted this, I'm very much an Alabama guy, love the state of Alabama, and one of the things that I saw, that there was a gap in... You know, I'm flying to Vegas, to the California coast, New York, Boston, it literally is west coast, east coast, there's not a whole lot going on in the south. And I think you probably know this as well as I do, if we don't make it easy and affordable for agents to become learning-based and to participate in an immersive training event, they're just not gonna do it.
So I talked to some mentors of mine, they said, "Jason, at least for the first inaugural, maybe even the first two years, you really need a destination city." And so if we're looking for a destination city in the south, New Orleans was an obvious pick. So this is... We're opening this up nationwide, but I want to highly energize, motivate the real estate agents in the state of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida Panhandle, that can get in their car and make a few hour drive to New Orleans, Louisiana, you know, five, six hours at the most, to make this their own, you know. To take ownership in this conference and turn it into something that they're really excited about attending every year.
Cherie: Right. Now, I mean, you're talking about crossing the country and bringing in all these national speakers, and I mean you're really swinging for the fence with this one. It's a huge undertaking. And I know you've also got your own real estate company. So I know that you're very passionate about this with the education and everything, but don't some people kind of think you're taking on too much with putting on such a large conference?
Jason: Yes, I have gotten some gut-wrenching, very honest, brutal, blunt feedback. I've had people ask me if I'm mentally stable, if I'm crazy. "Why would you do this?" Because, for instance, right after we got started with this, if we were to just cancel... So to book the space at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, to book it and then to back out, we're talking 85 grand, a debt of $85,000.
Jason: So it just was even booking the space was tremendous. And I am one of those people who is just...I'm wildly optimistic, I have no problem taking a risk or a big chance, really putting everything on the line, but my wife is super conservative. And she's my partner in Momentum and in life, and it took a little while. It took a little while, she wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago and put it out there. You know, she had some serious reservations, but she's really excited and just totally on board and supportive. So when I get off those calls where people are like, "Listen, Jason, you're naive and this is gonna be one of the biggest mistakes of your life," I go to her for reassurance and encouragement.
And when I go and meet with an agent and hear their story, and are able, and I know the information that they're telling me is gonna change lives, to some extent I really just don't care. I don't care if this is a bust because I know at the end of it, it may take... You know, the first year we may not knock it out of the park, but I know eventually, this will be a success and that we're on to something. We're on to something here and we're feeling the need.
This email that I referenced at the beginning of your show really validated that, that a lot of agents are feeling the same thing that we're feeling. Because we're coming at this like it says on the website. This is a conference created by agents for agents, you know, and it really is true. Because we're feeling the same things as some of these other folks, that we leave these conferences and we're missing something tactical, or we're missing the follow-up, we're missing some accountability after the conference to make sure that we capitalize on all the nuggets that were shared.
And you know, it's just human nature, the way the mind works. The attendees are only going to be able to digest and internalize 5% or 10% of the knowledge that's shared. So we need to figure out a way to make sure over time, over these 365 days before and after the event, that we are continuing to regurgitate and talk about, having these discussions about what was shared, what was learned, what are some success stories and even some failures and things, some lessons that were learned the hard way from implementation.
Cherie: Right. And I know that you mentioned one of your keynote speakers that you had coming, but you've really got a lot of those heavy hitters. Would you like to share some of the other speakers that you've got?
Jason: I would, I would love to. So Tom Ferry is gonna be our headliner on Thursday, Tom Bilyeu is gonna be Friday, but we also have Sharran that I mentioned. We've got some people that I think a lot of people don't know about. We've got Coach Michael Burt, he's out of Nashville, Tennessee. He coaches business people, mortgage people, real estate agents. He coaches a wide array of folks that are just in sales in general. And southern drawl, southern boy, but heck of a motivator. I think he's gonna blow some people away.
We've got an agent that runs a super-successful team out of Washington D.C., and recently in the last year or so moved to Hawaii to start a real estate business in Hawaii. So how is that possible? You don't hear a lot of expansion model talk in the state of Alabama or in the south, but it is one of those trends that is kind of catching fire in our industry. You know people really perfecting a real estate team business model and then replicating it in other markets kind of like somewhat of a franchise model. And so I think that's gonna be fascinating for some agents to hear.
And the speakers that are on the site, I would note that we're having more speakers and more panelists, we've got some other announcements coming. But we've got two social media experts that are gonna come share and one of them is from Houston, Texas who is supremely tactical. Like when we talk about generating a mass of followership, she's like, "People are gonna leave there with..."
You know, if you go to... I went to a social media training event in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this year and the instructor was from Georgetown University. And I thought, "Wow. I need to drive these five or six hours because this is gonna be monumental stuff. And I'm a teacher, I'm a trainer, our brokerage is built off of education." But really...and I got some stuff out of it. I always keep my expectations low to really come away with as much as possible. But the gist of the content, or the talk was that, "Create valuable content and post it consistently." Well I already knew that.
And was just at a Tom Ferry Summit and was on an Instagram panel and that was the same thing. It was like, it needs to be 80% business, 20% personal, and it's all about good content is king. Well, again, I already knew that. So what can we really share, what people can leave with a checklist of things that they need to do to build a massive following on social media?
So I'm really, really excited about our speakers and what they're gonna share. There's gonna be everything, from people that are entrepreneur-centric, people that are operator-centric. So your artists, your operators, your left brain, your right brain.
And then the other thing that's really interesting about this, it's a two-day conference. And as a conference junkie myself, I talk a lot about how some of the most impactful knowledge that I've gained at seminars and training events that I've gone to is the after-hours stuff. You know, I can remember talking to an agent from North Carolina over a beer in a pool hall and him just intimately sharing some behind the curtain things that he was doing with his real estate business that have totally changed the way that I do business with my real estate team and my brokerage.
So this conference is gonna fall in line with the French Quarter Fest, and so there's gonna be a highly social component to this as well. So my goal is that there's gonna be a lot of relationships and friendships made, and a lot of collaboration and mastermind that's happening over Beat Beer, listen to some creole music in the French Quarter.
Cherie: Yeah. And you really can't create a community just sitting next to somebody in a conference all day and never speaking to them. So I think that's great that you've got opportunities for people to interact beyond just the sessions and the event. But let's get down to probably what most people are wondering at this point, with all this lineup, a two-day conference, and these national speakers you're bringing in, is how much are tickets? What is it gonna cost them to attend?
Jason: So the early-bird ticket sales are on right now at momentumuniversity.com. The base price is $4.99 for the general admission ticket. And we feel like that is a highly valuable ticket. You have the opportunity, for double the cost, to get a VIP ticket, which I feel like people should really... You know, we're not selling a ton of those at this point, but I think a lot of people should really give it a second thought because what we're talking about with the VIP ticket is opportunities to have private sessions with John Cheplak, who is one of the top real estate coaches and trainers in the industry right now. I mean, one of the most powerful and impactful speakers I've ever heard, and I get the luxury of masterminding with him in a 40-agent setting, which is... I mean, it's like I'm blown away after two days with him. And Sharran Srivatsaa is gonna do his master class on listing presentation that he all but guarantees that you will take 98% to 90% of all your listing appointments that you'll go on, if you implement his strategies, you will increase your conversion rate that much.
There's also gonna be a VIP area where you can engage, have a conversation, get a selfie and just hang out with other VIPs, so the cream of the crop in the industry. So let's say you've got some cash and you can afford a $1,000 ticket, but maybe your real estate business doesn't match that expense, well, you can still put yourself in the room with the heaviest hitters in the country and also have conversations and engage directly with our speakers and panelist in this VIP lounge. So it's just gonna be amazing. I think the folks that are taking part in the VIP experience are gonna be amazed at the value that they get from it.
Cherie: That's great. And all of this information is on the website, momentumuniversity.com.
Jason: It is, and so everybody would just want to stay tuned for the educational component of the site. Like I said, I think we're about 14 days or so from that launching. We're gonna start releasing some amazing content, and I think what that's gonna do, it's gonna light a fire in the industry and people from all across the country are gonna want to share their secrets, their strategies, their skill sets with agents all over.
So the ultimate goal there is to create a referral pipeline for these mega agents because I just firmly believe this law of reciprocity is a real thing.
Cherie: Well, that's great. I know that I'm excited about your conference coming up in April. I'm looking forward to attending and I'm hoping that a lot of the people listening today will be down there with us.
Jason: And I am fully accessible, so if people want to follow me on Facebook, send me a Facebook message, text, email, whatever they want to do, I stop and help agents with questions big or small. So if you have a question about the conference or just a real estate business in general and you want to put me to the test and see if I'm really as collaborative as I say I am, then I challenge you to do so.
Cherie: Great. Well, thanks for talking with me today.
Jason: All right, Cherie. Have a great day, thank you so much for this opportunity.