Well it’s that time of the year again to get ready for you-know-what! No, not Spring (although I feel like we have been blessed with spring-like weather all winter long) but the upcoming IAR Housing Conference and Capitol Conference March 26-27 in Springfield.

I attended for the first time last year and it was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had-both personally and professionally. I can honestly say I will never not go again! You get to experience legislation first-hand and learn about all the important bills that are discussed that affect our industry—our jobs and clients.

Get details at www.illinoisrealtor.org/capitolconference

I am also VERY excited to announce that Illinois YPN has some fun events planned as well to take your experience to new heights! On Monday, March 26, meet up with other young professionals for a happy hour and dinner at Obed & Issac’s Brewery following the housing conference reception. Then on Tuesday, March 27, join the YPN CAN-UP Challenge and bring your canned good(s) to benefit the Central Illinois Food bank when you attend the legislative briefings for the IAR Capitol Conference. At 3:00 p.m. attend a YPN meeting with Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) at the state capitol. Rep. Sosnowski is also an Illinois REALTOR®!

As you know, one of the main missions of Illinois YPN is to find ways to bring the statewide networks together to brainstorm ideas, collaborate, and network as only YPN’er do! By attending this annual REALTOR® lobby day, you can achieve all of those goals and bring home even more awareness and knowledge to your client base and office.

In closing, I wanted to share some details with you regarding the recent Three Rivers YPN kick-off networking reception held Feb. 23 in Crest Hill. I have to say, what a fantastic event! As you know, kick off events can sometimes be tough to get good attendance and my hats off to Sarah Reiss and the Three Rivers YPN volunteers who put together an amazing event that was very, very well attended. The weather was not great, so I showed up about an hour after the party got started and I entered the room to a standing room only crowd. The best part? You could hear all the chatter from outside the building! People were smiling and networking and passing more business cards than I have seen in a long time! It’s about a little over an hour away for me from Chicago and I got a referral out it-which is what events like this are all about.

I also had the pleasure of getting to know so many of the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® members and what an awesome group they have. I talked to a great majority of those in attendance and there was one common theme I picked up from almost all of them and that was the fact that there were so many new and fresh faces in attendance. I love that! I think it’s great to hit a networking event and connect with familiar faces, but so many times it can become difficult to motivate oneself to attend an event where you will see “the same old faces.” To be able to hear from so many different people at that momentous kick-off event how much fun they were having and how many new people they met-and business cards they collected-got me so excited. This is what YPN is all about-getting out of your comfort zone and going up to and talking to people you normally wouldn’t.

So, on that note, I encourage you to reach out to sign up for Capitol Conference.  If you have questions about what to expect or to find out about my experiences last year and why I think EVERYBODY should attend, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at dzimmerman@jameson.com.  I look forward to seeing you there and I hope you attend the YPN events we have planned.

If you want to find out more about how to get involved with YPN, go to www.illinoisreatlor.org/YPN

Have a GREAT week!