I attend many mortgage conferences throughout the year, and as my daughter has learned via her souvenir request, I tend to visit a lot of the same cities over and over. Of course, I have my favorite cities to visit.Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and New Orleans are among those. The first three are primarily due to their proximity to my home base, which makes for easy travel. I view the world a little differently than most. The world around me plays out like movies scenes, and they become part of the ongoing comedy playing in my head most of the time. But I would have to say very few places can compete with the overwhelming amount of comedic material that presents itself in Las Vegas.
Have I mentioned that mortgage conference attendees seem to love events in casinos? And while Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods and the Atlantic City contingent are big draws, there’s no place that holds more mortgage conferences than Las Vegas.
I am a bit of an early riser, and I admit I don’t sleep much on these trips. One morning I was up early and headed down to the Starbucks in the lobby of the Luxor. As I was walking through the casino, towards the Starbucks near the registration desk, I noticed a large security guard coming towards me. Walking next to him was a man looking rather dazed, wearing only a white t-shirt, plaid boxer shorts, and one sock with bright pink flamingos on it. He was also sporting a bedhead hairstyle which was standing straight up on one side and was a perfect example of why one should think long and hard before sporting a comb over.
They walked on past me without saying a word on an obvious mission to return the man to his room. After fetching my morning blast of caffeine, I headed back in the direction of my room to get ready for my conference day. As I was walking across the casino I ran into the security guard who was escorting the man earlier. I stopped him and asked if the gentleman was okay. He started laughing and told me the story. Apparently, the person who takes care of the plants near the reception desk was quite startled when she found the man asleep in the foliage. When security woke him up, he had no idea where he was or how he got there. The man said the last thing he remembered was getting up to get a glass of water.
I can’t swear that was a mortgage originator having a little too good a time. But I wouldn’t bet against it, either.
IN THE SLOT(S)
I feel truly blessed to be in this wonderful industry. I always say, “Who gets to do the things we get to do?” We all work really hard.But I have attended amazing parties, seen some of the most amazing motivational speakers, eaten at some of the best restaurants in America, and have made some of the most wonderful friends.
Of course, people on the outside tend to think all we do is play on these trips. They do not know we are always working. We get up at the crack of dawn to set up an exhibitor booth, catch a flight, prepare for a breakout session, or to have a breakfast meeting with clients. Then we are in for a very long day, whether we are speaking in a break out session, attending classes/sessions, or standing in our exhibitor booths for the day. We shake hands, talk about our services, maintain existing relationships, and seek out new business opportunities. The days blend into evening networking parties and dinners, which are closely followed by entertaining clients and nurturing those all-important friendships. We get very little sleep and there is very little downtime.
I have learned much from my peers over the years as to howto manage the travel with my day to day workload. I am continuously evolving and figuring out new ways to better manage my days. With all of that said, I have one of the best jobs on the planet, in an amazing industry, filled with some of the smartest and most driven people I know. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned from my peers. Even the man walking across the casino in his underwear with one flamingo sock on taught me something valuable.
Always keep a bottle of water next to the bed at night, so that you don’t wake up in the bushes near the reception desk of your hotel.