The Marketing Sheriff has just galloped back into town after an action-packed week at the 2007 National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in Las Vegas! There were literally millions of real estate agents in attendance, as far as the eye could see, coming from all over the country and international as well. They were there not for the casinos, fine dining and nightlife that Las Vegas has to offer, but to listen to valuable insight and advice from industry experts and veterans. With over 700 exhibitors showing there wares at the expo, agents could also see what are the newest ideas and tools in the industry marketplace. The goal for everyone involved: save time in the workplace, be more effective with clients, and ultimately make more money. Some of the products and services on display at the expo were more of the practical and operational variety; custom lights for "For Sale" signs and home key lock boxes. I really liked the step-in shoe box contraption that creates simple plastic shoes that can cover yours and clients real shoes when doing walk-thrus and open houses. Others were more marketing and technology driven, such as custom websites and internet marketing tools and products. One of the vendors was selling a touch-screen property display that you put on the glass storefront window of your real estate office, allowing passers-by to touch on a host of property choices and then navigate through the property description, in a way similar to the movie "Minority Report" where the Tom Cruise character uses the touch-screens to fight crime. If your feet got tired, or you just needed a break from all the endless booths, you could have checked out Bill Cosby, recording artist James Taylor, or boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, all lending their time and talents to make the week-long marathon exciting and entertaining. One statistic from NAR that I found interesting is that nearly 65% of all Realtors in the US still do not have a website! It’s amazing to think that in todays day and age real estate agents are still hesitant to get there feet wet with the web and technology. In talking with some of the passers-by, my impression is that for some in the old-guard, it’s still about the old handshake, phone call, and notepad with the agents name and face left on your doorstep. Dinosaurs, is a word that comes to mind, but there were of course tons of opportunities to educate and inform people about the benefits and the necessities of using technology in tandem with the ol’ tried and true methods. Were they sold? Time will tell, as I think the convention is more about getting a chance to see everything, taking it all home, and then make decisions from there. By 2pm on Friday the expo was finished. The back doors were opened, and the massive deconstruction of all the booths was in full affect, and the Marketing Sheriff was on his trusty horse, following that setting sun and eager to get back to the real work of fighting those internet marketing bandits!