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This article was published on: 10/01/2005

FEATURE: Go from Good to Great

Go from Good to Great

There’s gold in them thar hills. That would be the hills of San Francisco. The gold: the 2005 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Oct. 28–31, the mother lode for real estate industry professionals, greenhorns and grizzled veterans alike. On the following pages, REALTOR® Magazine brings that conference gold directly to you—exclusive interviews with keynote speaker Phil (Dr. Phil) McGraw and Entrepreneurial Excellence Series speakers Ken Blanchard, Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki, and others. There’s also a treasure trove of product and service information in our listing of exhibitors to date. Jump on board—and stake your claim to professional and personal enrichment.

A real deal
Register for the full REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco ($310 for NAR members)—and you’ll have access to almost 200 educational sessions; more than 550 exhibitors in not one but two exhibit halls; the Entrepreneurial Excellence Series; the General Session, with 2005 NAR President Al Mansell and Dr. Phil; and hands-on training in the Technology Learning Center. For entertainment, there are optional tours and Sunday’s REALTORS® Celebrity Concert with Glenn Frey, cofounder of The Eagles. To give you an idea of some of the nuggets that await you, we’ve put together a sample schedule.

Single-day registrations are available for $125 and include access to conference programs on the day you select (Glenn Frey concert not included) and all four days of the Expo. Full and single-day registrations include a donation to Habitat for Humanity. Register online at or on-site.

Drive times
San Francisco is less than a day’s drive from many Western cities.

Approximate hours
Anaheim, Calif.- 6.25
Carson City, Nev. - 4.25
Las Vegas, Nev. - 8.75
Los Angeles - 5.75
Oakland, Calif - 0.25
Portland, Ore. - 9.75
Reno, Nev. - 3.25
Sacramento, Calif. - 1.5
San Diego - 8.5
San Jose, Calif. - 1.0

Source: Yahoo! Maps (

SF = Serious Fun
For a city with a footprint of only 49 square miles, San Francisco manages to pack in a lot of fun and activity. “The area around the Moscone Center [location of the REALTORS Conference & Expo] has just exploded,” says Laurie Armstrong, vice president of public relations for the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s a very, very friendly and lively area.”

That’s a dramatic change for those who haven’t seen the “south of Market,” or SOMA, area in several years. Some of the better known attractions include the Yerba Buena Gardens, featuring floral spaces, a waterfall, an ice skating rink, and bowling facilities; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Cartoon Art Museum; and Sony’s Metreon, where you can dine, shop, or see a movie.

Here are some of the newer places near Moscone worth checking out.

California Academy of Sciences (875 Howard St., between Fourth and Fifth streets; 415/321-8000) The academy has been around since 1853, but it has moved to this temporary location while its permanent home in Golden Gate Park undergoes a major rebuilding project. Check out specimens from the Steinhart Aquarium, watch daily penguin feedings, and wander through a new dinosaur display. Who says learning can’t be fun?

LJ’s Martini Club and Grille (101 Fourth St., second floor; 415/369-6114) LJ’s, located on the second floor of Sony’s Metreon, offers a casual yet elegant atmosphere for diners and martini sippers alike.

Roe Restaurant (651 Howard St.; 415/227-0288) This pan-Asian restaurant and bar, just a half-block from Moscone, features live jazz music in the downstairs restaurant and a DJ lounge for dancing upstairs. Open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Oola Restaurant and Bar (860 Folsom; 415/995-2061) A hip American bistro and late-night dining spot, where owner-chef Ola Fendert cooks up “San Francisco cuisine,” featuring organic meats and produce and artisanal cheeses and wines.

For more information on these and other attractions, check out the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site at

To read complete conference agenda and register online, visit's Meetings & Expo page.

Full interviews with Entrepreneurial Excellence Series speakers

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Meetings and Expo page at

Keynote speakers

Entrepreneurial excellence series