The Real Estate Expo

I’m not interested in buying low and selling high. I want to buy low and live low. So I got a Groupon to the 2017 Real Estate Expo in Toronto Ontario.

On top of a bit of financial literacy (of which I have none) I was drawn in by the following perks:

  • A 3 hour motivational talk by Tony Robbins
  • A performance by MR. WORLDWIDE, Pitbull!
  • A free fitness tracker.
  • A certificate declaring me a real estate expert.

All this for a 29$ Groupon. Just seeing Tony is usually hundreds or thousands, but I still couldn’t convince any friends to come check it out, so I’d be solo for the day.

Doors opened at 6am, and the day’s activities started at 8am, which might as well be 4am to me- not happening. Since there was no schedule posted online, I did my best and dragged my butt in to the Convention Centre around 9:30. I figured even seeing half of Tony, if he was up first, was still a pretty good deal.

I went into the main room but the first speaker I saw was not Tony. It was a vile human. His talk was 75% stories about his family, 20% insulting the audience, and 5% actual real estate info. The one tip I did write down was “Never scan the webpages for real estate listings. You want motivated sellers: Desperate, Divorced, Diseased, Displaced…” there was another D that also amounted to “profit from pain.” Still, I wrote it down, and wondered where these sellers were to be found, but he was back to talking about his family again. He laughed about smacking his adult son in the hot tub for talking ‘loser’ talk. “SMACK! SMACK!!” Very specific that it was 5 hard smacks to the face and that his son cried. He illustrated it into the microphone so loudly that my ears also got smacked. We, as an audience, deserved it. None of us “got it.” I nudged the woman beside me: “He’s negging us,” I said. She didn’t respond, but did applaud at one of his prompts, so I knew I had no ally there.

We didn’t get his jokes. He’d tell them, then laugh at them, then declare, “I’m funny.” Then he’d repeat the joke. Then again declare the same joke funny. Usually something in bad taste anyways, such as implying that his son was gay, as if  “gay” alone is a punchline. I tried to tune him out while I flipped thru the schedule to plan my day. When he singled out the women in the audience as especially dumb, I got up and left.

Tony was at 4:30, but I noticed something and found an organizer. “Every seat in the main room is full,” I said. “And yet there are a ton of people milling around the halls. When Tony Robbins comes, where will everyone sit?”

“Oh yes,” she said. “Everyone is is basically here for Tony. People have been here since 6am. They found a seat and they aren’t leaving it until Tony comes. And there’s no standing room allowed.”

Translation: There’s no way I’m seeing Tony. I had left my seat and anyways, I wasn’t going to sit there for hours like a freak. I checked my Groupon app to see if I could get my $29 back. Nope. Not wanting a total loss, I found my way to a small workshop on podcasting.

Long story short, now I want to be a podcaster. For me, a fun thing, for most there, a way to promote business and monatize. Lots of people pitched their ideas, and mine got the worst reception. However,  I mean the room was full of real estate zombies who applaud hot tub villains, and anyways how many real estate podcasts does Toronto need? Sure, I pulled my idea out of my butt, but I still think it’s better than 15 podcasts about real estate that no one is actually going to produce once they get home. They’re just going to buy houses and that’s it, come on. The idea I pitched, if you want to know, is “Me Rambling.” As I sat down, the guy beside me said “I’d listen to that.” One fan!

What’s next… Business for Women. But also, my tummy. Hmmm. I thought, “I’ve already failed a business. The last thing I need is to get the business bug again.” So I got to buffet business- table for one, delicious.

I still wanted to get my 29$ worth so I headed back to the convention centre, well ahead of the start time for the next workshop, “Toronto Market.” The line was long and hardly any people went in before they announced “Um if you want to see Pitbull, maybe try that instead?” Many gave up and walked away. I lingered. This was the low point of the day. I should have read the fine print on the Groupon: “seats not guaranteed.” Suddenly there was action- the organizers moved the event to a much larger room. We all got in and I learned a bit about Toronto’s condo history. Fun fact, the Candy Lofts originally sold at 179K$ per unit in like 1999 and now they’re like 1.2 mil. This was from the Candy Loft guy, and then he said what his new scheme is, and some people bought. Spent 100k just like that.

Now came the moment of truth, as I headed up to the main room- the one with the 6am stakeouts. Would I get in? It was Pitbull, then some other guy, then Tony. The answer is- yes. I easily found a seat. The organizer from the morning had been a terrible ambassador. I had almost gone home!  There was always a seat and people were allowed to stand, so admittance wasn’t a problem for anyone.

Pitbull was smart and authentic. I didn’t know he’d be speaking. Then the lights went out and the dance party started. He yelled “Music is the one thing that brings everyone together!” and I can’t argue- especially latin music. Everyone was into it. My favourite was a white haired, short old woman who was dancing like crazy through the whole thing. She was near the front and was in the foreground of a lot of video shots. Mostly all I saw was video screens. The room had 15,000 people in it!

You can’t help but pity the guy who followed Pitbull’s performance. He had to talk about stocks for an hour- often acknowledging that he knew everyone was just waiting for Tony Robbins to come out. Bad R.O.

Anyways, though, he was selling something (like most people) and I bit. I spent $99 on a 3 day stock market course that includes a trading software. The $29 Groupon was turning out to be a good choice, so who knows? Worth a shot. I wondered how long the daisy chain would grow. Maybe there would be a franchise representative at the stock course and I’d end up taking a course in that… one thing leading to another until I’m in a full on cult on an island somewhere.

As I was paying for my stock education, A CONFETTI CANNON WENT OFF. It was Tony! Not much to say about that. It was an awesome experience and any person who isn’t a cynic would benefit from a bit of Tony.  He has a special on Netflix right now if you want to check it out.

It all wrapped late at 9:30pm. Very satisfied, I picked up my free fitness tracker and walked 937 steps home. Wait! On the streets of Toronto I saw some attendees and approached them with my lingering question.

“Did you see the 5 D’s guy?” I asked. “He said to seek motivated sellers but didn’t say where to find them.” They had, but didn’t know, because he never said. Too busy talking about punching his son. A woman stepped up. “I’m a realtor. A REAL one. A real realtor.” (Maybe not a direct quote.) “You seek these people out where you’d find them. Where do desperate people hang out? Or you could have a contact with a divorce lawyer.” “OH.” I said. “So it’s like ambulance chasing.” Her eye widened. “Exactly.” “Okay, not for me. Thanks!”

Then we shot magic beams at each other and wished each other good luck because we had just seen Tony and were JACKED full of positivity.

So altogether I give the event a 4/5 with an extra point for the “no seats” fake out in the morning that gave me some fun drama,and led to me treating myself to Indian Buffet, so all in all, 5/5.

Bonus: This Expo had a LOT of music designed to pump you up. I counted 3 different songs from 2Unlimited: No Limits, Get Ready for This, and Tribal Dance. You’ve probably never heard of the latter but I have because I actually owned the 2Unlimited full CD back in the day. BECAUSE I’M COOL. Here it is:

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