Residential real estate conferences worth going to in 2024

Jan 30, 2024
Residential real estate (RRE) has over 100 opportunities each year to meet and network with other professionals in the industry at various conferences. We go over the major players here.

From our research, there are hundreds of conferences ranging from huge expos and wild jamborees like Apartmentalize, to small regional housing conferences with folks from the immediate community. What's right for you depends on your business goals and budget.

Of these, there are a few main players that produce either one huge, or many many mid-sized events per year: 

  • National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)
  • Multifamily Executive (MFE) Conference
  • National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
  • Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
  • National Apartment Association (NAA)
  • Information Management Network (IMN) series of conferences

We'll go through all of them.

Top three real estate conferences in 2024

If I had to choose, here's where I'd go this year: 

  1. Multifamily Executive Conference in Vegas on 9/30/24: "There is no other multifamily event of this caliber." - Jamie Steinheiser, Zonda
  2. Apartmentalize by NAA in Philly on 6/19: Huge audience (and exhibit hall) with tech-forward startups serving the apartment building owner and manager space.
  3. Optech by NMHC on 10/21 in Maryland: Proptech leaders will want to be at this show to meet other tech-based revenue and operations innovators – valuable networking amongst technology leaders.

Budget and what to bring

All ticket prices range from $500 to $1500, so plan accordingly and set aside enough budget for travel, per diem, business cards/printing, entertainment, and your ticket. I earmark roughly $5,000 per conference if I am buying a ticket and traveling to attend.

Notable conferences for 2024

In the list of real estate conferences for 2024, we've highlighted the main events from each of the aforementioned organizers.

AEX Live/NAAEI Educator's Conference

Date: January 23-25, 2024

Location: The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC

Summary: A conference focused on education and training for professionals in the apartment industry​​, held by NAA's Education initiative.

MFE Leadership Summit

Date: March 3-5, 2024

Location: Grand Hyatt, Vail, CO

SummaryMore info

This event is invite only! If you're lucky to attend, it's three days of winter fun in Vail, CO with just under 200 of the top executives in multifamily. Only owner-operators may attend. It's a future-focused event, spanning three days, providing unique access to essential insights for overcoming present challenges and capitalizing on future opportunities.


MFE ladership summit is just one of over 100 real estate conferences every year
Source: MFE Leadership

NAA Advocate

Date: March 12-13, 2024

Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, DC

Summary: More info

Formerly known as the NAA Capitol Conference, Advocate is a key event for advocacy and public policy in the apartment housing industry. This conference focuses primarily on legislative and regulatory issues impacting the rental housing market. It provides a platform for industry professionals to engage with policymakers, attend educational sessions on policy issues, and lobby for the interests of the apartment housing industry. Attendees often include property owners, managers, and other stakeholders who are interested in shaping and understanding the policies that affect their business.

NARPM Broker/Owner Conference & Expo

Date: April 16-18, 2024

Location: Amelia Island, Florida (just north of Jacksonville)

Summary: More info

Targets real estate and facility management professionals with educational sessions, networking opportunities, and a platform for exhibitors​​.

NAA Apartmentalize

Date: June 19-21, 2024

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Summary: More info

This is one of the largest gatherings in the apartment housing industry. Apartmentalize is known for its extensive educational sessions, networking opportunities, and a vast expo hall (like seriously ridiculous) featuring a wide range of products and services pertinent to the apartment housing industry. The conference focuses on a variety of topics, including property management, marketing, technology, sustainability, and legislative issues affecting the industry. Attendees typically include property managers, owners, developers, and suppliers. This event offers an opportunity to gain insights into the latest trends, best practices, and innovative solutions in the multifamily housing sector.

Check out the main players in the expo hall so far: 

Apartmentalize expo layout 2024
Source: NAA

Multifamily Women Summit

Date: September 4-5, 2024

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Summary: More info on MFE Women

Dedicated to women in the apartment industry, offering inspiring speakers, professional growth opportunities, and networking sessions​​. Two full days of networking, sessions, entertainment, and speakers, geared toward executive women in the industry.

Source: MFE Women

NAA Cultivate

Date: September 25-26, 2024

Location: JW Marriott Austin, Texas

Summary: More info on Cultivate

The Cultivate Conference focuses on leadership development and business success strategies within the multifamily housing industry. This conference is designed for senior-level apartment housing industry professionals and leaders. It provides a platform for attendees to explore leadership topics, management strategies, and innovative practices that can be implemented in their businesses.

The conference features a range of workshops, keynote speeches, and networking sessions that are geared towards fostering leadership skills and promoting growth and development in the apartment housing industry. Cultivate is ideal for executives, regional managers, and other top-level professionals looking to expand their knowledge, improve their leadership capabilities, and stay abreast of the latest industry trends and management practices.

Multifamily Executive Conference (MFE)

Date: September 30 - October 2, 2024

Location: Fontainebleu, Las Vegas, NV

SummaryMore info on MFE

We spoke to Jamie Steinheiser, Director of Strategic Accounts at Zonda media, which organizes the MFE series:

"Multifamily Executive (MFE) Conference is a unique opportunity for the most active and prolific multifamily executives to come together for 3 days in an intimate setting for networking and education from the top minds in the industry.
The content is always superb and relevant and there is a strong sense of community throughout the days of the event where colleagues learn and discuss challenges, innovations and opportunities. I love to witness relationships being forged that help to bring the multifamily industry forward. There is no other multifamily event of this caliber." - Jamie Steinheiser, Zonda
Source: MFE Conference

IREM Global Summit by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

Date: October 6, 2024

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Summary: More info on IREM Global Summit

The main event for IREM, connect with industry professionals, enjoy networking events, education sessions, and discuss the latest industry trends​​.

OPTECH Conference & Expo by NMHC

Date: October 21-23, 2024

Location: National Harbor, Maryland

Summary: More info on Optech

Focuses on operations and technology in multifamily housing, with educational workshops, roundtables, and an exhibit hall​​. This is the place to be for Proptech leaders and it has an efficiency-through-technology focus.

Expert Panel at Optech 2023 Source: NMHC
Source: NMHC

Information Management Network (IMN) conferences

IMN organizes over 45 real estate-focused conferences each year, including a middle market multifamily series that occurs in 8 cities around the country throughout the year.

The 3rd Annual Middle-Market Multifamily Forum (Florida)

Date: March 14-15, 2024

Location: Loews Coral Gables Hotel, Florida

Summary: This event focuses on small and mid-sized multifamily investors, constituting a significant portion of the multifamily market. It offers insights into financing, acquisition, and deal structures, with networking opportunities and discussions led by industry experts​​.

The 6th Annual Middle-Market Multifamily Forum (Southwest)

Date: March 25-26, 2024

Location: Dallas, TX, USA

Summary: This conference is tailored for the multifamily industry in the Southwest region, offering a platform for sharing ideas, strategies, and networking among small and mid-sized multifamily investors​​.

The 8th Annual Middle-Market Multifamily Forum (Southeast)

Date: May 7-8, 2024

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Summary: Aimed at investors in the Southeast region, this forum provides a comprehensive overview of the multifamily market, addressing challenges, opportunities, and the latest trends​​.

About the organizers

Consider that you'll likely get discounted prices if you join any of these associations as a member.

National Apartment Association (NAA)

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is a leading non-profit trade association for the apartment housing industry in the United States. It serves as a prominent voice for apartment owners, managers, developers, suppliers, and those involved in multifamily housing. NAA provides its members with education, networking opportunities, and advocacy to help them operate their businesses successfully and contribute to their communities.

They're a lobbyist for the industry, provide an extensive range of credentials and training, and produce three+ super valuable events each year, which are pretty cutting-edge (it seems like the place to be, at least).

National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)

The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®), established in 1988, serves as a professional organization for those involved in managing small residential and single-family properties. It offers a platform for over 6,000 members, including real estate agents, brokers, and managers, focusing on the unique challenges of this sector.

NARPM® emphasizes ethical practices, professionalism, and compliance with fair housing laws. It also provides certification and ongoing education to its members, enhancing their skills in residential property management. The association aims to improve industry standards through education and serves as an advocate for property managers' interests.

Zonda Media

Zonda Media is a national platform, publication, and advisory group that provides proprietary data, insights, and technology solutions specifically for the multifamily housing industry. They offer a range of services such as market reports, subscriptions, and industry advisories, aimed at supporting informed decision-making in the housing market and real estate sector.

Zonda Media is known for publishing influential industry reports like the annual Cost vs. Value report (36 years running!), which details the most worthwhile home renovations in terms of return on investment.

Additionally, Zonda organizes the MFE series of events for multifamily executives, facilitating industry connections and knowledge sharing at the highest levels.

Information Management Network (IMN)

We spoke with Lexy Milliken, Marketing Manager at IMN, who told us about the organization: 

"IMN’s purpose is to connect and educate professionals across Real Estate and Investment Management, with a distinct emphasis on fostering deal-making opportunities. Since 1994 IMN has served the Real Estate and Investment Management communities with best-in-class in-person conferences, thought leadership, and sponsored initiatives. We connect industry professionals with high-level experts and investors in their space, enabling informed decisions, expanded networks, and explosive growth.

With over 1,500 sponsors and 4,000 speakers participating in our 40+ annual events, we deliver the very best industry content and business prospects to our dedicated IMN community.

IMN's Middle-Market Multifamily Conference Series, now in its eighth year, stands out as a premier real estate event, convening in six distinct geographical areas in 2024. This unique platform brings together over 2,500 multifamily rental housing professionals each year, offering a dynamic mix of expertise, trends, and regional perspectives. This series, a testament to enduring success, evolves to foster innovation and collaboration within the multifamily real estate community, drawing a diverse audience of owners, operators, property managers, vendors, and mid-level players for unparalleled networking and idea exchange." - Lexy Milliken, IMN

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)

The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is a professional organization dedicated to the education, resources, and networking for real estate management professionals. Established in 1933, it is an international institute that serves both the needs of the individual real estate manager and the management organizations.

IREM's primary focus is on the professional development of property and real estate managers, offering training, certification, and continuing education opportunities. Its educational programs are designed to help members enhance their skills in property and asset management.

Key certifications provided by IREM include the Certified Property Manager® (CPM®), Accredited Residential Manager® (ARM®), Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM), and Accredited Management Organization® (AMO®). These certifications are recognized industry-wide and signify a high level of expertise, experience, and ethical standards.

Apart from education and certification, IREM also advocates for public policy that supports the real estate management industry and conducts research to provide insights and data that are beneficial to its members. The organization's mission is to empower real estate management professionals and promote ethical business practices, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of the industry as a whole.

National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is a trade association representing the interests of the multifamily housing industry in the United States. Established to advocate on behalf of apartment firms and their residents, NMHC provides a platform for industry participants to influence public policy, participate in strategic networking events, and access valuable industry research.

Its membership encompasses all aspects of the multifamily housing sector, including owners, developers, managers, and suppliers. NMHC plays a vital role in shaping legislation, providing industry data, and fostering a collaborative environment for addressing the various challenges and opportunities within the multifamily housing market.

Where will you be?

Let us know and let's meet up!

About the author
Adrienne Kmetz
Adrienne is a marketing expert with a career history of working in startups of all sizes, from early stage to series A. She has 17+ years of experience writing about business, finance, and entrepreneurship. She went to Colorado College where she majored in skiing.
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