Now that you are back from the NAA’s Apartmentalize in San Diego this year… I hope everyone had an awesome time mingling with their peers and experts in the industry as well as found a new provider or two that you are eager to do business with!
Taking what you learned and saw while putting that into practice in your community and/or within your organization is the next step in maximizing your Apartmentalize experience.
- If you were part of a team that went to the show, the following steps should be done by all attendees (If you are the only one from your company to attend, the steps below still work, just with less of a team centric approach).
First take some time and look over your notes, handouts, business cards and other collateral material you brought back with you.
- Create an overview of what you learned (I normally break it down into categories such as “personal” “community” and “organizational”)
- Under the “Personal” heading – I list the things that I learned during the show and how I can incorporate them into my everyday work life. (These tend to be interpersonal skills, time management focused, additional education I think may be useful and how to be a better leader, etc).
- Under the “Community” heading – I list things that can improve life for residents and employees at a community. They can be budget related, resident programs and services, processes, team building, etc. This can also include a list of service providers you met with and what they do.
- Under the “Organizational” heading – Similar to the Community heading, I list things that I believe are bigger than just me or my community, but may be beneficial for all (or a large segment). These items can improve life for residents and employees at our communities. They can be budget related, resident programs and services, processes, team building, etc. This can also include a list of service providers you met with and what they do. NOTE: Your list, community and organizational, may be identical – so no need to duplicate.
- The next step is to meet with the other attendees (and possibly the other team members who were there as well) and share your Community and/or Organizational findings (if you want to discuss your personal findings, feel free – but those are really for your personal growth). As a group, decide several items to implement on a community and organizational level and delegate a person or team to implement and set a time frame.
- These may be different meetings as you may have a meeting for just your community and another meeting to address organizational issues.
- This may require setting up additional meetings with providers to select the best one (or ones) to use or to do a trial on property or two before rolling out corporate wide.
- Stay on top of the process to make sure things are actually implemented and are benefiting your community and/or organization. Companies are always changing/growing, so someone needs to stay on top of these initiatives to make sure that services, service providers and processes are not forgotten about (especially as you acquire new communities).
Now, I know that everyone is not comfortable or not in a position to make suggestions regarding organizational changes, but if you are like me and always looking for ways to improve what you do and where you work, it never hurts to speak up or (at a minimum) send a message to a superior with a list of ideas, suggestions and providers you believe will help your property or company be better. Bosses like to know that you actually took something away from the show and that you care enough about the company to make suggestions….They might not agree on everything you suggest, but they do appreciate it.