IREM's Fall Conference!
If you arrived in your office this week to find that your building has a new software management system or now runs its own Twitter and Facebook accounts, your property manager might've just returned from IREM's Fall Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Over 600 real estate management pros attended the conference, which included sessions on ideas, best practices, and leadership strategies, tapping into issues such as mobility, social media, business intelligence, and the impact of Millennials on the profession. Above, attendees listen to Dr. Debbie Phillips (a Certified Property Manager) speak about outdated talent management processes. Among her alarming statistics: Only 15% of workers could identify their org's most important goals; 51% didn't understand what they were supposed to do to help their org achieve its goals; and 49% spent less than their available work time on their org's most important goals. (They must've spent the rest of their work day trying to figure out what the most important goals were.) She says workforce issues can either catapult a company into making the necessary adjustments or serve as a constraint that impedes long-term success.
Above, leading an economic panel, National Multi Housing Council prez Doug Bibby, Woodbury Corp prez Randy Woodbury, RiverRock Real Estate Group founder John Combs, and moderator and vet journalist John Salustri. Tapping everything from the new economic norm to Obamacare, the panelists gave their outlooks. John Combs says there's a higher level of expectation put on property managers today, creating a stronger focus on professionalism; at the same time, hiring is a challenge, and landlords expect managers to do more with less. Doug affirmed his faith in GSEs, noting that as their future is debated, they're money makers, and he's sure "time is on their side." Despite still-uncertain times, Randy says the industry is made up of fighters, survivors, and risk-takers. (Which means issuing an open challenge for a brawl is a bad idea.)
Yardi Systems founder and CEO Anant Yardi keynoted, identifying a number of technological changes that have occurred in the last 30 years, from the introduction of PCs to the growth of the Internet and social media--during which time many of the leading tech companies have become irrelevant by not keeping up with competition. Often, the downfall was the result of a one-time successful leader who became arrogant and no longer embodied transformational leadership qualities needed to maintain innovation and customer service. Among his tips for remaining competitive: Connect with clients in order to understand their perspectives, making it easier to close deals; have clarity of purpose for change, coupled with planning, action, and flexibility; and possess leadership qualities such as creating a shared vision, effective communication and goal setting, and give recognition.