The desire to stop talking about 2020 (even on a property management blog) is a sentiment that I think we all share as we inch towards the start of the new year. With a vaccine rollout around the corner, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that’s visible now. Whether we want to admit it or not, 2020 made us better at what we do and pushed us to adapt at a moment’s notice. And, as we’ve seen time and time again, nobody understands the ability to quickly pivot quite like property managers.
This sink-or-swim mentality also held true for the content that we created on the Buildium blog. At the start of the pandemic, our plans were turned upside down multiple times. Truth is, we were scrambling to figure out what to do: What topics made sense? What could we publish with authority? What did our audience care about most? Without a well-defined roadmap, I know many others felt the same way.
Our first action was to assure our customers that we were there to help through our property management software and award-winning support team. But we quickly realized that we had to go deeper than our technology and services in order to help you with the challenges that were unfolding.
As a result, we stood up a COVID-19 section of our blog and began writing weekly “COVID Digests.” The idea was to keep you updated on the latest news and happenings impacting your business. And that was just the first half of the year.
We learned fast and were forced to try new things, which is the thick silver lining. That’s precisely why I think it’s important to share some of the best property management blog content and resources that we created in this [insert your word of choice] year. Here are my editor’s picks for 2020.
#1: COVID-19 Digests and Reporting
Keeping residents safe while still delivering profitability for property owners was a natural focus for property managers throughout the year. For that reason, you needed to be informed about the ever-changing regulatory landscape that drove your decisions. After those initial COVID Digests, we began publishing research to help put the true impact of the pandemic into a quantifiable framework.
Property Managers’ Outlook on Growth
The first content series focused on business growth and included a blog post and a report. One of the most impressive stats that speaks to the resilience of our industry is that 77% of property managers expect to increase their revenue over the next two years!
Leasing Demand in 2020
#2: The 2021 Industry Report
Every year, Buildium and the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) partner to deliver definitive research in The State of the Property Management Industry Report. With over five thousand responses from property managers, property owners, and residents, the 2021 Industry Report distills insights on an uncommon year drawing on a 6-year legacy.
Bonus: 2020 was the first year we released a report for community association managers: The 2021 Associations Industry Report.
#3: The Property Manager Podcast
With the necessity of doing business virtually, we all witnessed the toll that the absence of social interaction was taking on ourselves and on our teams. The inextricable human need to connect with others and laugh, ponder, or commiserate never went away. Cue The Property Manager Podcast for Season 3. This go round we welcomed other subject matter experts, influencers making noise in the space, and those at the top companies that impact your world. It all boils down to connection, learning, and community—and we believe in all three.
#4: What’s In Your Proptech Stack? [Guide]
2020 was a big year for Buildium’s technology as we launched our industry-shifting Open API, which allowed property management companies to get at their data and bring it into new operational workflows and reporting dashboards of their design.
One of the best ways to understand what’s possible with technology is to learn from others. For that reason, we decided to talk to two leaders in property management and asked them to share their own tech stacks in two comprehensive guides: Matt Leshber, 1836 Property Management (single-family portfolio) and Brawley Reishman, Westward360—a 26,000-unit, community association powerhouse. Peer into the tech stacks that have supported their consistent growth and ingenuity.
#5: How to Start a Property Management Company the Right Way [Blog]
January is a month when many real estate professionals decide to get into the property management game. What better way to celebrate a new endeavor than a blog post that breaks down the elements of what you need to know as a newcomer?
#6: The First 90 Days [Video Interview]
For those thinking of making the jump to a new property management platform, the first impression and onboarding process is what sets the tone for a good relationship over the long term. Knowing this, we put together two video interviews with newly-minted Buildium customers intended to detail their experiences over the first ninety days. We started off with Grant Marlowe, of Grant Property Management (CAM) and then talked to Beau Miles of Essential Property Management. Listen to both of their scaling stories and the drastic leaps they made to hit the ground sprinting.
#7: We Are Essential: 3 Property Managers Talk COVID-19 [Virtual Panel]
One of the best ways to understand what’s really happening on the ground, is to hear it straight from the source (or sources). And while we’re at it, why not put them all in the same “room?” Along these same lines, Buildium held a virtual session with three property management business owners that got into their experiences in powering through the initial challenges of the pandemic.
#8: How to Run Virtual HOA Board Meetings [Blog]
Think of all the time community association managers used to spend commuting to association board meetings. In the blink of an eye, all that changed with COVID-19. The pandemic spurred efficiency for community association managers that they could have only dreamed of before. That said, it also created the need to use and develop new skills using technology like learning how to run a virtual board meeting.
#9: The 2020 Tax Guide for Property Managers
The struggles of the pandemic made government action a must to cushion the blow. Our tax code changed as small businesses received additional support to weather the storm. Every year (regardless of whether or not we have a global pandemic) we put together a tax guide, written by Stephen Fishman, J.D.—an author of countless tax and legal resources for property managers. Check out the 2020 Tax Guide and familiarize yourself with the new 1099-NEC.
#10: Buildium Epic Story
Property managers have stories alright—many of which they can’t tell to those outside of the industry. Whether it’s an alligator in the pool or copper pipe thieves, we wanted to give a chance for those stories to be brought into the limelight. The Buildium Epic Story Contest opened up the floor for property managers to tell their stories and win a chance to have them produced into an animated video short. Hint: the two winning stories involve a ghost named Valerie and an unwieldy gaggle of ducklings. Watch the winning stories here.
Well, that just about does it. 2020, it’s been a trip. 2021 is sure to throw more curveballs, but we know that you’ll be ready for them. We’ll be along for the ride creating content and telling stories that accompany you throughout the journey.Read more on Property Manager Stories