Although the property management industry is largely driven by independent contractors and smaller-sized companies, that doesn’t mean you have to work in a vacuum. In fact, it’s important that you don’t. Gleaning advice from other industry insiders is a great way to learn from other professionals’ mistakes and victories and also to get tips on increasing profits and productivity as well as best business practices. Best of all, in this high-tech age, you don’t even have to carve time out of your busy schedule to go to networking events and mixers … all of this information is just a few keystrokes away. Following are a few of our favorite property management resources, specifically focusing on the multi-family sector.
#1: National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®)
NARPM® is an association that brings property management professionals in the single-family and small residential sectors together. Which makes NARPM® a great resource because, essentially, they’ve done the screening for you. You don’t have to wade through information that won’t apply to your own professional scenario to get to a few nuggets of helpful advice—more than likely all of the topics discussed through NARPM® channels will be highly applicable to you and your business. As an association, NARPM® not only connects you with other industry professionals, but it also points you toward legislative news you need to know about and keeps you in the loop with industry conferences and meet-ups. If you prefer your information in bite-sized nuggets, you can circumnavigate the NARPM® website and go straight to their Facebook page or Twitter feed for networking opportunities and status updates.
#2: National Apartment Association (NAA)
Much like NARPM, NAA provides you with a direct line to the information you need and the network you want. Geared toward multi-family housing industry operators, the NAA provides advice on a wide scope of multi-family issues and concerns. With 70 years experience, this association knows their stuff and puts decades of practice and information right at your fingertips. If you’re working with a limited amount of time, be sure to start with their blog, which is updated on a frequent basis.
A few months ago, we discussed the ways Twitter can work for you as a marketing tool. But it can also work as an information-gathering tool. Twitter is a great way to get information quick. Since tweets can only consist of 140 characters or less, you’re assured that you will obtain your information in the most succinct way possible. On Twitter you can read status updates from industry professionals and organizations to quickly learn about what’s happening on both the micro and macro levels, and be directed to helpful links from outside sources. While you’re on there, be sure to visit the AptChat page, which will lead you to lots of helpful information, including a weekly chat about the apartment industry which occurs in real time every Friday at 4:00 p.m. EST.
It’s not news that Facebook is one of those online tools that has truly changed the way we all think about communicating and networking. Aside from just working on a personal and entertainment level, though, it can also be a great way to professionally network. Like Twitter, you can gain a lot of information from the status updates of both professionals and businesses. Best of all, though, Facebook allows you to virtually meet and connect with your industry peers, whether they are local or across the country. The opportunities to develop relationships and gain new information on Facebook are virtually endless. And, best of all, its platform is extremely user-friendly.
There are any number of blogs on the internet today that can help you find the sort of information you’re looking for, whether it be tips on real estate investing, property maintenance guides, or marketing strategies. The trick is to identify those blogs that work best for you and your own personal business goals. Maybe you prefer a professional tone; or perhaps a chatty, humorous take on the business is for you. Whatever your preference is, we can guarantee that the perfect blog is out there for you. As with anything else, referrals are often the best way to go. Once you find a blog you enjoy, take a look at their links or blogroll and begin web surfing from there. The NAA has a great blogroll to get you started. Here at Buildium, some of our favorites are M Brewer Group and All Property Management.
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When it comes to networking, one-on-one contact will always be important, no matter how prevalent the internet and social networking sites are. But in a time-pressed industry, it’s helpful to know how much information is always just a few mouse clicks away. Be sure to share some of your favorite online hot spots with us in the comments section below!
Update: We forgot to list Multifamily Insiders, which is a great social network for multifamily professionals.