This March, more than 450 property managers, investors, HOA leaders, and technology professionals gathered in San Diego for PM Nation 2023.
Attendees were treated to a unique combination of content at the three-day event, from research into current property management trends and the future of the industry to extensive networking and focused sessions on overcoming specific business challenges.
With leading property management software brands Buildium and Propertyware, hosting the event, there was a strong focus on the practical ways technology can help property managers grow.
Day 1: Discovering Community and Creative Solutions
Even before the welcome keynote on Day 1, attendees were able to connect over their morning coffee in Birds of a Feather networking meet-ups organized around specific interests and business priorities.
Buildium and Propertyware users talked about how they’ve been using their respective platforms and shared advice with their peers.
Other Birds of a Feather Meetups took place throughout the event, for attendees focused on HOAs, larger door counts (500+), and portfolio specializations.
Early in the day Mike Mauseth, Senior Vice President, Mixed Use Division, RealPage, took the stage to discuss the current realities our industry is facing, the reasons we’re optimistic for the opportunities to come, and the ways that technology can be used to elevate the way business is done in property management.
He then unveiled some of the most surprising and important findings from the 2023 Industry Report before Buildium’s Jeana Pondelli, Director of Product Management and Fallon Parker, Director of Product Design and Experience joined him onstage for a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s innovation philosophy, how customers can get involved in the product process, and a recap of what we’ve accomplished with our customers in the past 12 months (with a fresh call-to-action for PMN attendees to participate in product activation stations onsite).
The afternoon was packed with breakout sessions on top-of-mind issues such as understanding the shifts in rental demand (with fresh data unveiled to keep property managers informed), proven techniques to improve the leasing process, and a two-part session unpacking the intricacies of the accounting cycle.
One stand-out session focused on navigating property management staffing challenges, led by a panel of experienced PM company owners (Mark Liberman of On the Mark Management and Chris DiMarco of Common Cents Property Management) alongside a veteran executive business consultant (Deborah Newell of Real-Time Consulting Services). Together, they addressed current staffing challenges in the market and trends to watch out for. They shared proven strategies to attract new talent and the lessons they learned firsthand from training and motivating their teams.
With the recent launch of the Buildium Marketplace—an ecosystem of solutions and services tailored to Buildium users—an array of partners were at PM Nation to share their own tips and experience. Noah Smith, Product Specialist at Obligo explored creative alternatives to security deposits that efficiently eliminate pain points for both tenants and businesses. Meanwhile, Victoria Cowart Director of Education and Outreach at PetScreening dug into the best ways to handle assistance animals and accommodation requests, one of the most common HUD complaint topics.
Day 2: Putting Tech to Work with Personalized Experiences
Day 2’s keynote, delivered by The Center for Generational Kinetics’ Alicia Rainwater drew a large crowd eager to learn how to strengthen their retention strategies. Alicia shared tactics to bridge generational gaps in perspectives and communication to create more long-lasting connections with employees and customers. Attendees were able to reinforce these tips with the many specific industry insights, tools, and technology presented throughout the event.
One way they were able to start putting what they learned into action on the spot was through product town halls and breakout sessions for Buildium and Propertyware users. In these sessions, attendees received advice on specific challenges and discovered new tools and capabilities in the software they’re already using.
In between sessions, attendees were able to get even more personalized attention by engaging with the on-site Help Desks that hosted more than 200 one-on-one appointments over the course of the event. The Discovery Lounge expo hall also offered the opportunity to network with industry peers, explore interactive product stations in the PM Labs area, and chat with the variety of property management support companies hand-picked to sponsor the event.
Day 3: Drafting a Roadmap for Growth
Day 3 offered an in-depth executive workshop for around 100 attendees ready to start taking their business to the next level. The first session of the day included an interactive audit of team roles and responsibilities followed by exercises to pinpoint the roles, gaps and determine the strategies to reach the ideal team structure for each property management company.
The follow-up session introduced ways to map KPIs to individual team roles, drawing from real-world case studies. Each executive in the session was also shown how to implement, track, and reassess these KPIs over time, before learning how to bring it all together in a third session on setting up an overall business performance plan.
As the third day of the event came to a close, attendees packed their bags and prepared to leave with a clear game plan to run their business more effectively. Some even had the first few steps of their plan already checked off. But they also left with a lot more than that: new networking connections, a report full of the invaluable industry trends, and an inside look at new property management tools and how to get the most out of them. In short, they left with all the benefits of being part of a community we call PM Nation.
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