Our top takeaways from APRM 2019

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At the start of August, the Anouska & Co team headed to Sydney to run the social media for the Australasian Residential Property Management conference. It was a fantastic weekend full of insights about the property management industry, leadership and the evolution of technology.  

It was an absolutely incredible lineup of speakers and we wanted to share some of our favourite insights from the wide variety of presenters over the weekend. This is by no means an exhaustive list! 

 

1.     How do you respond to the unknown? 

Endurance athlete Samantha Gash gave a moving and inspirational keynote speaker, sharing her journey to barely being able to finish a marathon to running thousands of kilometres across some of the most hostile terrain in the world, including achieving the mammoth feat of becoming the first woman to complete the ‘Four Desert Grandslam’ – four 250km runs across the Atacama, Gobi, Sahara and Antarctic Deserts – in a single year. 

She described the experience of running her first marathon. She remembered hitting a wall at 32 kilometres, which was the furthest she’d ever run. Because she’d never run so far, she’d assumed she wasn’t physically capable of continuing. Thanks to the motivation of her running partner, she persevered through her mental block and finished the race.  

Her takeaway from this story was that her default setting when faced with the unknown was to quit and that she needed to change her mindset. It was a real eye opener: how do we respond to the unknown? Do we lean into the challenge, or assume that because we haven’t done it before, it can’t be done? 

 

2.    Technology is your friend

Many of the speakers discussed how automation and advances in technology would affect the future of property management. One of the speakers, Tasmanian property manager Tameka Smith, told us about how she’d embraced technology in her business. 

Her agency, Key2 Property, takes 360 degree photographs of every property available for lease. Then through an Oculus Rift system, prospective tenants can come into the office any time within business hours and take a virtual tour of any property. This is a cost saving measure, as it means they don’t need to have property managers giving tours of properties as frequently, and positions them as leaders in their industry. 

People can be suspicious of new technology and therefore reluctant to adopt it. But, as Tameka demonstrated, it can also give your business a point of difference and distinguish you in your market. 

 

3.    Does it spark joy? 

ARPM founder Fiona Blayney gave a unique presentation based on lifestyle guru Marie Kondo’s philosophy around tidying up. The central idea behind Marie Kondo’s ethos is ‘does it spark joy?’ This means that if something no longer brings you joy – whether that’s because of its usefulness, necessity or sentimental value – you should express gratitude towards the item and get rid of it. 

Fiona encouraged us to apply this philosophy towards our businesses. Is there an element of your business that consistently makes you miserable? Is there a way to repurpose or transform that so that it now sparks joy? 

The chances are that if it’s making you unhappy or frustrated, then there’s probably a more efficient way of doing it, or it shouldn’t be part of your business in the first place. 

 

4.    Creativity is key

Keynote speaker Mykel Dixon gave a dynamic musical presentation about how the future belongs to the artist. As automation becomes an increasing part of many industries, it’s important to focus on what is essential about human contributions. 

The answer? Creativity. The World Economic Forum has predicted that in 2020, creativity would be the third most important skill for members of the workforce to have. This will only increase as machines handle all the other stuff, so it’s vital to focus on our creativity skill set now. 

However, our creativity substantially drops throughout our lives. NASA scientists found that while 98 per cent of five year old children would fall into the ‘genius’ category of imagination, that number was down to two per cent by the time they were 30. Mykel encouraged us to seek out that childlike creativity within ourselves and use it in our work. 

 

To see more of the ARPM speakers, check out the ARPM Instagram and Facebook page. 

Emma Bartlett