This week we have the privilege to sit down with the guru of collaborative environments, Brent Williams. We talk about the need to network to ensure career growth and overall industry advancement.
Our Special Guest: Brent Williams from Multifamily Insiders
Brent Williams works and plays in the apartment industry through Multifamily Insiders, the largest online social networking group for apartment professionals. Multifamily Insiders hosts blogs and discussions on a variety of topics, such as apartment marketing, apartment maintenance, resident retention, property management, apartment investment, multi-family development, and apartment jobs.
Many of you know Brent from Multifamily Insiders, and he is a known trailblazer when it comes to social networking and collaboration within the multi-family industry. We drill down about the need for collaboration, highlight the many benefits, and share tips on how you and your company can get started today!
Key Questions/Topics Covered
The evolution of Multifamily Insiders
While many say that they fell into the multifamily industry, I proactively jumped into it. I started out with an event planning company that grew into a social network geared explicitly towards apartment communities. This was probably a little bit ahead of its time. MySpace was all the rage when we were building this, so social media was in its infancy stage. We were actually referred to as the MySpace for multifamily. C-Suite had no idea what social networking was and struggled to understand what we were doing or embrace its value. Thus began the process of educating our industry and showing them the value of the networking and collaboration space that we had created.
Industry benefits of Multifamily Insiders
Our industry has had a reputation for growing or evolving at glacial speeds. Having platforms like Multifamily Insiders has allowed people to collaborate and has stepped up the positive and effective change process. Platforms like these facilitate a place for industry professionals to share what has or has not worked for them. These have brought companies together on a national level and advanced individual careers by creating a melting pot of ideas.
How to overcome the fear of property management networking
Start with implementing a collaborative environment at the home level. Define what is needed and be open to cross-training. By doing this, you have the opportunity to hear different perspectives and share ideas. Seeing this in action will prove the benefits of property management networking. As an industry, we know that there is an idea of holding our trade secrets close to the vest. We are not talking about giving away what could be considered proprietary information. Instead, we are focused on sharing experiences and ideas that can help us all grow in our individual careers.
Why is it a good best practice to network?
Even strong companies need to embrace networking. No matter how well things are going, you will never have all the answers or all the ideas. We have many brilliant people in our industry, but they don’t all work in the same place. By networking, you ensure that you are tapping into these resources and exploring other points of view. Finding new ideas that you never thought of will never be a bad thing.
How can an organization get started?
Establish the culture of ‘no question goes unanswered’. Have a team whose job it is to nurture getting the conversation going and keep it growing by tapping into new people and ideas. Again we use the word “process”, but once it’s established, you will truly experience the value of collaboration.
We have the privilege to work in an incredible industry that is filled with equally talented people. Collaboration and networking only help as we continue on our career path. So jump into the conversation and let the ideas flow!
What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?
Be as helpful as you can in every momentBrent Williams
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