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Top Ten Takeaways from ARPM Day 1

ARPM 18 kicked off on Sunday the 19th August with an eager audience of 650 ready to learn. Elite Agent's Hannah Blackiston was one of them, and here are her top 10 takeaways from the day.

The Australasian Residential Property Management Conference (ARPM) kicked off yesterday with a whole host of speakers sharing tools and insights for property managers and principals. Here are ten great takeaways from Day 1.

10. Recover your workday
Lauren Kirk of Real+ discussed how our need for immediacy (ordering your coffee via an app anyone?) is affecting our ability to realise when we’re not being efficient. How much of your day do you spend being busy? But what do you actually achieve with your busy time? Lauren recommends every PM does a time check and be transparent with how much time tasks actually take (she says nothing takes five minutes, no matter how fond we all are of saying it). Her suggested time check apps are – Rescue time, Mavenlink, Harvest and Toggl.

9. Accountability is important and it’s up to you
Babette Coutanche, Property Management Operations Manager at Harcourts Queensland, discussed accountability. It isn’t enough to wait for your boss to give you targets – if you’re not being given targets to hit then you need to start seeking them out (don’t be afraid to ask for more accountability). To be your happiest at work and your most successful you need to know ‘what’s my vision, where am I going, how can I be held accountable’?

8. Never say it won’t happen to me
Do you have a disaster plan in your office? Heidi Walkinshaw of Real+ says the danger in presuming something won’t happen to you is that usually that means it will. You need to navigate the risks – be prepared for what could happen. From natural disasters to cybersecurity – make sure your office is prepared for every outcome. And if something does happen, triage it. Don’t panic. “This industry will eat you alive if you let it, but with the right tools, support and back up it’s an incredible industry,” said Heidi.

7. Highs and lows both have their place in our lives – you just have to change how you think about them
Expert speaker JoAnna Ferrari spoke about life as ‘a perfect triangle’. You just need to change two things in your life and the third area will follow to maintain the balance. Along that line, highs and lows are inevitable – but you can choose how you react to them. “Ride the highs and love yourself through the lows,” says JoAnna. Simple things can make big changes, it just takes one conscious decision for your life to start changing.

6. The people in your business are everything
Simon Fung of Woodards Carlton told us how high turnover in your staff results in a bad customer experience. You can’t expect loyalty from your customers if they’re being forced to deal with a new property manager every time they call. He champions supporting the people in your business to encourage long-term loyalty. From rewards for staff who stay with your company to encouraging honest communication, Simon says having a clear dialogue between your team is the best way to build a strong business.

5. Sometimes people aren’t on the same page as you, and that’s ok
Your journey isn’t going to be everyone’s journey. Sometimes people will be on a different path to you. Babette Coutanche says that’s ok – but if they’re dragging down the rest of your team then you need to reassess their place in your office. It only takes one negative presence in your office to drag down the whole team. If someone can’t get on the same page as everyone else then nobody is happy, and it’s better to let them go than to try and force them onto your team.

4. Digital marketing can get as creepy as you let it – but you still need to be careful
Dave Eddy of Vicinity Marketing showed us just how specific your digital marketing can be (geofencing and wifi targeting are very real options), but it came with a warning. We all saw a very public example of what happens when you don’t cross your t’s and dot your I’s when dealing with people’s data in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytics affair. So if you’re going to dabble in the wide world of digital marketing, make sure you’re being careful about the legalities of your targeting and what information you can and can’t use. Plus – you should only use your targeted marketing skills for good. Give people something they can actually use (no more free ebooks…).

3. Work/life balance is guaranteed to fail
The brains behind ARPM, Fiona Blayney, spoke about how by its very definition work/life balance is guaranteed to fail. She prefers the term ‘work/life integration’, but says you need to work out what works for you right now. Don’t model your life based on someone else, or even based on what was right for you last week, month, year. Find what you need right now and make that happen. “Yes, we all have the same 24 hours, but you can spend them however you want,” said Fiona.

2. Do what makes you happy
Journalist Jessica Rowe, who delivered her keynote in an amazing dress covered in cats and bright pink heels (#goals), explained the process behind her departing of Studio 10 and how she’s chasing what makes her happy now. The self-professed ‘crap housewife’ discussed why we shouldn’t be comparing our lives to the lives of others, whether that be in your office, on social media or even just the life you think you should be living compared to the one you are. Jessica said the most important part of her life now is finding the joy in what she does, allowing herself to laugh and teaching her two daughters that it’s ok to do what’s right for you now. “Being kind isn’t celebrated enough. It makes such a difference to just reach out to someone,” said Jessica.

1. Embrace Change
How many of us love change? Usually, we associate change, especially change which is forced on us, as something negative. JoAnna Ferrari spoke about how you don’t have to change, but you can’t stay the same. If you refuse to change, like many of us do, life will change around you and you’ll spend your time playing catch up instead of making the most of it. Instead, you can get on the front foot. Be honest with yourself, don’t accept the program, find what works for you. Everyone thinks conflict is that negative voice in your head, but actually, it’s the one telling you everything will be fine if you don’t change. Conflict wants us to stay the same. “Sitting here right now you can find your starting point to your success. Stop looking past the obvious, everyone thinks their calling with be something grand. But it’s right there in front of you,” said JoAnna.

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Hannah Blackiston

Hannah Blackiston was an in-house journalist with Elite Agent. She worked with the company from January 2018 to January 2019.