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NAA Education Conference: Brad Bellflower’s Tune is Sounding Familiar

NAA Education Conference: Brad Bellflower’s Tune is Sounding Familiar
Like most people in the multifamily industry, I am currently in that intense catch-up between last week’s National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference in Las Vegas, and the impending holiday weekend.  It leaves precious little time for reflection on another highly successful and informative event, but here I will share a couple of thoughts. As usual, the show was excellent: well-executed to high production values.  The sessions were well-attended and varied, and one cannot fail to be impressed with the organization’s initiatives in support of training and ongoing development of people. This year’s show was synonymous with the Apartments.com media deluge.  Anyone travelling from McCarran Airport to the Vegas strip, or from one hotel to another cannot have failed to have seen at least one advertisement featuring Brad Bellflower – the fictitious Silicon Valley technology visionary created by actor Jeff Goldblum.  My hotel was about seven minutes – or alternatively three Brad Bellflower commercials – away from the conference venue.  So I got to see most of what this campaign had to offer from the back seat of my taxi. The desire to flood the conference and the surrounding airwaves with ads is easy to understand.  NAA is the largest group of property managers of the year in multifamily, and with parent company, CoStar’s acquisition of both Apartments.com in 2014 and Apartment Finder earlier this year, this is clearly the right time to be raising profile of the Internet Listing Service (ILS) industry, as it seeks to establish a dominant presence. Among the general buzz, the mos......
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The Intangibles Of Conference Education Sessions

Every year, people have to make the decision on whether to attend NAA's Education Conference, and who in their organizations they bring along with them.  One of the biggest benefits are the education sessions, which brings together the brightest minds to share absolutely fantastic information.  And it occurred to me today that some people may not realize the related, but maybe not obvious, benefit to these sessions, which adds a whole other level of value. So when we think about each education session, we think something along the lines of, "Donald Davidoff is one of the smartest people I know, so everything that he says will be absolutely gold".  Or, "Bill Szczytko brings such great actionable ideas in such a fun and relatable way."  Or, "Jackie Ramstedt is so engaging that I'm sucked into her world, able to see property management from a completely different perspective." *  But even more than being a great source of information, these great speakers also serve as a muse.  Each time I sit through a session, not only do I get their great nuggets of wisdom, but inevitably I hear something that strikes a chord on a completely different topic.  Suddenly, I'm furiously writing down notes that have nothing to do with the session at hand, but at the same time, was triggered directly from it. It's possible that I may have come to these epiphanies on my own, but I don't think so.  The education sessions got me into a certain mode, and hearing......
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