Connected & Inspired: A Recap of The First Fully Virtual Customer Conference

Last modified on December 17th, 2020

2020 has been a defining year for the real estate industry, and accelerated the digital transformation that was already in motion. We recently hosted our 8th annual, three-day AppFolio Customer Conference for the first time entirely online. More than 4,000 customers joined us this year for the event, which featured two inspiring keynote speakers, and over 60 sessions tailored to residential property management, community association management, and investment management, including a full day of in-depth product trainings. Customers also had the chance to connect and engage with other attendees and members from our team face-to-face through an online networking platform.

We really enjoyed reconnecting with our customers, sharing our latest innovations, and providing insight into how they can maximize their technology investment now and in the future. To celebrate a successful event, here are four key takeaways from this year’s AppFolio Customer Conference:

You Are in Control of Your Own Happiness

This year has been filled with anxiety, change, and uncertainty for many, but if you make time to learn new things and focus on your inner happiness, you can maximize your performance. During the conference, Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and happiness expert shared his personal journey to happiness and provided strategies on how to live a more intentional life. 

According to Neil and 300 positive psychology studies, the model for success most people have grown up with is backwards — you should be happy first in life, not last. If you’re happy you can do great work, which can lead to big success. To prime your brain for positivity and happiness Neil recommends to do the following: 

  • Don’t sleep next to your phone — it’s scientifically proven that staring at a bright screen before bed lowers your melatonin levels.
  • Each day write down what you’ll let go of, what you’re grateful for, and what you’ll focus on.
  • Pick up a new hobby outside of your core discipline to keep your mind sharp and agile.
  • Go untouchable the last hour of your day, spend time with family or read a book.

Change Can Be a an Opportunity for Growth

In the past year, just about everyone has experienced change, but how we have approached and adapted to it hasn’t always been the same. In her keynote, disruptive thought leader and CEO, Cassandra Worthy shared her personal struggles with change in the workplace and how she overcame the disruption by shifting her mindset to view change as an opportunity. During her session she provided a workable strategy for professionals to harness the power of change by following these three steps:

  • The Signal: Realize your feelings, emotions, or fears you have towards a particular moment of change.
  • The Opportunity: Recognize your mindset and that you have power and control over your work experience.
  • The Choice: Make a conscious, productive decision to get better and grow.

By approaching change through these three steps Cassandra said professionals can persevere and stay resilient at work, even in tough times.

Mobile Tools Can Help Businesses Adapt & Stay Competitive

It’s clear now more than ever that businesses who position themselves toward the future have a competitive advantage. The real estate industry has gone through a digital transformation, where technology is now an absolute necessity for doing business. AppFolio has been right at the forefront of this wave, and as Shane Trigg, General Manager of Real Estate, noted “The great news is that our customers have been right alongside us, investing in their digital transformation.”

Those who have cloud-based solutions, like AppFolio, have been able to adapt quickly, stay connected, and even grow during this time, “We know this is the future and we are transforming the experience for our customers with recent innovations such as Virtual Showings, 3D Tours, and other online leasing enhancements released this year — and you can expect us to keep innovating in this area,” said Trigg.

Culture is a Key Foundation for Success

Across the board, professionals in residential property management, community associations, and investment management have had to work harder this year to preserve their culture, keep teams engaged, and continue to serve their customers. 

Even at AppFolio, we’ve had to pivot to stay connected with each other and our customers in an entirely virtual environment. “Our culture is really the backbone of how we fuel innovation, service, success, and growth here at AppFolio. With the ultimate goal to deliver a better experience for our customers,” said Jason Randall, Chief Executive Officer of AppFolio, “I always say our culture is our biggest asset, and this is absolutely true. That’s why we purposefully invest in our culture as a key foundation for our success.”

We look forward to our continued partnership with our customers, and providing the tools, resources, and support they need to stay resilient and successful in the year ahead.


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