Last modified on May 28th, 2020
By Brittany Benz
Networking has always played a fundamental role in the property management industry. From conferences to regional meet-ups, property management professionals rely heavily on in-person interactions to build new relationships, keep up-to-date on the latest trends, and stay connected with their peers. But since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of events have been cancelled or postponed due to social distancing. As a result, property managers have had to look for new ways to network through digital mediums such as LinkedIn, virtual events, and online forums.
Want to enhance your virtual networking skills? Make good use of the extra down time and follow these tips to expand and strengthen your network:
The professional world’s premier networking site, LinkedIn is a great tool you can use to communicate with peers, stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, and create new connections — from anywhere. If you don’t already have an account, now is a good time to set one up. If you have an account, then make sure you update your profile to reflect your most recent information. Remember your LinkedIn profile is like your resume, so make sure it looks professional as possible and consider thinking of ways you can make yourself stand out.
Once you have your profile set up, reach out to your peers and others in the industry. During this time, many are longing for human connection and a personalized note can go a long way. Consider writing a quick message to introduce yourself and explain why you want to connect. You can also join LinkedIn groups to broaden your networking circle and interact with others. There are a range of groups centered around property management and real estate you can join.
Be sure to contribute to the conversation by sharing engaging content that is relevant to the industry on your feed with appropriate hashtags. This can be a great article you’ve read recently or even an account of your own personal experience. By doing this you can show your expertise, while encouraging others to join the conversation.
Many organizations, such as NAA, Globe St., and IREM also post timely articles and information on LinkedIn. Consider following several of these businesses, so you can stay in the loop on industry trends, news, and upcoming virtual events.
Attend Virtual Webinars & Events
Just because in-person events are on hold doesn’t mean you can’t participate in events altogether. The real estate industry has been quick in adapting to the crisis, and many organizations are hosting virtual events, such as webinars, conferences, and even happy hours.
Here’s one of our upcoming webinars:
How COVID-19 Is Changing the Real Estate Industry: 5 Trends That are Here to Stay
About: With the rapid adoption of digital technology, many property managers have been able to run their businesses more efficiently. In this webinar, industry experts will share their data-backed perspectives on which short-term changes they believe are most likely to stick around for good, and what other companies are doing to overcome COVID-19 challenges.
Date and Time: June 11th at 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET
Registration Page Coming Soon!
Visit the AppFolio Blog for more information.
In addition, you can also interact with your peers at virtual networking events, such as AppFolio’s new RECONNECT virtual event series. These events will be organized by region and will give property management professionals a chance to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities they’ve experienced with their peers, and to hear the latest industry updates. Be sure to check our events page to see upcoming RECONNECT events in your region.
Join AppFolio User Community Groups
If you’re an AppFolio customer, you can take advantage of our User Community Groups, which allow you to connect with other AppFolio users by topic or location. Simply select a group and join to get notifications, or you can jump in on the conversation with other members. Currently there are a range of active groups such as Owner-Operators, Tenant Management, Association Management, and more.
Participate in Online Forums
Online forums are another great way for you to hear how others are doing in the industry, ask questions, get advice, and to make connections. Sites such as BiggerPockets and Wall Street Oasis allow users to ask and answer just about any question in regards to real estate. Note: Be careful of scammers and misinformation, as public forum sites are often not regulated by a moderator.
During this time, virtual networking is vital in order for you to stay connected to your peers, build new relationships, and get a pulse on the industry. By proactively reaching out to others and sharing your experience, you can be a part of the community and uncover new opportunities for your business.
Comments by Brittany Benz