When I think of a puzzle I think of small, cohesive, interlocking pieces, working together to create a story. One part of the puzzle doesn’t elicit an image on its own, it is the array of parts in aggregation that form the whole picture. One piece of a puzzle cannot tell a narrative in the same way multiple pieces joining together can, yet just by missing one piece, the picture can never be complete. The Triangle Apartment Association reminds me of a puzzle. We are a community comprised of the Board of Directors, Co-Chairs and Committee Volunteers, TAA Staff, Vendors/Suppliers, Owner/Operators, and Independent Rental Owners. Just like a puzzle, each person that is part of our TAA Community must work together for the picture to be complete.
One of my goals this year as President is to focus on continuing to build our community, and to give back to the communities that we serve outside the TAA. The TAA Community has become an integral and essential part of my identity, as I mentioned in my last President’s Pen article. This community has helped me develop in immeasurable ways, both personally and professionally. My goal for 2018 is to cultivate an environment in which every TAA member also feels they are benefitting in some way.
In the multifamily industry, our job is to improve the apartment communities where we work. As we hustle through the daily grind, it is easy to forget the impact that we have on our residents’ lives. Are you an owner/operator ensuring your residents are happy in their home by listening to their concerns, helping them find the perfect apartment, or organizing community events? It could be that at the Super Bowl party you organized this year, a resident met the love of their life! Or maybe you are a vendor/supplier that installs the carpet in an apartment home before a new family moves into it. Did you ever stop to think that this very carpet that you meticulously rolled out, may end up being the setting for their children’s first steps? Perhaps as a service team member filling work orders, you have encountered a resident pet that was less than zealous of your intrusion on their territory. Maybe you could be the individual that makes this animal not afraid of strangers anymore by offering it a treat or some affection. Believe me, these small gestures make a genuine impression and the resident will be left feeling like they are part of a community that cares. Whatever your role, you are an essential part of the puzzle that makes up your residents’ experience. You are the piece impacting our customers’ lives each day in the most personal of environments, their homes.
When it comes to your TAA Community, you are surrounded by people who want to know you, to support you, and help you grow. You may be asking yourself, ‘where do I start?’. How do you find time between work and family obligations? What if your company is not able to pay for classes or events? What if you don't know anyone at a committee meeting you would like to attend? I recently read a quote from Elon Musk that said, “the first step is to establish that something is possible, then probability will occur.” Many of our members have already done exactly that this year; taken that first step to see what is possible within the TAA Community. 35 members took their first of seven classes to obtain the NAAEI Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) Credential in January, and five members embarked on the Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) Credential Program. In addition, TAA was selected to host the NAA Advanced Instructor Training in February and had fifteen members participate. And, because of their devotion to volunteering in the TAA and commitment to our community, seven members were awarded scholarships for NAAEI Credential Programs from the TAA Education Foundation. This could be possible for you if you take that first step to become more involved!
We have numerous fantastic events coming up in March and April, and there is something special for everyone! Are you a vendor/supplier trying to increase your client base, and want to learn how to efficiently connect with owners/operators? Then, “Inside the Multifamily Mind” is for you. For service professionals (or anyone that wants to enhance their technical skills), we have two Certified Pool Operator courses (CPO), and a CFC certification and testing course. And for those of you trying to improve your legal knowledge, “AANC Lease Review” and “Legal Issues” are perfect additions to sharpen your mind.
April is also the month when we host our biggest event of the year! The 2018 Trade Show will take place on Wednesday, April 18 and will allow you to network with over 1200 owner/operator members and visit over 150 supplier member booths. This is a great opportunity to connect with vendor/supplier partners and other industry professionals that can assist in solving any challenges you may encounter.
The Triangle Apartment Association is your community, and you are an essential piece of the puzzle that make us successful. I look forward to seeing how you fit into the TAA puzzle this year, and what we can accomplish together!
Claire Michael, CAM
Fairfield Residential, LLC
This article was originally published in the 2018 March/April issue of the ApartMentor magazine.