As I think back on my conversations with other multifamily professionals over the years, there has been a consistent theme to their success: Involvement in associations. The power of interpersonal relationships is immense, but all too often, it is simply missed as an avenue for professional growth, for both property management professionals and suppliers. It has happened all too often in my own life, where I’ll see reflections on what happened during the prior year, with pictures and memories of getting together for food drives, charity events, educational sessions, and committee meetings, and I think to myself, why didn’t I join in? I was left out of the party because I didn’t take the time to invest my time—I was always too busy, I told myself. But were not those other people busy, too? Aren’t we all “too busy,” it seems?
The reality is that many people don’t participate because they don’t prioritize that aspect in their lives. The value you get in an association is sometimes slow-building, and even though it has strong long-term returns, it is easy to ignore it to focus on short-term fires. So as we look to 2021, it’s not enough to tell yourself, “I need to get involved.” Instead, work to make it concrete by looking at the calendar of events now and create a plan of attack, with events marked on your calendar. Inform your team members of the plan so everybody can work together to make sure that association involvement isn’t always undercut by whatever pressing thing pops up that particular week.