Driving to work this morning the Dust Bowl analogy popped into my head as I reflected on the last few years in the apartment industry. We all felt it in one way or another. The question remains though is that has the dust settled for us and can we see our path or process clear enough to move forward?
Social media hit us just like the Dust Bowl. It kind of came out of nowhere and many of us were very unprepared. We could not tell night from day. It made many of our business decisions very hazy and confusing. There was so much discussion (dust) flying all over the place that it left us searching for anyone or anything that would provide a solution and a process to get through the storm and to focus on our business in general.
I do believe the dust is settling. There are far less Twitter debates. The blog article versus blog article approach has petered out. I have not had an apartment community “friend” me in quite some time. There are far less opinions and a lot more action from my perspective. It appears that the apartment industry has a solid footing and really understands that we have just been provided tools that are there to facilitate what we all want….a solid business model.
So that brings us to the next question. What’s next? I was reading an old prediction post I wrote from back in 2010 and it gave me some great perspective as I prepare for 2013. There is the “at large” that we see now when it comes to social media and its impact on us and our residents and customers and then there is the “company specific” view. In working with many different property management companies over the years it is so interesting that no two are alike. Some of the ultimate goals of course align, but the creative process to get there is always different.
If there is one thing I do believe strongly about is that social media certainly opened our minds. It paved the way for us to move out of our comfort zone and mine new territory. Farmers back in the 30’s certainly learned that their farming practices were not was best for the environment and they needed to make radical adjustments. Perhaps social media hit us like a storm to help align our business practices and help us to focus on what really matters. In the end it’s always the people.
This is a straight up opinion post that is open for discussion. What are your thoughts over what you have experienced or seen over the last few years? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Written by Jonathan Saar