What I learned in 2010

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This post might come across as narcissistic. I apologize in advance for that. I do hope there’s enough self-deprecation to make up for it. What I want to share is my list of things that I learned this year. Important and ground breaking? Certainly to me… but I hope there are things on this list that don’t match yours. You could also end up reading this and wonder why it took so long for me to figure it all out. I’ll take my chances.

There’s a big world out there.

This first point will probably mystify most of you. Let me put it into perspective. I am the IT guy at Maryland Management. I’m the guy you call when your computer starts randomly rebooting, the application you said you entered has suddenly disappeared or you forgot how to drag and drop. My point is that I am shoved into the corner of the corporate office and stare at computer languages all day. Rarely do I get out and I sure don’t converse with people about my job. This year I went to the AIM Conference and my isolated world exploded. You mean there are people out there who like to communicate and exchange ideas? Yes… LOTS. So if you are one who has remained isolated… GET OUT THERE and socialize. Which leads me to the next point:

Twitter is cool.

Again for a lot of you this one is a no brainer. I registered for Twitter years ago but never used it. Didn’t really see the point. In fact at AIM I watched everyone follow the #aimconf hash tag and yawned. I GET it now. Twitter isn’t about Facebook status updates. Twitter is about sharing information and engaging. There are things I’d post on Twitter that people on my Facebook page would probably unfriend me for. (Too boring) Twitter is a great way to learn about the subjects you are most interested in. It’s the ultimate cocktail party that happens 24 hours a day 7 days a week (Minus the booze… thank goodness for that). Get out there and GET IT.

Answering the phone is critical for leasing success.

This one is misleading. I’ve actually ALWAYS known this but was able to prove it by utilizing LevelOne this year. All of our calls are getting answered (finally). We are maximizing our leads more and more now and our move-ins have increased. If your job is to shove leads into the funnel isn’t it frustrating when the funnel has a hole in it?

We don’t need those ILS’s like we think we do.

We improved our website and are now maximizing our Craigslist efforts. We’ve been able to shut most of them off now which is saving Marketing dollars. There are lots of tools to help with this. We chose RentSentinel. This isn’t a commercial though… just maximize your Craigslist any way you can think of. Just do it. I’m not telling you to shut off your ILS’s… just that the relationship you might’ve had with them has changed. Make them need YOU versus the other way around.

I love to blog.

Blogging Rules
I didn’t say I was good at it but I found out that I love doing it. We plan on adding blogging to our internet site in 2011 which will help with SEO and my sanity. Who said that blogging wasn’t therapeutic? I’m just glad for the friends I’ve met on Twitter and MFInsiders. For me blogging is about starting conversations. Getting people to think outside the box OR think at all. So while blogging might be looked at as a selfish act by some, it will ultimately help Maryland Management as well. I love ideas and blogging helps me give and receive them.

Point? Please find it.

It’s hard to take myself too seriously and so I try not to. I hope I’ve inspired a few people out there to try some new things. Or maybe I’ve inspired some people to not listen to anything I say… ever. Either way I feel like I’ve won. I’m glad that I’ve been able to get a lot of you to engage with me and amongst yourself. I’m glad I was able to leave my tower (just like Rapunzel minus the hair and extra parts) and realize that there’s a big world out there full of people much smarter than me who know what they’re talking about. I’ve learned so much this year and it’s all thanks to you. I’m looking forward to an inspiring 2011, more of my annoying blog posts and much more conversation. I hope you are too.

Happy renting everyone.

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