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Our Top Takeaways from NPMA NES 2019

The inside of the Jefferson memorial in Washington DC. There is a metal statue of Thomas Jefferson surrounded by white marble columns. Text overlay reads NPMA NES 2019 Our Top Takeaways.

We came to the nation’s capital seeking the latest information and ideas in property management and also discovered food, fun, and new friends along the way. Now, as we return home, we find ourselves looking forward to the future of property management and the future of the NPMA. Here are just a few takeaways from the NPMA NES 2019 event.

1) Continuous learning

We’ve talked before about how vital continuous learning is in order to improve yourself as a property professional. And the members and leaders of NPMA have demonstrated that, increasingly, gaining experience across a variety of areas has become important.

Today’s property managers are learning from other logistics departments. They’re also learning about things we don’t normally associate with the day-to-day life of a property professional. For example, many property professionals can improve their careers by gaining skills in leadership, communication, and presentation.

2) Spotting trends

Being around other property professionals can be exciting and comforting at the same time. There’s nothing like being surrounded by like-minded people who “get it.”

It also means you can learn more about hot topics. Conversations at breakfast and presentation topics hint at trends to examine further when you get home. For example, my teammate Sean noticed a growing concern with inventory and automation:

“The classes were insightful, and we couldn’t help but notice that there were many classes on conducting inventories. AssetWorks lead a class on this topic, and the room was just about filled. This is one topic that seems to always warrant classes on trends and best practices.

Read More: How Inventory by Exception Can Accelerate Your Inventory Process

“While several attendees have a firm grip on their inventory, there are many people who struggle with accurate inventory results. While there are some people who are utilizing RFID and other tagging methodologies, many attendees we spoke with are still trying to automate their inventory process using barcode or data matrix tags with scanning hardware. Many people stated that having an automated solution would go a long way in assisting them with inventory time and their reconciliation process.”

3) Exciting changes ahead

One advantage of attending conferences like NES is you often get an inside look at new changes on the horizon. My coworker Richard was particularly interested in new NPMA initiatives:

“A few years ago NPMA President Cinda Brockman lead the charge to organize a study to determine why many of the experienced and talented association members felt they hit a plateau in their career.

“Ultimately the feedback indicated that while asset managers are found to be capable at their direct responsibilities, many felt they could benefit from becoming more well-rounded.

“The study suggested that improvements in technological understanding, core accounting/finance concepts, project management processes, and team management skills will help property professionals secure a seat at the organizational leadership tables. With these additional capabilities, property professionals will be able to confidently participate in wide-reaching matters that impact the whole organization, and the entity benefits by harnessing the perspective of their asset management expert.

“As this Advisory Board Initiative lead by Marsha Campbell continues to progress, look for the addition of more skill building opportunities at NPMA events that go beyond asset management education. Myself and AssetWorks pledges to do what we can to help.”

4) Fun!

Of course, NES isn’t all work and no play. There was plenty of fun to be had during the week, from the Odyssey Dinner Cruise to Sean Pugatch’s favorite, the Property Challenge:

“The highlight of the event might have been the Property Challenge, with the Central region taking home the title once again. The challenge was a fun way to test our knowledge of property management, but also a way for the attendees to let loose. There were points of contention with the buzzer system being used, attendees hooting and hollering for their region, and celebrating after each question was successfully answered.”

Looking Forward to Next Year

As much as we enjoyed NES 2019, we are probably even more excited for next year’s NES. NPMA NES 2020 will take place in Dallas, Texas, and will celebrate NPMA’s 50 year anniversary. Everything is big in Texas, so we think NES 2020 will be the biggest NES yet.

We hope to see you there!

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