What is NEBULA: beyond 2020 (or was, we should say)
NEBULA: beyond 2020 was a fully-online summit for property management professionals that aired on 23 October, 2020. It was an event hosted by Console for professionals using any software, at any stage of their property career, and who were curious or seeking answers about the future of work in the real estate sector.
Nebula in a sentence
If you had to sum up the NEBULA: beyond 2020 virtual summit in one sentence or idea, it would be this: we have to think carefully about the kind of future we want for our industry. And we have to start creating that future right now. Like, right now.
We learned important things about connection at work
This call rings out from the opening keynote. In Cultivating a connected culture in disconnected times, Crowdbloom founder and NEBULA Emcee Emma Herbert points out how powerful small acts of kindness can be. Something as simple as thanking people for the work they do costs nothing, but helps colleagues stay connected to and—engaged in—their work.
But creating a culture of kindness itself is about more than that. It’s about creating a permanently new way of working, and a new kind of relationship to our work and to each other.
Other silver linings: remote work is here to stay
Harcourts Astute Paddington Principal PJ Salami, meanwhile, delivered a Zing Pow Wow showing what workplace flexibility looks like in an agency that’s been offering it for over a year now. (Side note: a Zing Pow Wow is a five minute, timed presentation that is delivered using only 15 slides that auto-transition every 15 seconds).
In PJ Salami’s experience, the ability to offer remote work has improved the performance and productivity of his property management team. In other words, he lays bare what most of us have only learned this year: that remote work can actually work.
There are plenty of up-sides to encouraging a hybrid or flexible workday structure: no more wasted time on commutes, staff feel trusted and engaged, and it saves agencies money to have staff work from home occasionally.
The ever-stronger case for a paperless office using cloud-based software
To offer your staff flexible work arrangements, says PJ Salami, you’ll need to be running a paperless office and using cloud-based software. Moreover, you need to be using this software in such a way that everyone can communicate information to each other simply and effectively (such as you would using Console Cloud).
And with a big surge in paperless offices and cloud-based software usage during the pandemic, more agencies than ever are finally establishing a new (and more effective way) of working in the cloud. As a result, more agencies than ever are finally in a position to offer those flexible and remote work arrangements.
Kindness, flexibility, paperless work. What else is changing for the better?
How we approach change is, well… changing.
Possibly the two most hated words in the corporate dictionary are ‘change management’. And with good reason—the term hints pretty strongly at change being forced on someone or some process.
The time has come for change management to get in the bin and stay there. Change is now a constant in the world of modern work, and we as workers are getting more sophisticated and philosophical in our approach to it.
Here’s what we learnt about change at NEBULA: beyond 2020.
Amber Golden and Helen Rolfe of Complete Real Estate Solutions showed us smarter ways to change
The team at Complete Real Estate Solutions have seen countless businesses try to change their ways and become more efficient. Their advice on how to be better at changing technology?
Five simple steps:
- Do your own research—what is best for you isn’t always what was best for someone else before you.
- Think about change differently—look for opportunities to grow, become better, work smarter and so on.
- Learn as much as you can about the thing you’re changing to—the more you know, the more you’ll be able to do in the new software.
- Expect efficiency, and insist on working smarter. Revisit steps 1-3 to assist with this process.
- Treat change as a continuous and consistent process—it’s unlikely the world will slow down, and therefore, neither should your ability to change.
Domonic Thompson: adapt or perish
Domonic Thompson of Macquarie Bank did not mince his words: if you keep your processes manual and admin-heavy, you’re only making it harder for yourself in the long run (and the short run too). When everyone else becomes more efficient and technologically evolved, you’ll have to work harder than ever just to keep up—not to overtake.
That’s a losing game.
A better way forward is to evolve how your business runs, and evolve it with a view to maximising the experience you give your customers. Customer experience may be a buzzword, but it’s also here to stay. It’s about putting the customer at the centre of everything you do, and every decision you make.
What’s more, is people are getting used to being treated this way. So if you offer an experience that doesn’t meet the standards they’ve become accustomed to, you’re going to be judged harshly for it.
To translate this advice in terms of change, the answer for Domonic Thompson then is this: yes, we should all definitely change. In terms of how? It’s all about aligning your technology strategy with your clients, so that you can customise the experience you give them according to their needs.
Speaking of what landlords want: all happy landlords are alike
Console’s own Natasha Anich did a deep dive into Console Cloud’s customer data in her talk on why communication is the key to landlord love.
Specifically, Natasha analysed the net promoter score (NPS) data and feedback from customers using Console Cloud’s free net promoter scoring tool, Yardstick. What she found was striking.
Regardless of where landlords were based, how many properties were managed by their agency, or even the demographics of the landlords or of their property manager, they all had one thing in common.
The happiest landlords were those that considered their property managers to be good at communicating with them. Yep. That’s all there is to it.
So how do you make landlords happier?
If you’re not using Yardstick in Console Cloud, try it out. It’ll let you know how your landlords are feeling. Happy landlords are a good predictor of rent roll stability and even growth.
On the flipside, unhappy landlords are a leading indicator of rent roll attrition.
The key to making landlords happier is thinking more about what communication means to them. What would make them feel they have been communicated with appropriately?
Having a 24/7 online portal where landlords can find the information that matters to them is a great place to start. But consider also how much transparency there is in your business between you and the property owner.
Do they feel informed with what is happening with their property? Note that this isn’t the same question as whether they actually are in fact informed. Do you follow-up and check in enough with them to suit their preferences?
Are you providing multiple channels for them to communicate with you? These are the sorts of questions you should be asking to lift your communication game.
The twelve pillars of scale, with PMVA CEO Tiffany Bowtell
We don’t want to take away from the wisdom of PMVA CEO Tiffany Bowtell on her twelve pillars for scaling your real estate business to success, but we do want to mention it.
In fifteen short minutes, Tiffany was able to explain in clear language how to create a success model for your business that can be repeated consistently. In particular, she demonstrated the practical steps you can take to move your agency from operating as a small business to behaving more like a fully-fledged corporation—in a good way.
If you caught the talk, make sure to follow it up with her free ebook: The 5 strategies to growing your real estate business fast.
Where to from here?
This is just a taste of the highlights and insights served up at NEBULA: beyond 2020. But with more than eight hours of content and 25 speakers, it would be a very looong highlights wrap-up to summarise them all.
We hope you bought a ticket, or if you didn’t, that you’ll consider coming next year. And if you are a NEBULA: beyond 2020 ticket holder, good news! You can still access replays of all NEBULA videos until 30 November.
Missed the event but bought a ticket? Here’s an article that’ll make sure you still catch up on content and don’t let that ticket go to waste.
Nebula is about your future
Console considers NEBULA: beyond 2020 an important event for property professionals who are curious about the future of work, and who are invested in becoming the best version of themselves.
To that end, we feel you should know that NEBULA is more than just an online summit for property managers. It’s a site where you can go to take property management courses, get Console Cloud certifications and more, and it’s there all year-round to help you take your career to new heights.
So if you’re looking to take the next step in your career, or just want to browse property management courses, sign up already and get started.
Wondering what to read next?
Learn about how Ray White Carrum Downs were able to make their business significantly more efficient with Console Cloud, or read the Buyer’s guide to property management software ebook (it’s free!)
You can also just talk to us directly. To get in touch with us for more information, you can fill out this form right here and we’ll be in contact.