2015 NAA Education Conference Recap


Things learned in classrooms included how organic and local searches drive traffic and bring visibility to communities online, as well as the importance of Internet connectivity outside apartment walls.

Panelists said a potential resident may be turned off by a community if cell reception isn’t at least three bars in the parking lot. Also, marketing through word of mouth is out and brand ambassadors who advocate companies and communities are in. At “Five Digital Marketing Strategies to Attract Online Prospects Marketing”, Nicole Crosby of Buckingham Companies explained the benefits of transitioning to targeted paid ads on social networks like Facebook.

Holli Beckman, of Apartminty and WC Smith, attended the session and said the marketing strategy works, especially at that micro-moment when prospects are searching. “Social media channels are gathering so much behavioral data about our customers,” she said. “That data helps us to hyper target our advertising and deliver it to the correct audience at the correct time.” Onsite, modernizing apartment homes to make them more marketable are dos and filling models with too much furniture and knickknacks are don’ts.

Learning Zones on the exhibit floor focused on education and included RealPage’s fireside chat about what’s next in visual marketing for properties. At the back of the hall, Apartment.com’s massive video screen rivaled any Jumbotron, and one lucky vendor took home a brand new Tesla filled with – not worth – $100,000.

Looking ahead, the 2016 NAA Education Conference & Exposition is venturing into new territory. For the first time, the conference will be in San Francisco, June 15-18. Newly appointed conference chair Rick Graf of Pinnacle Companies assured attendees at the last general session that one thing will be certain.  “I can guarantee it will be 40 to 50 degrees cooler,” he said.


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

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Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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