Happy New Year - Welcome 2021!
Together as partners in the multi-family housing industry we can accomplish great things! Are You Ready? We Are READY!
There is no doubt that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in our lifetime. The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate nearly every aspect of our lives from our professional lives and how we work to our personal lives and how we interact with people outside of our household. Like each of your reading this, whether you work for an apartment community, are an Independent owner, management company or vendor, we all have had to adapt, pivot, reevaluate and make changes based on the information that is available now, knowing that it will/can change in a moment’s notice.
Let’s expose the elephant in the room – it’s no secret that we are all tired of the restrictions that the pandemic has caused. There, it’s been said. I cringe when I hear “when are we going to get back to normal?” What is our new normal even going to look like? How do move forward from the pandemic and use what we have learned over the past year? The name of the game is adjusting to the NEW normal.
The AAFW-NEI will also have a new normal. It’s going to look similar but different. We’ve said it all year; things are going to look different. We are very thankful for your support of the AAFW-NEI over the past year as we have learned how to adapt and at some times struggled to provide you the networking opportunities that you are used to receiving from us as a member.
Zoom – is it going to go away? Nope, I don’t think so. I frequently hear rumblings about Zoom meetings and classes, and when are we going to be able to meet in person again. I’d like to offer this perspective – how lucky are we that we have the technology to still learn, connect, and network with the technology that we have today. I often think of my grandparents and what they would think of this. It really is an exciting time to be able to log into your computer, tablet or phone and see a national speaker like Toni Blake or Jackie Ramstedt without having to travel! It’s all about perspective – I’m sure that I will need to remind myself of this several times over the next several months.
We will have a full offering of education courses in Spring 2021 that will be exclusively online. Courses will begin in February and conclude in May. You will have the opportunity to attend a Leadership Series by Jackie Ramstedt, update your team’s maintenance and leasing training and network with others members. We continue to strive to provide quality educational opportunities; however, you and your team must take advantage of these chances and get the most out of your membership in the AAFW-NEI. Zoom fatigue or not, it has changed how trade associations can still offer quality education to members.
Events will also look different in 2021. While we won’t be able to be in person, we have explored opportunities that will still allow us to come together not only as members but with your teams at your companies and communities. Breakfast Connections for the first quarter in 2021 are planned to be virtual also. Decisions to hold events virtually were not an easy decision; however, the health and safety of our members has always been top priority. Will we get back to holding in person Breakfast Connection again with 80 – 100 members again – YES, but it’s going to take time. There has also been a decision made to postpone the Summit Celebration until later in 2021 increasing the likelihood that will all be able to meet in person and celebrate the outstanding work of your teams with the annual awards.
As you know, we printed our last Apartment Guide in Spring 2020. We have also made changes to our primary association website, aafw.org, to create an entirely new website for consumers to find their next apartment home. As an AAFW-NEI member benefit, all apartment community members now have their contact information listed on our new website, neiapartmentfinder.com. This listing provides consumers with a comprehensive list of apartment communities that are members of the AAFW-NEI to search for their next apartment home on our easy, concise website. We have continually looked at way to increase member benefit for ALL members.
This coming year will have obstacles and some unique challenges for the Association and your company/community; however, with your continued commitment, we can build upon our strong foundation and remain a strong organization as a result of your membership re-commitment. Thank you allowing us to provide your company resources in 2020 and we look forward to partnering with you next year.
As 2021 approaches, please recommit your pledge to the educational, legislative, and promotional focus of the AAFW-NEI with your 2021 membership dues. Your company has likely already received your dues invoice for 2021 where there is not a local dues increase. With over 40 years of experience, the AAFW-NEI strives to help you stay up-to-date on the ever changing multi-family industry, provide education to your team members, and network with other members. We are proud to be providing the rental industry and the local community the resources that you need every day.
Peggy Meyer, AAFW-NEI Executive Director