Let's Get Strategic

FAA News , Magazine ,

By Chip Tatum, NAAEI Faculty, CAM, CAE

Executive Vice President

As I sit here, I am nearly three months into one of the most exciting opportunities of a lifetime… the chance to serve as the Florida Apartment Association’s executive vice president. I feel like I blinked and now we're in the second quarter of the year, and already we have accomplished so much as an industry and as an organization. I cannot thank our members and our local affiliates enough for the warm welcome and the eagerness to engage.

The past two years have been stressful and frenetic for so many of us in both our personal and professional lives. When you are faced with an ever-changing set of variables and an increasingly complex operational environment, it would be easy to be lured into thinking you have not accomplished much. That could not be farther from the truth. In just my short tenure here at FAA I have seen firsthand that this industry is resilient, innovative, creative, and engaged. Each and every day, you and your teams are learning to thrive and implement new processes - from virtual leasing to maintenance and resident engagement. If you take a moment to pause and reflect, I am willing to bet you will see how much you, your teams, and your organizations have evolved and how well equipped you are to tackle what lies ahead.

The Florida Apartment Association and our local affiliates have been evolving along with you. One of our core responsibilities as an association is to “read the tea leaves” and ensure that we are adapting to meet the needs of a housing industry that is constantly changing. So far this year, we have onboarded new public relations resources, launched the next phase of economic and housing opportunity research, begun the updated FAA Compensation and Benefits report, hosted a successful Legislative Conference in Tallahassee, engaged senior leaders with fresh content via the Property Management Executive Forum, and so much more.

Initiatives like these do not happen by accident. They require planning, engaged leadership, resources, and a determined cadre of dedicated volunteers like so many of you. Much of what has been accomplished is the direct result of our association's road map: the strategic plan. This year, we will be updating the strategic plan, and we will be asking you to weigh in on what the future of the Florida Apartment Association looks like. During the second and third quarters of the year, FAA will be conducting a series of focus groups and distributing electronic surveys to members to provide an opportunity for you to influence our strategic priorities.

The 2022 Strategic Plan will provide the inspiration, opportunity, and directives to better serve the membership, local affiliates, leaders, and Florida’s rapidly growing rental housing industry. The Strategic Planning Task Force, co-chaired by Jordan Petras (Highmark Residential) and Lee Rogers (JMG Realty/Asset Living), has already been hard at work identifying specific priorities and constituencies to involve in the process. In the coming months, we will be engaging our senior property management leaders, on-site professionals, supplier partners, past and emerging volunteer leaders, and local affiliates to better understand how well we currently meet their specific needs. If you are interested in actively participating in the process, please reach out to me to see what opportunities may be available.

As FAA endeavors to grow and evolve as an organization, this presents a unique opportunity for each of us to focus on the future. In preparing this article, I stumbled on an excellent piece from MasterClass that identifies common characteristics of “strategic thinkers.”

5 Characteristics of Strategic Thinkers

  1. Strategic foresight: Strategic thinkers have the ability to think ahead and anticipate potential problems. They know having a backup plan can help them pivot quickly.
  2. An inquisitive mind: [They] aren’t afraid to question or challenge conventional thinking. They know asking the right questions is as important as finding the right solution.
  3. A flexible attitude: Good strategists have the ability to pivot when a course of action isn’t providing the intended results. They’re also flexible when it comes to reassessing their own ideas and assumptions as new information comes to light.
  4. An ability to connect the dots: Strategists have a knack for identifying patterns and making meaning out of overarching trends.
  5. An ability to contextualize information: Thinking strategically requires seeing information through the lens of the past, present, and future to address both short-term and long-term goals.”

(Strategic thinking: 5 Characteristics of Strategic Thinkers, MasterClass, February 25, 2022)

Each of the “five common characteristics of strategic thinkers” enable people to better accomplish goals, grow, and plan for the future. What do you want to prioritize in your professional or personal life? What resources do you need to fuel your professional growth? I am committed to thinking strategically and would love to hear from you about your strategic priorities. Make sure you respond and share your insight and feedback with us as we prepare to better meet your needs. Thank you for your efforts to house our fellow Floridians and for your engagement with the association!