My goodness, how quickly things have changed. We’ve abruptly shifted from handshakes and hugs to everything being online. Probably the biggest impact – missing people; my loving family and friends, amazing colleagues, kind neighbors, the gracious people at my church and all those special relationships I enjoy while serving in my leadership role with the apartment association. I heard a television commentator say the other day, “I even miss the people I don’t particularly like very much!”
I know you’re figuring out how to cope with this new and sometimes scary reality named COVID-19. We’re all learning to connect each day using technology. I can’t imagine trying to navigate life without email and text messaging; with no Facetime or Skype or Zoom conferencing. Our journey would be far better with no concerns about social distancing, but we’re finding creative new ways to stay connected.
The Apartment Association is making major adjustments as well. Since mid-March, we’ve moved nearly everything – at last count, nearly 50 meetings, events, classes, and programs have been moved. Nearly every aspect of our mission has rapidly become a challenge. How does AATC advocate, educate, network and inspire 1,800 members without close personal connections? Honestly… I really don’t know, but we’re determined more than ever to figure it out.
If you’ve not clicked on our website, please do so today. Although our staff is staying safe working from home, we’re posting all the latest on COVID-19 every day right on the Association’s AATCnet.org homepage. There’s a lot going on with new challenges smacking us in the face around the clock. AAGD has great info on their website as well and I can’t say enough good things about the guidance TAA and NAA are providing the multihousing industry as well. As you hear all the time from nearly everyone, “We’re in this thing together, so let’s hold hands from a safe distance and figure it out.”
When it comes to professional education, there has never been a more pressing reason to learn. COVID-19 has cured any doubt. Some of our classes are moving. Our NAAEI credential classes like NALP and CAM have moved to summer as has our 2nd TAA Redbook Seminar – now set for Thursday, June 4. And, you’ll soon see virtual classroom opportunities so stay tuned.
Many of AATC’s major networking and fundraising events have moved as well. Our Spring Fling Golf Tournament has moved to Wednesday, June 24 at Texas Star and the UGM Charity Bowling Tournament has landed on Saturday, July 11 at Bowlero.
There’s only one event plus one program so far that we’ve chosen to cancel. Our always popular Divas Cup fundraiser in May is simply moving down the road to 2021. It would be challenging to host an all-day event, principally for operation-level folks and our vendor-partners, to the middle of fall budget season. The only program we’ve canceled to date is our 2020 Leadership Lyceum. It would be nearly impossible during this moment in time to host an event that depends on face-to-face connections with community leaders. We’ll resume the Lyceum in 2021.
Good news…most of our committees continue working faithfully on their business plans. We’re still advocating and educating from a safe distance. Look for more opportunities to connect using technology during the next few weeks…while hoping and praying it’s not much longer.
Stay optimistic, my friends. Refuse to let anxiety slow you down. If and when there’s a need, reach out to a loved one, a friend or a colleague and say “hi”. I’d really love to hear from you.
Regional Property Supervisor, Greystar