Don't Stop Believing in this Resilient Industry
I spent a good deal of time over the last year or so trying to decide what my goals would be during my time as AAMD President. I actually spoke with several past presidents to gather their advice – and what I heard was fairly consistent – it was to narrow down my ideas to one or two top actionable initiatives, knowing that the year will fly by quickly.
Well, let me tell you, that was pretty discouraging at first because I was all over the place and quite honestly, if you know me, you know I’m always planning or doing like a hundred things at once. The thought of simplifying, was honestly, totally lost on me. But as I really started to consider what all my thoughts and ambitions had in common, I ended up with this one singular constant – and that was that I want us all to believe that anything is possible.
Before I dive into that, let me backtrack a bit and share a quote with you that I first heard when I was 19 years old. I had just started in the industry as a leasing consultant in Gainesville, FL, (go Gators!) and the owner of the company I worked for appreciated quotes like no other. They were hung and sprinkled all over the place, including a uniform shirt with this particular quote on it:
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha
Two decades later, I still love this quote. I think what makes these words particularly powerful is that it highlights how personal and subjective the concept of ‘belief ’ is and that even at the root of the most brilliant and successful minds, we must always question what we are told and we must always ultimately follow our hearts. Because belief is never based on fact. It’s firmly rooted in our soul.
But that’s a funny thing in business – especially ours, right? We are programed to work within ‘fact’ and ‘reason’ and our minds are dominated by procedures, stats, facts, goals, and metrics. And we are all measured in benchmarks, unit counts, KPIs, ROIs, NOIs, comp averages, etc.
Everyone in our industry has benchmarks that we strive to achieve. And that’s great – but, just because anyone can throw any goal out into the world doesn’t mean it’s actually possible. Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. What I will tell you though is that the determining factor is really how much we believe in it. How much do we believe in our ability to achieve that specific outcome.
For instance, a client can tell me his 300 sq ft apartment is worth $3,000, but I sure as heck won’t be able to rent it at that, unless I also believe that value to be true. If I believe in it, I’d rent the heck out of that unit…
So, when I think about what is important for us and what I hope to influence – it is this idea that anything could be possible when you really truly believed…. because if not, if you have doubt, you will always stand in your own way.
So what are my initiatives? Well this is how my one hundred ‘presidential’ initiatives boil down to one – you just gotta believe.
I believe – that when we network, build relationships and lean on each other – we become stronger as an industry.
I believe – if we put in time and effort to advocate for the issues that challenge our industry – we can make a positive impact and influence generations to come.
I believe – if we stay educated that we can navigate the constant winds of change.
I believe – if we make a point to engage new members and fresh ideas, we will broaden our perspective and become an even greater force than we already are.
I also believe that we are all so very lucky to have found this place in the world. You couldn’t even begin to count the number of amazing things that have happened to each of us because we were a part of this. And not only the professional successes, but the personal ones as well.
Because while I know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the job, you all, and your friendships and support is what has always kept me going. It’s what keeps us all going.