In part three of this series, we discuss how to make sure all the work you’ve put into creating a great conference experience doesn’t go to waste. (Catch up on parts one and two if you have a conference coming up!)
Multifamily runs on relationships. Which makes sense: we create and maintain people’s homes for a living. What’s more intimate than that? So while there are several tactical tips we’ll cover in this post, the most important one comes first: in your follow-up, act like a person, not a company. When your contacts build a personal connection with you, you’re exponentially more likely to win their business.
Easy to say, right? Here’s how to actually do it:
1. Let the dust settle
The week back at your property after a conference can be overwhelming. Your inbox is full, inspections are approaching, and your brain is still running a mile a minute with everything you learned at the show.
Give yourself (and your new contacts) a day or two to adjust back to your regular routine before you reach out. You don’t want your email to get lost in their own flooded inbox, do you?
2. Add some value
Once you’re settled back into your routine, it’s time to make contact.
Every email you send should benefit the reader -- especially as you’re forging new relationships. But most conversations at conferences are pretty brief, so you may not know the person well yet. So how can you add value to a near stranger
Start with LinkedIn. Connect, if you haven’t already. Then peruse their profile to discover a recent accomplishment, a post they shared, or something you have in common. Use that nugget as a reason to reach back out. Like so:
It was great to meet you at [event] on [date]. I had a great time chatting with you about [topic you discussed]. I noticed you [fact you just learned] and wanted to reach out because [reason why it relates to you]. Do you have time for a call next week to talk it through?
It was great to meet you at Apartmentalize last week. I enjoyed your perspective on preventative maintenance -- I actually shared your thoughts with my team lead. On your LinkedIn profile, I noticed you recently got promoted. Congratulations! I’d love to hear about your new role and what’s next for you at Frontline Management. Do you have time for a call next week?
A personalized approach like this will be much more effective than a generic message you send to everyone you met at the show. Sure, you’ll sacrifice a bit of time finding something relevant for each contact. But the quality of relationships you’ll build will be well worth the investment.
Hopefully, your initial email kicks off a conversation you can continue into the future. If you don’t hear back, don’t despair. It’s okay to reach out twice, making sure (always!) that you have a reason to reach out and value to add. This time, find an article or report you know they’d be interested in, and share it with a softer ask.
I hope you’re well. I came across [article] recently. It reminded me of our conversation about [topic] at [event] and I thought you might enjoy it. I’d love to catch up soon.
I hope you’re well. I came across this article on the role of big data in multifamily, and it reminded me of your thoughts on using software to improve resident experience. How’s that going post-Apartmentalize? I’d love to catch up soon.
Keep it short, simple, and sincere, and your network will benefit from quality leads.
3. Measure your results
For this step, it helps to return to the goals you set in your pre-conference planning. Perhaps you were hoping to find new solutions for your make ready process? Whether you use a CRM, spreadsheet, or pen-and-paper, be sure to document your contacts, outreach plan, and progress so you can measure your results (and share them with your higher ups). Events are a major investment, and tracking your ROI is the best way to choose which ones to attend.
By the time you get back to work after a conference, most of your work is behind you -- but the most crucial step is still ahead. If you take time to be thoughtful with your follow-up, you’ll be sure to make the most of the latest multifamily event.
Which conferences will you attend this year? We’ll be exhibiting at Apartmentalize, one of the largest multifamily conferences of the year, June 26 - 28 in Denver, Colorado. Stop by booth #620 to say hello or schedule a demo before the conference.