As I begin my tenure as 2015 Board President for Multifamily NW, I reflect back upon a career of 23 years in the real estate management industry. I cannot help but think how so much has changed – and yet some things remain consistent to this day. I have witnessed an incredible evolution in technology and its impact upon how we perform our jobs, deliver service, transmit information/data…and simply communicate between with one another. Today presents a different world in so many ways.
Now, perhaps more than ever, as professionals we must keep pace with a rapid rate of development and change that is re-defining tools that help us perform our daily tasks and attain business objectives. As such we have come to rely upon new ways of communicating and connecting.
When I began my career in 1991, the telephone was still a primary device of connecting. Mobile phones were still in a stage of relative infancy – anyone recall the “brick” phone? Email was just being introduced – but we still relied heavily on voice-mail. I recall my first flip-phone with the retractable antenna. A couple years later I discovered Palm Pilot – great for organizing, but no phone! Then the Blackberry offered something amazing: combing a phone and e-mail! All this paled in comparison to the “smart phone” of today: phone, email, texting, music, photos, and, of course, apps! All revolutionary advances that changed, and continue to change, the way our culture communicates. Changing the way we “connect.”
Today we co-exist in a world of “screens.” From ultra-television to iPads to iPhones to iWatches, our world of communication and managing our daily lives is becoming - though much faster – somewhat smaller, insular, and less interactive in ways.
Along with staying current with such advances, we must not lose sight of “how” we connect.
In this wave of development and tech advancement, it is critically important to remember those basics that do not change and remain crucial axioms to this day…and hopefully always will.
Communication is “connection” and we must use this tool wisely. Whether motivating our employees, greeting customers or servicing clients, we cannot discount the power of a handshake, a hand-written note, or a sincerely voiced commitment. No form of electronic “talking” can convey all that is transmitted with a “tone of voice,” body language or even a simple facial gesture. We may be the most “tech savvy” culture in history but we are still living, thinking “beings.” Human connection is not a technical procedure. It’s an emotional one. We have more communication options available to us today than ever before. But we must choose the method that best suits the message. Sometimes, voice-to-voice or face-to-face does the job best!
My message to all members as this New Year begins is do your best to stay “connected.” But balance your methods of connecting. We text, we email…sometimes when we shouldn’t (keep both hands on that wheel as it helps ensure career longevity and good health!). Despite what you might hear, there’s not an “app for everything.” Stay connected with your human side. Some things never change.
Best wishes for a healthy, productive, successful and progressive 2015!