News from the Chicago Chapter

Learning to Live the Brand: IREM 2018 Midwest Regional Meeting Recap



By Colleen Needham, CPM®, ARM®
Draper and Kramer
IREM Chicago Executive Council


I had the privilege of being invited to attend the IREM 2018 Regional Midwest Meetings May 1 through 3 in the beautiful and historic city of Indianapolis.  The conference was full of energy and excitement, providing the opportunity to learn more about the new IREM brand, what it stands for and the commitment of each executive member to “Live the Brand.”  That also is the name of a series of business books.  The days were packed with presentations, seminars and takeaways on how to improve chapters, gain relationships and promote the brand by engaging people in and outside the property management industry.

What does “Live the Brand” mean?  Such a poignant question and yet simple.  When asked this very question, it had a different meaning to each person and symbolized a unity for our organization.  It enabled a distinctive, successful future -- which is a winning combination towards success.  “It’s transforming every member of your organization into a brand champion,” said author and presenter Nicolas Ind.

The interactions of the attendees of the conference enhanced my understanding of IREM.  It evoked a new sense of camaraderie and added to a knowledge of the support within the multi-family industry that I had not truly recognized.  To “Live the Brand” is to define who you want to be within IREM and within your career.  It’s not just about the commitment to the new brand of IREM, but a vast understanding of the commitment you give to your career enhancement and to those you support.   There was a quote that stood out to me the second day into the conference: “Managing for today – Leading for Tomorrow.”   This quote defines what we all do every day in our work and personal life.  

As the conference continued, we attended various seminars, including “Next Gen” and “Drawing Members to Your Door – Crafting Chapter Events that Optimizes Engagement.”  Each roundtable came with excitement and commitment to encourage ideas, evoke creativity and collaborate in order to find ways to overcome obstacles and share success stories.  Many of the members attending were asked to overcome fears and speak in front of the group and interact with new people with the guidance of our amazing speakers.  It optimized the knowledge of every person into one forum to create a level of engagement I had never experienced at a prior seminar or conference.  

Ryan Huffman talked about the book 212 The Extra Degree and what it means.   Water at 211 degrees does nothing, but at 212 degrees it boils.  That one degree makes all the difference and can change the outcome of a meeting, a project or you as an individual.   Have you read the book or seen the video for 212 degrees?  If you have not, it would be a good time watch the video, take it in and challenge yourself to go that extra degree.  That is what IREM has done and it has encouraged us to “Live the Brand!”