Group photo at NAA apartmentalize.


Hi! I’m Tiara. I’m a writer on the ButterflyMX marketing team (I’m in the bottom left of the picture above).

I’ve been writing about real estate with ButterflyMX for just over a year and recently had the opportunity to attend my first real estate conference. It was a thrilling and transformative experience, providing a wealth of knowledge, networking opportunities, and plenty of chances to immerse myself in the expansive world of rental housing.

This post not only recounts my experience at NAA Apartmentalize 2023 but also serves to help you navigate the maze of conference etiquette, education sessions, and networking as you consider attending your first real estate conference!

In this post, we cover:


How to make the most of your first conference

Apartmentalize is the National Apartment Association‘s annual conference where real estate professionals and vendors meet to exchange ideas, share innovations in the industry, and build relationships.

To make the most out of your time at NAA Apartmentalize:

First, start by researching the conference beforehand to assess the schedule, keynote speakers, and sessions that align most with your interests.

This allows you to begin building a game plan for when you attend. What’s more, creating a personalized agenda maximizes your time and ensures you attend the most relevant sessions.

Then, during the conference, be proactive and engage with fellow attendees, speakers, and exhibitors. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the industry and make new connections. Introduce yourself, ask questions, and actively participate in discussions.

Next, use networking events and social gatherings to expand your professional network and build meaningful connections.

Finally, reflect on your experience and set actionable goals to implement what you’ve learned once the conference ends.

Remember, the more you invest in active participation and networking, the more you’ll gain from your first conference experience. So, take the time to reflect on what you’ve learned, nurture new connections, and follow up with professionals you meet at NAA.

Pro tip: Take notes and capture key insights and ideas throughout the conference.


Woman standing in front of NAA Apartmentalize sign.


Education sessions

One of the seminars I attended was: Automate Routines, Humanize Exceptions: Get Tips for Centralization & Automation. Five industry professionals on the panel provided a wide breadth of knowledge and valuable insights into streamlining productivity with automation.

The key takeaways of the session were:

  • Keep up with market trends. The panelists stressed the importance of staying up to date with market trends in the industry.
  • Prioritize staffing. Provide staff with the necessary resources to perform and excel at their roles.
  • Utilize automation. Automate where it matters most at your business.
  • Employ centralization. Centralize tasks so they’re handled seamlessly and cohesively.

Education sessions provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about the rental housing industry and stay on top of ever-changing trends.

Moreover, each education session has interactive polls you can participate in using the NAA mobile app.


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5 tips for maximizing your experience at NAA Apartmentalize

From pre-conference preparation to active engagement during sessions, there are plenty of ways to maximize your time at NAA.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to making the most out of every moment at NAA Apartmentalize:

  1. Network intentionally
  2. Engage in sessions
  3. Explore exhibits
  4. Set goals
  5. Follow up


1. Network intentionally

Networking intentionally is one of the most important aspects of making the most of a conference. It’s not always easy, but you’ve got to try and put yourself out there so you can build connections with other industry professionals. This helps nurture long-term business relationships and leads to opportunities for collaboration.


People laughing at NAA Apartmentalize conference.


2. Engage in sessions

Education sessions and seminars are a great way to learn new skills and stay up to date with emerging trends in the industry. So, take advantage of the variety of educational seminars, panels, and sessions hosted at NAA.

This year, NAA offered over eighty seminars that provided plenty of learning opportunities. In addition, they also hosted wellness labs, like 15-minute yoga sessions. This gave participants a chance to recharge and decompress during the conference.


3. Explore exhibits

With hundreds of booths available to explore at NAA, take the time to tour and discover new vendors. As a result, you’ll expand your awareness of industry innovators. Just remember to wear comfortable walking shoes to fully explore the vast offerings at NAA Apartmentalize!


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4. Set goals

Setting goals before attending the conference will empower you to harness what you learned and utilize that knowledge afterward.

Set clear objectives, like connecting with industry experts or exploring potential career opportunities. With this purpose in mind, you can create a roadmap for making informed choices about which sessions to attend, which speakers to engage with, and which connections to prioritize.


5. Follow up

Following up on the connections that you make will help foster long-term business relationships and growth. Whether you’re networking with like-minded peers or advertising your services as a vendor, follow up on all the valuable interactions you make at NAA to ensure you maximize your return on the time and money you’ve put into the event.


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Tiara Sutton

I’m an Atlanta-based writer who enjoys exploring the ways that tech benefits residents & tenants of multifamily & commercial properties.

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