Brainstorming

This week, Multifamilypro is hosting their annual Brainstorming Sessions in Las Vegas.  Having attended this event in the past, I can tell you it is definitely worth it to send your marketing and leasing team if you can afford it.  But what if you can’t afford it?  Budgets are tight, times are tough and there is no better or more important time to have ideas flowing than in a down economy.  

Solution:  Host your own Brainstorming session at the office or at a local venue conducive to such an event (Dave & Busters, Lucky’s, or just someplace unique).  Get your top leasing agents involved, along with marketing and any other key departments, especially those that may be rolling out new objectives in the upcoming months.  Don’t be afraid to invite any vendors who might be involved with upcoming projects.  I can’t stress enough how useful vendors can be in this type of environment.  Lastly, even if they can’t stay for the entire event, have a company leader kick it off and send a message of the importance of the event.

So you have the location, you have the team and you have some funtivities planned for the day.  Now what?

1.  Have an agenda and mix in the fun.  Nobody wants to sit around all day anticipating having a good time later.  Mix it in throughout the day.  That should keep everyone energized and excited to share ideas.

2.  Give homework assignments in advance.  Every attendee should have an idea when they walk in the door.  To avoid duplicates, assign each person a category.  Make it fun by having them announce their idea in a 30 second commercial.  Do whatever you can to create an environment that just doesn’t feel like work.

3.  There are no bad ideas.  There may be ideas you choose not to use in the future, but don’t kill the energy by shooting down any ideas.  Even if they want to give away puppies to every new resident.  Who knows, it could work or it could snowball into another idea.

4.  Follow up and follow through.  Assign the best ideas to people who can execute.  You know who they are.  Make sure they research and present a formal plan for implementation.  Feel free to revisit old ideas in future meetings throughout the year.  Continue to evaluate your ideas until you decide their eventual fate.

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