Things I Learned and Loved in 2021

2021 inscription on sand near the sea

Some things that I learned and loved in 2021.    Excited for the new adventures coming our way, but here are some of my favorites from 2021.  But there has been much gained  with lessons learned, experiences and a ideas that fall short that either need a little more development, or maybe an idea for someone else to chase.


If I’m driving, flying, walking …I probably have a podcast in my ears.  There are influencers for the Property Management Industry, Marketing and Personal Growth Skills.  Some of my favorites are Michael Hyatt’s Lead to Win, and Focus on This …that ties into the Full Focus Planner, another Hyatt product.  Jon Acuff, as well as being an outstanding author is the host to “All It Takes Is A Goal.”


Love this tool, both the free and pro versions for social media ads and flyers.  Easy to use, although the premium features are somewhat crowding out the free options.  We live in a visual, world.  A little investment of time can bring big returns with the attention that graphics or animations will attract.

Facebook Marketplace

The latest and the greatest….the algorithms will probably find ways to complicate this process, but Facebook Marketing has proven to be an effective source of apartment advertising. We have found that some of our staffing positions that didn’t get much response from commercial recruiting efforts can achieve local interest with a Facebook Marketplace Employment Ad.  Auto generated responses are available for both for the “seller” and the “buyer” but a few qualifying questions can filter out a qualified prospect and help you direct time and attention to a future sale.  An area in our organization with a history of struggling with occupancy due to limited economic demographics, has pulled their occupancy into solid 95% plus, adding rent increases, and now adding premium apartments as well.  All attributed to Facebook Marketplace and a willingness to interact with the prospects.

Poster My Walls

Just getting my feet wet with Poster My Walls.  But another option to create social media and advertising pieces with limited creative experience .  The abundance of templates and clip art provide the opportunity for all notices to be professional in appearance.

Moved into our forever home…last move!

On a personal note..We lived for 17 years in our Michigan home, migrated to Texas, and moved 5 times in 8 years.  But we are convinced and optimistic that this is our forever home.  I have to say, that I have learned from each move.  I certainly learned the cost of “moving stuff.”  As well, as the challenges to get through new house construction layering pandemic shortages and price increases with the Winter Freeze Apocalypse.  But we’re enjoying each “first” in our new home.

High Ropes.

Our Property Management company held a leadership event.  Comradery, teamwork, and a day away from the sheltered environment where we have hibernated for so long.  A high ropes course was part of the agenda.  As a person with average height, minus about 5 inches, many of the platforms and reaching to ropes almost had me jumping to secure the hooks.  ALMOST..20ish feet in the air…with a 2′ by 2′ platform.  Even if you have smaller feet, you’re only jumping so much.  I didn’t conquer every challenge.  I didn’t wear the blindfold and try to balance on the tight rope.  But I did the majority of the course, and ziplined to the finish line.  A day greatly deserved and needed more than we can schedule them in.

Charlotte speaking in Apartmentalize

When a colleague and friend speaks from the Apartmentalize Stage presenting to our entire industry, your heart swells.  Charlotte Pisciotta with Full House Marketing has joined the ranks of Property Management Influencers.  So Proud of Her!, and her passion for our industry.   Charlotte has also been the guest on the JuvoHub podcast and presented several web-based trainings for Full House Marketing.

The Power of Moments

Written by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.  What a great read.  Not directed to any specific industry, but the realization that life is full of experiences and when do we have the ability to make experiences become memorable moments.  We can make a memory so much more important.

  • A lease signing celebration.
  • Opening the door to a new home for the first time.
  • The first day at work for a new employee.

A great challenge to apply the concepts to our industry.

For the many folks that feel that our daily overwhelm makes it impossible to have time for reading.  And there are many that have never found  enjoyment in reading, check out or one of the other audio providers.  I encourage, “commute-u” which is listening during a drive.

Apartment Association Networking

The best benefit of a long career in Property Management is our relationships with colleagues.  In November, I had the opportunity to attend an Property Management of Michigan Apartment Association networking event.  With my physical move to Texas, my connection to many of these colleagues has been limited to social media updates and virtual connections.  So great to see folks in person, and meet the leaders that provide direction and inspiration to this outstanding organization.

Elaine Simpson.  Close the Back Door

The PMAMM, Mid Michigan Apartment Association used this book to kick off their book club reading.  A quick information packed handbook, Elaine points out the importance of resident retention and how it can slip away, by lack of attention and awareness.  Every chapter has useful ideas that can immediately impact a community’s resident retention efforts.  It was a great conversation starter as individuals from several management companies shared their Best Practices to reap the benefits from a strong resident retention and customer relations program.


Hello Fears

2021Another favorite read, the support and interest for Michele Poler continues to grow.  Her enthusiasm is infectious, in a good way!  The event trailer on the web page is guaranteed to have you up and dancing.  Take the time to check into Hello Fears.

Based on a study performed by Michele Poler, where she created a 100 Day Challenge to face her fears.  We often take the fall back position “what’s the worst” that can happen.  Michele challenges to shift thinking to “What’s the Best That Can Happen,” and how much better a day evolves when we’re looking for the opportunities to see the best in the day.


Becoming skilled with video conferencing tools for one on one and group calls has increased in importance.  Working remotely, and leasing remotely require a professional to be prepared whether its a camera focus or making sure the “four legged office partner” doesn’t interrupt at the least opportune moment.  Camera angles, lighting, microphones are all must haves whether you’re working in an office environment or remotely.

Sprout Marketing

Every month I look forward to the marketing calendar provided by Sprout Marketing.  The training, tips and suggestions to enhance the relationships we have with our residents are easy to apply and bring results. Barbara and her team provide ideas that have already proven their success, and keep it fun!

Podcast with Zego

I was invited to be a guest on a Podcast with Nick Latz and Amber Halteman at Zego…a conversation about a blog post, Adding Up the Financial Benefits From Reducing Moveouts .that summarizes the collective value in reducing turnover.  Something as simple as reducing your annual turnover can result in savings both in time and expenses.  Appreciate the opportunity to share, and meet new faces.


There are no words to describe the gratitude I experience each and every day.  Participating in an industry I love and the friendships that have grown over the years.  Current circumstances, require everyone to reflect on health, relationships and our legacy.  While I offer respect and gratitude for my friends and colleagues, I also have to reflect on mentors, colleagues, families and friends that have ended battles with health and illnesses.  Big shoes to fill, and a loss of advice and counsel.  Show your appreciation while you can.

I’m sure I’ll have memories that will add to my Things I Learned and Loved in 2021.  But I wanted to share these memories with you.  Do you share any of these favorites with me?




Lori Hammond
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