TCAS Online joined this year for the first time the 10th annual 2017 NAA Student Housing Conference & Exposition in Chicago on the 14th and 15th of February. It was a complete success, and we have to thank everybody for those two great and fully-packed days! There were more than 100 exhibitors, 16 breakout sessions, 2 keynote speakers,1 stellar panel and the chance to connect with more than 860 industry friends and colleagues. It was definitely a great opportunity for us to take our student housing game to the next level.We attended to network with peers, to meet with clients, potential clients, and of course potential partners.
We thought we would give you a little tour of what we learned, experienced and loved about this conference on this post.
THE NAA HOUSING EXPERIENCE IN 2017
The conference took place in beautiful Chicago and we were very excited since, as many of you know, TCAS Online has entered the USA market not so long ago with a couple of great clients already working with our property management software.
It is important to be educated in the Business Model of Student Housing in the USA and we wanted to learn as much as possible about the main differences that the USA Model of Business had with the one in Europe.
TCAS is working with many of the top accommodation/housing operators in Ireland and the UK but since our first introduction the North American market we felt we could grow more by finding new operators in what is the biggest market for student accommodation: USA.
Since we pride ourselves in offering a very customised version of our software to each and every single one of our clients we considered it was key to learn about new ways of conducting business in this market and to focus on their educational and letting needs first.
Our main focus was to have meaningful conversations with vendors and suppliers, focusing not so much on what we needed and to make sales (a common fear by many at these events) but on the needs of this industry at this time.
This started a great dialogue that gave us the opportunity to learn about the industry and to discover innovative products and services we could potentially interface with or partner with to make our offering even more attractive and set TCAS Online apart from other similar offerings out there.
We want to grow, to develop and to become the most competitive and tailored solution for accommodation/housing operators. And for that, we need to keep learning. These are some of the things we learned at the NAA Conference in Chicago:
•We gained insight into different operational processes and the reasons why these are used in a first place to understand different and alternative needs that operators may have.
•We wanted to hear what platforms are being used across different organisations not only on the lettings & leasing side of businesses but also in regards to CRM systems, finance systems, sales tools like a virtual walkthrough, payment gateways, etc.
•We were able to come up with new ideas to feedback internally at TCAS Online to further extend our ever growing product roadmap thanks to the many technology-focused sessions at the event.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CONFERENCE
•We were extremely lucky to meet some of the event organisers who gave us a guide to which events would be best suited for us and that gave us the chance to maximise and really gain meaningful insight into the housing industry during those two days.
•We really enjoyed the advice and ideas brought up by speaker, Mel Robbin, on “The 5-Second Rule: Achieve Breakthrough Performance in Your Career & Life´´
•We were certainly impressed by the level of communication at the conference both prior and post event. The NAA App and the emails from all vendors and sponsors were top notch! It made things much easier for communicating with other delegates and vendors.
•Johnny Cupcakes CEO and Founder Johnny Earle spoke at the conference!
•It was also great to meet new people and learn that from listening to student housing operators – they are all having issues with day to day operations and therefore the requirement for a software platform like TCAS Online is 100% relevant.
•Our favourite moment was trying to crack the vault which contained $100,000.Imagine us!
WHAT WE TAKE WITH US
It was a wonderful visit and a great way to position TCAS Online a market leader in Student Accommodation. We believe that when you are active in your industry it is only a matter of time you develop a reputation as an expert to your peers and your clients letting your work speak louder than words.
In Europe, TCAS Online is the platform of choice for many of the large-scale public and private sector operators and we are definitely interested in taking our innovative solution to the USA market as well.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience to meet our target audience and to participate in such well-organised events such NAA Student Housing Conference and Exposition.
We hope to keep in touch with everybody we met and to see you all again hopefully next year at the NAA Student Housing Conference and Exposition 2018 in Orlando!
Written by E.Soriano