Texas Apartment Professionals Embrace FiesTAA in San Antonio


A record crowd convenes in San Antonio for the state’s No. 1 multifamily event – TAA ONE.

The traditional camaraderie, networking, and chance to make new friends and see long-time industry peers was back in full force at the 2024 TAA ONE Conference & Expo in April in San Antonio.

A record turnout in San Antonio helped demonstrate that the apartment industry is alive and well as more than 4,200 attendees embraced the “Fiesta” mood, hoping that spirit can get multifamily past some seemingly imminent challenges when it comes to operations and expenses.

Apartment demand has never been higher. The development pipeline is rich in the Lone Star State.

While joy was abundant – San Antonio’s annual full-fledged Fiesta was taking place nearby simultaneously – apartment management professionals also expressed a tempered outlook based on the unsteady economy that is affecting all Americans, companies, and industries.

Inflation is playing a greater role in operations than most can recall – it has been measuring well above normal – comparatively speaking – for month after month. At the same time, hiring, training, and retaining workers has persisted as perhaps apartment companies’ No. 1 challenge.

Employees seeking higher pay and new opportunities to counter the artificial intelligence (AI) indoctrination – and while its hopeful prospects permeated the event, there were also plenty of reminders of why “people” matter when serving residents and helping them make the most of their apartment homes.

Nonetheless, as technology continues to advance – putting solutions and improved efficiencies in front of all – the industry continues its determination to make sense of it all, wanting to implement what makes sense for their situations and company culture.

In turn, more and more companies are reconsidering their staffing models – centralized operations took center stage at more than one breakout session – all the while blending machine learning, virtual leasing assistants, “smart” living and touring, and improvements in collections via the latest fintech platforms.

It all seems so futuristic to many – but it’s the here and now for plenty of others.

Learning How to Win

Thinking about “what’s next” in apartment management, the conference invited plenty of friendly debate about strategies, tools, and data needed to win on the horizon.

Housing itself – which every real estate analyst will say is greatly insufficient to meet demand – is changing. Whereas the industry grappled in recent years over short-term rental models, today the talk is what to make of the booming build-to-rent or single-family rental models. Compete? Or play along? Regardless, this oncoming sector is performing well nationwide.

At the same time, affordable housing developers continue their battle with NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) and some are finding breakthroughs in making their case.

On the expense side, operators can find little that either hasn’t seen huge pricing spikes or has been in short supply. Energy costs, in particular, have skyrocketed, so operators spent time at TAA ONE looking for new and better ways to save on energy.

What a Lineup

The TAA ONE Expo Hall welcomed 302 exhibiting companies with 464 exhibitor booths.

The three-day education lineup was loaded with 79 sessions, 101 speakers, and 20 tracks including a focus on industry leaders, career development, maintenance, marketing, social media, resident conflict, utility management, wellness, evictions, development, insurance, LGBTQ+, resident screening, video marketing, ESG, leadership, resident retention, and compliance.

Comedienne and actress Tiffany Haddish was the keynote speaker, and Chet Garner from PBS’ The Day Tripper served as conference emcee. The 2024 TAA Professional Award winners were recognized on stage in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 for their achievements.

TAAEF sold 3,028 vehicle raffle tickets for a 2024 Jeep Wrangler, which raised $62,725 to benefit the Education Foundation. TAA PAC had 93 donors which raised $45,520 for state advocacy efforts.

With more than 1,700 partygoers each night, Wednesday’s FiesTAA kickoff reception welcomed teams from across the state, and Thursday’s Ultimate 80s Glow Party was the celebratory evening entertainment, with attendees reliving that wild decade in all its fashion and musical glory.

More from May 2024 Member Newsletter

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