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What’s in it

for me?

The CFAA Rental Housing Conference (RHC) has always been at the forefront of what is happening – as well as what the future holds – in Canada’s rental housing industry. This annual event brings together rental executives, regional managers, property managers, key rental employees, hands-on landlords, apartment association leaders and others involved in rental housing. The conference enables attendees to network with their colleagues, listen to great speakers, discuss important issues, and learn about new and useful techniques and technologies.

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CFAA RHC 2017 takes place on June 7 and 8 at the Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto. With so many great sessions and speakers, plus the Suppliers Council Showcase, networking reception and awards dinner, there’s a lot to see, hear and do. So what should YOU attend to get the most out of your conference experience?

EDUCATION DAY 1 For large landlords You’re the owner or president of a large company that owns or manages many buildings. You want to know how to make your buildings and your business more efficient, as well as how to keep your tenants happy – and your units filled. Dr. Paul Kershaw, the opening keynote speaker and founder of Generation Squeeze, talks about rethinking housing policy to work for all generations, which is vital to the rental industry going forward. At the “Operations Roundtable,” the panelists address the impact of Ontario’s recent rent control changes, landlord licensing and registration, marijuana legalization, energy and water conservation, and more. Alternatively, “Total rewards: Getting your house in order” covers how best to communicate compensation issues to employees. Depending on your interests, you can choose between “Major building (and portfolio) sales across Canada” or “What benefit and retirement plans do your employees actually need?” If you’re into technology, or being pushed to adopt technology, then learn about the challenges of adopting useful apps and systems in rental housing. “Interest rates and lending conditions” covers refinancing and related topics. FRPO and CFAA leaders discuss the Ontario government’s decision to remove the rent control exemption for post-91 buildings, what is at risk now and how we can best protect ourselves as rental providers. If you’re tired of policy and politics, “Experiential marketing: 3D, virtual reality + augmented reality” provides a futuristic look at apartment marketing.

For property managers, regional managers and marketing people Property and regional managers, and many others, would benefit from understanding the challenges of implementing new technology in rental housing. These include head office organization issues, employee skills and training, and the amount of time you have in your day. While implementing technology can take time and money, it can also save time and money, as well as improve customer service and profitability. “Steps to success: Critical learning experiences from industry veterans” describes how three of today’s up and coming rental executives made their way up the ladder of success.

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Marketing professionals would be most interested in the “Marketing Roundtable,” where panel members discuss brand building and reputation management, marketing automation, tenant demographics and expectations, and retaining tenants. “Automating the marketing process” and “Top new marketing ideas” continue the marketing discussion. At the “Experiential marketing” session, you can try on a VR headset and listen to how VR can cut the time needed to show apartments and speed up the leasing process.

For small or medium-sized landlords If you’re a small or medium-sized landlord (with fewer than 1,500 units), you wear all the hats in your business. Find out what CFAA is saying and doing about the capital gains tax, or attend the “Marketing Roundtable” to hear about the current issues in marketing and what tenants expect. Then learn about property and management apps that can save you time, improve your recordkeeping and keep you safe from liability. Later, hear about the impact of the recent changes to Ontario’s residential tenancy laws and how they will impact condo investors and owners of small buildings. The “Employment law update” explains how to stay on the right side of the law with one full or part-time employee, or many more.

EDUCATION DAY 2 For large landlords The morning keynote speech from Benjamin Tal, the Deputy Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets, is filled with insight and humour. He provides an economic update – with some eye-opening information – six months into Trump’s presidency. CMHC also reports on new mortgage products for rental providers. The “Executive Roundtable” features some big names – Alf Hendry, CEO of Homestead; Todd Cook, CEO of Northview REIT; Jason Castellan, CEO of Skyline; and David Horwood, CEO of Effort Trust – who talk about Ontario’s rent control changes, the Western rental markets, compressed yields, rental investment opportunities and more. The panel at the “Development Roundtable” talk about the challenges in building rental housing in today’s market. The day ends with a discussion on the future of the rental housing industry.

For property managers, regional managers and leasing reps The “Development Roundtable” panel discusses the challenges of rental development, quite apart from Ontario’s latest moves. Alternatively, get the inside take on today’s leasing problems and solutions, or attend “Building commissioning and recommissioning” to learn how to reduce energy costs and improve tenant satisfaction. If you’re concerned about marijuana legalization, then take in this session to get the legal lowdown, how to use third party inspections, and what CFAA is doing to try to give rental owners and operators the upper hand. The “Human rights” session discusses what Human Rights Tribunals demand from landlords when some tenants are harassing other tenants.

For small or medium-sized landlords At the session on “Medium/small landlord issues,” panelists discuss some of the concerns that you face every week. Alternatively, “Emerging building technologies” explains what’s available in technology for low-rise buildings.

“Human rights in tenant relations” is a very important session, since human rights have become an area of increasing concern, which can cost a small landlord a great deal of time and money.

Conclusion Whoever you are, and whatever you do, in the rental housing industry, CFAA RHC has a great deal to offer. Unless you attend with colleagues or family members, you can’t take it all in, but you can maximize your learning experience by choosing the sessions that apply most to your role and interests. The networking opportunities and Suppliers Council Showcase are also of great value because of the people you can meet and the opportunities to grow your network. Whether or not you attend this year’s RHC, plan to attend CFAA RHC 2018 in beautiful Vancouver, BC, which takes place next year in mid-May or early June. CFAA will present new topics of importance and interest for rental executives, regional managers, property managers, key rental employees and hands-on landlords. Plan to learn a lot, attend the CFAA Awards dinner and have a great time! —by David Gargaro | 27

CFAA RHB 2017  

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