All Hail Hipsters

 

I’m a risk-taker. Fashion forward. Ahead of the times.

For example, I wore oversized glasses in middle school, way before all the hipsters started doing it in Brooklyn. Sure, fellow classmates were probably making fun of me behind my back, but no matter—I was cool and I knew it.

Now every hipster worth his organic salt is copying 12-year-old me.

I also rocked skinny jeans before skinny jeans existed. Now, technically speaking, my skinny jeans were more like skinny stretch pants...with stirrups. But the bottom line is they conformed to my every nook and cranny.

You see, hipsters such as myself and Ryan Gosling have a lot to teach the rest of the world. We take risks, don’t care what people think and follow trends before they actually become trends.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the apartment industry invest in a bulk order of black-rimmed glasses and vegan banana chips, but it is important to recognize the importance of paying attention to what others are talking about and what’s trending. 

And in today’s world—both personally and professionally—it’s technology. 

So take note: Following are two (of 10) technology trends that many believe will have a major impact on the way the apartment industry does business in 2013.

1. Apps, Apps Everywhere. Want to chase your cat with a laser pointer, see what you look like with five double-chins or put a mustache on your toddler? Well, as the Apple catchphrase goes, “There’s an app for that.”

Seriously, there’s an app for everything—and some apartment management professionals and service providers are beginning to take advantage of the technology.

Camden Property Trust, for example, is testing a mobile app for logging and signing out packages.

Others are experimenting with TV apps. Some developers are now able to plug a TV provider’s technology into their apps and services through open application programming interfaces (APIs)—technology that enables websites to interact with each other through various Web technologies. These APIs, made available by a provider, deliver innovations to customers faster than ever. 

2. She Said What? Hopefully no one ever wrote anything nasty about you on a bathroom stall door. But if they did, you had one of three choices: 1. Cry hysterically and eat your lunch in said stall for the remainder of the school year; 2. Write equally hateful things about that person with an even bigger Sharpie; or 3. Face your critics and set the record straight.

OK, so you probably didn’t have the emotional maturity at 13 years old to go with that last option, but you’re not 13 anymore and you have to acknowledge the negative things people say about your apartment community or company.

A few years ago Google coined the term “Zero Moment of Truth”—or ZMOT for short, says one service provider. It speaks to a new moment of truth, where everyone from prospects to possible business partners examines your online reputation to see if you are truth worthy. 

The sooner you understand that not everyone will like you or your company—nor will they have any problem expressing such distaste online—the better. You need to have a proactive strategy for protecting the most valuable asset you have—your reputation.

Unless you’re a hipster.

For more, check out “10 Tech Trends” in the 2013 Technology Supplement, which mails—with units Magazine—March 8.