The 2023 ARMA Annual Conference on Friday 6th October brought over 450 property managers, sponsors, partners and special guests together at 133 Houndsditch, London. The 26th in-person event was another key opportunity for the sector to discuss pressing challenges, with a focus on employee wellbeing, building safety, business management and resident engagement. A packed programme featured over 20 speakers across 6 keynote sessions and 6 breakouts, with plenty of networking opportunities during and after the event.
Among the speakers and exhibitors was the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the appointed building regulator for the new building safety regime. The event took place in the run-up to the Key Building Information submission deadline, with HSE representatives taking to the stage and chatting to delegates about meeting the KBI requirements.
The Property Institute CEO, Andrew Bulmer, opened the conference with a summary of how the Institute is performing, what its priorities are for the year ahead and a reminder to members about the training and qualifications offering open to them.
The opening keynote panel was chaired by Malcolm Perryman of The Property institute, with member participations from Hegarty Property Management, JFM Block & Estate Management and SAMAS Property management. It looked at the business challenges faced by the managing agents of today, including the implications of the current merger and acquisition landscape.
A keynote building safety panel was preceded by an introduction from the new Chief Inspector of Buildings, Philip White. The panellists for the discussion included Jaclyn Thorburn of The Property Institute (Chair), Kim Tichias of the Health and Safety Executive, Charles Seifert of Inside the Box Advisory, Shaun Lundy of Tetra Consulting and Mark Varley of Emeria UK. The session took stock of where the sector stands with building safety compliance, touching on the Building Assessment Certificate process (including the safety case & report), resident engagement strategies. It also hit home the importance of competence achieved by working to PAS8673 standards.
Morning and afternoon breakout sessions at the event covered key topics, namely:
- How Big Can the Residential Rental Universe Get? (Nick Whitten, JLL)
- Housing Associations – Unravelling the Mysteries. (Steve Michaux, Former Director of Residential Services at A2Dominion.)
- Learning Matters! How TPI Is Supporting You In Competence (TPI’s Training Officer, Lawrence Diamond and its Qualification Development Manager, Simon Walker).
The afternoon saw an important legal update from leading legal minds, Ellodie Gibbons (Landmark Chambers) and Cassandra Zanelli (Property Management Legal Services). They presented on the cases likely to impact many agents, such as the Avon Ground Rents Ltd v Stampfer case which covered landlord’s costs in collecting ground rent. The Building Safety (Leaseholder Protections etc.) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 were also explored.
In the afternoon delegates were treated to a roundup of the latest proptech available to the sector with quickfire presentations. Dave Wardell from Building Passport discussed how technology can aid property managers in ensuring building safety and maintaining the Golden Thread. Joe Goss of Fixflo then highlighted the potential of technology in enhancing internal processes that will lead to greater overall efficiency. Lastly, Henry Bliss from Built-ID explored the ways technology can strengthen resident and community engagement.
Wellbeing was high on the agenda for the day, too. Andy Cope, a wellbeing expert and the founder of the Art of Brilliance training and development company, covered the science of positive psychology with lively and engaging evidence-based sessions. Andy’s reminders to practice self-care were apt for a sector known to be struggling with burnout and high workload pressures. Stephanie Davies, recognised as one of the UK's leading voices in happiness, humour and laughter, tackled the serious topic of menopause with energy and positivity. Stephanie helped the audience understand how sensitive, open and honest conversations can be started in the workplace.
The 2023 ARMA conference proved another thought-provoking gathering for attendees, with plans for 2024’s event already underway.
All conference presentation slides used on the day (including the breakout sessions) have been emailed to delegates. You can view the 2023 Conference photo gallery here.
The Property Institute Annual Conference - 2024 Save The Date
The Annual Conference will return in 2024 as The Property Institute Annual Conference. Now a flagship event of The Property Institute (Incorporating ARMA & IRPM), the Conference’s well-established and successful formula will be built upon with expert speakers tackling the key challenges for today’s residential property management businesses. It will take place on Thursday 24th October and return to the modern and unique 133 Houndsditch events space in London. More details will follow shortly, including the opening date of Early Bird ticket sales.