The Demand Solutions Blog

Allowing Short-term Rentals in Multi-family Buildings: The Benefits and the Risks Based on Real-world Data.

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 27, 2018 9:16:13 AM

Just yesterday, Pillow Homes released a white paper I authored, “Allowing Short-term Rentals in Multi-family Buildings: The Benefits and the Risks Based on Real-world Data.” Though in full disclosure I was compensated for my work, I am particularly proud of this piece of analysis as it’s the first time I’m aware of any comprehensive case study of what really happens when buildings actively allow residents to sublet their homes out for short-term rentals (STRs).

The paper was made possible by data collected on the Pillow Homes platform and the courtesy of two management teams of Denver multi-family communities allowing me to interview them to bring their experiences into the analysis along with the “hard” numbers. The study was made all the more interesting as one of the communities was a stabilized property and the other is going through lease-up, thus giving different perspectives from different operating imperatives.

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Topics: Short-Term Rentals, Leasing Performance, multi-family housing

5 Tips for Effective Multifamily Email Marketing

Posted by Doug Davidoff on Mar 31, 2017 5:23:32 PM

The possibilities with email marketing have come a long way.  Greater functionality and the plethora of automated email marketing platforms represent an apartment marketer’s fantasyland.  However, just because more is possible, doesn’t mean multifamily operators are using email marketing more effectively.

Research we conducted a couple years ago (that we are in the process of currently updating) shows that very few operators are effectively using emails as a marketing tactic. In fact, surprisingly few use it at all, so “Tip #0” is that you should have an organized email re-marketing campaign.

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Topics: apartment marketing, multi-family housing, marketing programs

Is Your Bonus System Hurting You?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 26, 2013 5:26:00 PM

Funny thing about bonus systems —you often get exactly what you incent. Now that doesn’t mean you get what you want. It means you get what you incent. So here are a couple of pet peeves of mine that I’'ve seen w.r.t. bonuses in multi-family that at best just waste money but at worst actually hurt our pricing and revenue management efforts:

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Topics: Revenue Management, apartment, property management, apartment operations, apartment pricing, multi-family housing, pricing and revenue management, financial performance

A Gathering of Pricers--Will I See you at ARM?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 3, 2013 10:43:00 AM

It’s been a while since I last blogged. Lots going on—crazy busy with clients, my younger daughter just started high school and we just sent my older daughter off to Princeton for her freshman year. Both of those milestones got me thinking about how I got to where I am.

Hard work, smarts and a good bit of luck certainly had a lot to do with it. But I think the most important thing for anyone in a “cognitive skill” career path is to be constantly learning. Learning from experience,  but more importantly learning from others—from “experts” we may not know and from colleagues (and competitors) who we do know. Which got me thinking about how important a role conferences have played in my career. I’ve met so many people who become not just business colleagues but also friends; and I’ve learned from many speakers I never would have otherwise encountered—people with ideas that changed how I viewed the world, my job and myself.

So if you’re serious about pricing in the multi-family industry, you simply have to go to the Apartment Revenue Management Conference. There are lots of pricing conferences and lots of multi-family housing conferences, but ARM is the only conference dedicated solely to practicing our art in our vertical. I’ll be there again and hope to see you. For those of you who might care, here’s what I’m expecting to do there:

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Topics: Revenue Management, apartment, property management, apartment pricing, multi-family housing, pricing and revenue management

ApartmentRatings.com: Critical for Marketing?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jun 17, 2013 10:45:00 PM

There are many different opinions about the value of social media in multi-family housing. Readers of this blog should be pretty aware of mine. But the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that ratings sites are important. There’s a lot of debate about what to do with ratings sites, but everyone seems to agree there’s some “there” there.

So I thought it would be a good idea to get a sense of exactly how important ratings sites are. The first step I took was to dig up some research I had done for a client back in February. In it I wanted to identify whether there was a clear “category killer” or whether multiple ratings sites were important. In an admittedly un-scientific way, I just looked at 10 communities in the Washington, DC market.

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Topics: social media, apartment operations, multi-family housing, apartment marketing, marketing programs, apartment ratings

What are you AIMing for?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 25, 2013 11:00:00 AM

So here’s a shameless plug for a good friend of mine, Steve Lefkovits and his conference, the Apartment Internet Marketing Conference. It’s going to be Apr 29-May 1 in Huntington Beach. If you’re responsible for demand management—certainly marketing, but also pricing and/or sales—you should go to this conference. It’s the finest collection of discussions about marketing and demand generation by industry insiders and, sometimes more importantly, those outside multi-family. Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to:

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Topics: property management, apartments, multi-family housing, apartment marketing, marketing programs

To approve or not approve (or conditionally approve), that is the question

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Dec 2, 2012 9:08:00 PM

Pricing is obviously the biggest lever for maximizing operating revenue—price too high and occupancy suffers; price too low and you’re leaving money on the table.

But there are other levers that affect revenue as well—let’s talk about one of those elements of demand management that is so often misunderstood: credit scoring and acceptance.

How are credit score cutoff decisions made in your organization? Are they made by operations or by the pricing and revenue management organization (if you have one)? Do you manage to a decline rate (i.e. keeping decline rates above or below a certain amount) or are they based on an analysis of the expected default rate or bad debt? Does your credit scoring vendor even know what the expected default or bad debt is expected to be by score? Many systems are rule-based rather than outcome-based, so they don’t really know what to expect.

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Topics: Pricing, property management, multi-family housing, credit scoring