The Demand Solutions Blog

5 Highlights of Donald Davidoff’s Multifamily Matters Interview

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jul 9, 2018 2:00:00 PM

You probably already know that D2’s CEO, Donald Davidoff, revolutionized the multi-housing industry seventeen years ago when he led the team that built the first automated pricing and revenue system.  But he certainly wasn’t content to rest on his laurels. Donald, an engineer by training, has continued to transform the industry with a holistic viewpoint tied together by a common thread: data.

Multifamily Matters, a national weekly radio show dedicated to interviewing the best in the industry, was eager to have Donald on as a guest so he could share his unique perspective. After all, as host Paul Marks pointed out, not only was Donald prescient about the multifamily industry’s need for analytics, he has continued to be a “legendary thought leader” for Pricing and Revenue Management (PRM).

Here are some highlights from Donald’s hour-long interview, followed by a link to the full conversation with Paul Marks and Donald’s former client, Brian Hilton. Hilton is the current head of PRM at Simpson Housing, which was the second multifamily operator in the industry to implement PRM software. 

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, pricing and revenue management, Pricing

7 Tips to Help Leasing Associates Make Sales Faster (And Delight Residents)

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 9, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Over the last 20 years, the multifamily industry has gotten better at managing the core elements of their business. Companies are smarter regarding where they're building or buying their properties, and how they're operating them. The use of pricing and revenue management systems has become the norm, not the exception. Utilizing sophisticated property management systems, online marketing tools and so forth--again, the norm. That means we're operating more efficiently than we ever have before.

With all of these improvements, there is still one area that has been (and often still is) overlooked: sales. As the demands of customers continue to evolve and liquid expectations impact their expectations, experience and buying journey, smart operators know this needs to change. At these companies, sales acumen has begun to “earn its seat at the table” as a key driver to operational performance.

It's important to note that selling today isn't like what selling used to be. Daniel Pink, noted author of the book To Sell is Human shared, "Most of what we know about sales comes from a world of information asymmetry. Sellers had far, far more information than buyers did." That was certainly true in multifamily. Sellers could manipulate buyers and force them to play the game that salespeople wanted to play. That is no longer true.   

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Topics: Sales Coaching, Leasing Performance, pricing and revenue management, Revenue Management

3 Qualities Successful PRMs Share

Posted by Jessica Mills on Jun 23, 2017 12:00:00 AM

A revenue management system is a large company investment. We expect site teams to comply with this pricing and train them on what information they should be entering in our systems. However, you may hear that teams aren’t showing up to pricing calls or have failed to mention the road construction deterring prospects from visiting their property. If this sounds familiar, you do have a problem. But it may not be your sales team...have you hired the right person as your Pricing and Revenue Manager?

The most successful PRMs share certain qualities that give them the ability to effectively run revenue management systems, but also manage the relationships involved. Here are the top three qualities that ideal PRMs share:

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management, pricing and revenue management

3 Pricing Must-Haves for Softening Markets

Posted by Jessica Mills on Apr 13, 2017 2:00:00 PM

When is the best time to think about how to price your assets in a softening market? Before the market softens. Having a strategy in place before things go south is crucial so no one is tempted to make emotion-driven decisions when the heat is on. What you do in a soft market sets the bar for what you will do in a larger downturn. If drastic decreases or discounts show up at the first sign of nervousness, what will we do when we really are in a position of negative growth?

Here’s 3 big tips for pricing in a soft market:

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Topics: Pricing, pricing and revenue management

3 Strategies to Fill Your Long-Standing Vacant Apartments

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Aug 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Vacancy loss is the bane of all multifamily housing operators. Once an apartment is empty, that revenue opportunity is lost forever. So it’s not surprising that all sorts of methods (and madness) have evolved to deal with units that have been vacant for a long while—the so-called “long-standing vacant” (LSV).

Over the past 10 years, multifamily housing (MFH) has seen rapid adoption of automated pricing and revenue management (PRM) systems. By now, I’m guessing more than half of professionally managed multifamily units are priced using some form of automated PRM system.

Yet, there are still many business practices that affect optimizing revenue for all MFH operators, whether on an automated system or not. Among the most critical of those is dealing with LSVs.

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Topics: pricing and revenue management, Longstanding Vacant Units, Long Standing Vacant

Winter is Coming - 6 Areas for Multifamily Operators to Review

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 21, 2016 3:00:00 PM

With HBO about to premier my favorite currently running series, Game of ThronesI couldn’t help but see many signs of that show's catchphrase in recent pronouncements from various media, that absorption rates are now below new delivery rates, thus likely driving moderation in occupancy and rent growth in many markets.

Winter is indeed coming.

Unlike the never-ending contest between the Lannisters and the Starks, we in multifamily can step away from the battle and prepare to face the Windwalkers of the next recession. Here’s my checklist for just a few areas in demand management to review for any sophisticated multifamily operator: 

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Topics: Revenue Management, pricing and revenue management, apartment marketing, multifamily sales, business intelligence

Pricing and Longstanding Vacant Units

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Oct 6, 2013 2:36:00 PM

In my last blog, I promised to talk a little more about longstanding vacant, so here we go. I am not an advocate of automatically reducing rents just because a unit has been vacant a while; and as discussed in a prior blog, I don’t recommend putting leasing bonuses on longstanding vacants.

Here’s what I do recommend:

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Topics: apartment, apartment pricing, pricing and revenue management, apartment marketing

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

Inverted Leases at Renewal Time: A Big Challenge

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Sep 17, 2013 6:51:00 PM

It’s that time of the year when prices typically start going down. The good news is that with rent growth relatively strong over the past year, in general new rents are above expiring rents come renewal time. However, there are still times when rents are “inverted.”

With transparency of pricing on web sites, this can cause a real challenge. Existing residents see you offer no (or a small) increase and then take a look at the website where they see new pricing below what they’re currently paying. So what do you do?

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Topics: Revenue Management, apartment, property management, apartment pricing, pricing and revenue management

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