The Demand Solutions Blog

NAA Apartmentalize - A Long View on Short Term Rentals

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jun 11, 2019 2:41:36 PM

In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be joined by industry veterans Melanie French, Steve Hallsey and Marcie Williams as I moderate a panel, “A Long View on Short-term Rentals” at NAA’s Apartmentalize conference.  I’m excited to further the conversation about a subject that is top-of-mind in our industry.

I still remember four or five years ago when Jaja Jackson from AirBnB first presented to an NMHC conference. To say the reception was a bit cold would be like saying the Pope is a bit Catholic. The Q&A session was one of the most aggressive I’ve ever seen; and when I spoke up to opine that I viewed short-term rentals (STRs) as just another demand stream to be understood and leveraged, I could feel the metaphorical daggers hurled my way by the vast majority of the audience.

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Topics: property management, NAA Conference, Short-Term Rentals

3 Steps to Avoiding Pricing Complacency

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 29, 2019 1:13:12 PM

The legendary golfer, Jack Nicklaus is often quoted as saying, "Complacency is a continuous struggle that we all have to fight." We have frequently argued on this blog and elsewhere that the decade of growth has blunted many of the tools that have delivered success and shareholder value in our industry over the last couple of decades. Rising tides lift all boats, and when growth is all-but-guaranteed, competitive capabilities atrophy.

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Topics: pricing and revenue management, Multifamily Trends, Technology

The Research Is In On Multifamily Lead Conversions

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 21, 2019 10:39:47 AM

If - like me - you're in the business of demand optimization, you'll know that it's been getting harder and harder to talk about any trend in multifamily without first referencing the ten years of unprecedented growth that the industry has been experiencing.  For as long as anyone can remember, residents have been relatively plentiful. That's great news for operators and investors, but a growth environment can paper over cracks in sales and marketing performance.

This inescapable trend was on our minds when we embarked on a new study of lead conversion tactics.  A couple of weeks ago at the AIM Conference, we published a new white paper "Converting Leads to Leases." It is an update to a study that we had run previously in 2014 and 2017.  

The results of the first study were instructive, presenting a call-to-action for marketers and operators.  They highlighted the extent to which operators were failing to implement some of the most effective and least expensive tactics for increasing lead conversion.  We updated the data nearly three years later with an identical study, which yielded mostly similar results. The 2019 paper reproduces the methodology from those studies to report back on how the multifamily marketing has progressed in the last five years. 

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Topics: multifamily sales, lead management, Multifamily Trends

What to do About Challenging Multifamily Recruitment and Retention

Posted by Donald Davidoff on May 13, 2019 9:45:00 AM

Given sustained, record low unemployment in the general economy, it’s not surprising that attracting and retaining quality associates is universally regarded as one of, if not the, most challenging parts of a senior executive’s job these days. Simply put, it’s an employee’s market!

That was one of the least surprising insights from our 20 for '20 research - where we asked 20 senior multifamily executives for their perspectives on the industry outlook for the next few years.  Given the generally challenging conditions for talent acquisition and retention, we were keen to learn more about what strategies and tactics worked best for our 20 executives in this tight labor market.

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Topics: leasing associates, Multifamily Trends

The Year They Put the “Innovation” into AIM

Posted by Dom Beveridge on May 8, 2019 10:14:59 AM

Early May has long been the time of year for multifamily marketers to head to Orange County, CA for AIM. As convivial networking opportunities go this event can’t be beat, which explains it’s impressively growing audience of both owner/operators and sponsors.

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Topics: apartment marketing, Multifamily Trends, Technology

Floor Plans: Why Too Much Choice Can Be Worse Than Too Little

Posted by Trachelle Spencer on May 1, 2019 9:45:09 AM

A few weeks ago we discussed the experience of leasing up big projects and the importance of setting up unit type groupings in the pricing & revenue management (PRM) system. In that article I noted that too many operators neglect unit type setup, creating categories that make no more sense to a prospect than a shoe store that grouped all of its shoes by size alone.

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Topics: Revenue Management, multi-family housing

Three Top Multifamily Training Priorities for 2019

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 25, 2019 12:33:57 PM

As we researched 20 for '20 - our white paper on the outlook for multifamily based on 20 interviews with senior executives - we were struck by the intense competition for talent in the industry. Low unemployment rates and record industry growth have conspired to make both recruitment and retention extremely challenging.

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Topics: Multifamily Trends, Technology, Sales Coaching, Customer Experience

The Next Big Thing in Multifamily Revenue Management

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Apr 23, 2019 9:42:19 AM

Pricing and Revenue Management (PRM) in multifamily turned 18 years old this year. For those interested, the first-ever deployment of a PRM system took place in February 2001 at the Hunters Run apartment complex in Austin, TX. When we sat down recently with 20 multifamily executives to discuss the industry outlook towards 2020 and beyond, we invited them to provide their perspectives on the current state of PRM.

We discuss the results of our research in greater detail in our 20 for '20 white paper. Below we have summarized the feedback that we received on possible future PRM advancements and areas of opportunity.  We found that PRM system-specific feedback fell into two broad categories: how to improve the current models; and more radical improvements and future direction.   

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Topics: pricing and revenue management, Multifamily Trends, Future

3 Reasons Why Multifamily Must Adopt Self-Show

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 17, 2019 8:35:00 AM

As we get near the Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) conference, I wanted to take a moment to discuss an innovation from single-family rentals (SFR) that I believe should be getting more attention from multifamily housing (MFH) operators.

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Topics: Multifamily Trends, Technology

Multifamily’s Last Technological Inflection Point

Posted by Dan Amedro on Apr 9, 2019 8:15:00 AM

Since we published the findings of our 20 for ‘20 research, we have found a broad consensus that multifamily technology is at a technology inflection point, the like of which we have not seen since the 1999-2004 timeframe. During that period pricing and revenue management, web-based property management systems and resident and prospect portals all came to market at once. Dan Amedro was CIO at Archstone from 1997 through 2012. He not only had a front seat to all those changes but as often in the driver’s seat. We asked him to reflect on that time in the industry. As you read this, we think you’ll agree that the experience 15-20 years ago provides a great map to help navigate technology today.

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Topics: Multifamily Trends, Technology, Future, Change Management