The Demand Solutions Blog

Jessica Mills

Recent Posts

Forewarned is Forearmed: NAA Maximize 2019 in Review

Posted by Jessica Mills on Oct 2, 2019 8:38:30 AM

Lately, we've been writing about the possibility of a downturn, and the impact that it will have on multifamily revenue management. It came as no surprise, then, that the changing economic tides appeared to be a recurring theme at last week's Maximize asset management conference in Atlanta.

Although the conference's audience seemed neither preoccupied nor unduly worried by the prospect of a downturn, it formed a backdrop for the program. From the keynote session where economist Ryan Severino assured us that while a downturn is coming it is not happening tomorrow, to individual sessions in one of which I was fortunate enough to be a panelist, there was a decided focus on preparing for the inevitable downturn whenever it comes.

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Topics: NAA Conference, Technology, Short-Term Rentals, maximize

How to Make That Big Box of Unrealized Revenue Your 2019 Resolution

Posted by Jessica Mills on Jan 7, 2019 11:06:52 AM

Happy new year everyone! Now that the holidays are over, we turn to resolute goal setting for the year to come. My gift to you is a big box of unrealized revenue - if you can make it your 2019 resolution to find it.   

The source of this revenue is unit amenities. This is nowhere near a new concept, and I’m sure you are currently utilizing amenity pricing on your assets as most of the industry now is. However, the amount of revenue we’ve uncovered in our client work from doing amenity analysis is always surprising (maybe even stunning) so much so that it’s hard to remark that as an industry, we’re managing amenity pricing well. There aren’t many ways to dig up that much value so quickly, which is why I’m always shocked that more people aren’t regularly doing this exercise. 

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Topics: Revenue Management, property management, New Year's Resolutions

6 Indicators that it's Time for a Pricing Health Checkup

Posted by Jessica Mills on Sep 26, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Modern pricing strategies and revenue management systems have had a tremendous impact on the performance of multifamily owners and operators. While systems like LRO and Yieldstar are quite robust and continuously improved, they are not infallible on their own. In fact, the flexibility they give operators to implement a range of strategies means that users need to review and modify settings as market conditions and strategies change.

Forward-thinking and high-performing property management companies realize that, as with any system, a routine assessment or checkup is a powerful tool. Inevitably when you look at your pricing and revenue management system in depth, you find areas of meaningful improvement.

Here are six indicators that the time has come for a pricing health checkup:

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Topics: Pricing

Lessons Learned: Conducting a Pricing Review

Posted by Jessica Mills on Jul 21, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Weekly or bi-weekly pricing review calls are a great forum to learn more information on why a property is or isn’t leasing. But sometimes when helping teams the answer isn’t as simple as just “the price”. You may be surprised what may arise as part of these regular communications. Here are three lessons learned from leading these pricing review calls: 

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Topics: Pricing

Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Renewal Policies

Posted by Jessica Mills on Jun 30, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Most companies wisely set renewal policies by month and by property. Certain times of the year may call for different strategies and you’ll want to consider property performance as part of the overall renewal strategy. However, it can be a quite subjective practice to set renewal parameters. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when doing so:

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Topics: property management, Renewals, Leasing Performance

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

How Airlines Can Teach Us to Make Student Communities Take Off!

Posted by Jessica Mills on Feb 2, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Students can provide a wonderfully reliable demand stream year after year. Knowing that a large pool of prospects will be looking to move in by a particular date is more data certainty than we have most of the time…what could possible go wrong?

A lot, actually. For as certain as students start school in the fall, management will panic mid-summer. What if school is about to start and you’re not full? Will you lower prices/add a special at the last minute to attract what remaining demand there is? If that happens, you can bet word will get out to the students who leased earlier at the higher price faster than you can say Snapchat…or however they are communicating these days. 

Worse yet is your situation if you didn’t lease up in time. You’re stuck with a slew of vacant apartments, a steeply declining seasonal curve (autumn is the season everything starts to die…including your traffic), and a marketing/sales conundrum around how to convince conventional demand that they would enjoy residing in a property filled with students. Your rents don’t have a chance…and neither do your revenue goals for the year.

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Topics: Demand Management