The Demand Solutions Blog

Multifamily Downturn Q&A - April 27th, 2020

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 27, 2020 10:23:49 AM

For the past few weeks, we have been holding a weekly "downturn" roundtable discussion for our clients. This group includes some of the most experienced pricing and revenue management practitioners in the industry. Each week we have been summarizing insights shared during our latest discussion.

Below we share our observations of the first five weeks of this recession, with the Q&A that followed the presentation. All responses are anonymous. If you have different insights, opinions, or questions that you would like us to address in the coming weeks, please leave them in the comments or contact us through the site.

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Topics: Revenue Management, COVID-19

Multifamily Downturn Q&A - April 20th, 2020

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Apr 20, 2020 1:13:12 PM

Last week we shared some of the talking points from our weekly "downturn" roundtable discussion for our clients. We are convening this group, which includes some of the most experienced pricing and revenue management practitioners in the industry, every week so this week we summarize insights that were shared during our latest discussion.

The content below is presented below in Q&A format, and all responses are anonymous. If you have different insights, opinions, or questions that you would like us to address in the coming weeks, please leave them in the comments or contact us through the site.

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Topics: Revenue Management, COVID-19

Multifamily Downturn Q&A - April 13th, 2020

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Apr 13, 2020 12:01:47 PM

For the last couple of weeks, we've been sharing insights designed to help multifamily companies to steer through the challenging market conditions created by COVID-19. Last week we initiated a weekly roundtable discussion for our clients, a group that includes some of the most experienced pricing and revenue management practitioners in the industry.

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Topics: COVID-19

The "Downturn" Playbook - Your Questions Answered

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Apr 6, 2020 9:22:11 AM

Last week we ran a webinar where three of our experts shared their first-hand experiences of managing multifamily pricing through previous recessions. The session (a recording of which is available on our website) was well-attended and generated some great discussion. We answered some, but not all of the questions during the session.

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Topics: Revenue Management, COVID-19

Why This Downturn is Different for Multifamily

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 26, 2020 4:01:22 PM

I often think of the economy as a metaphorical set of pipes with money (the "water") flowing through them. Recessions typically happen when the pipes "clog," causing the water to flow well below its normal pressure. Governments have to respond, taking actions to "unclog" those pipes to get the "water" flowing again.

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Topics: Revenue Management, COVID-19

20 for ‘20 - What a Difference a Year Makes!

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Mar 24, 2020 1:56:58 PM

As many of you will already be aware, we recently published the 2020 edition of our 20 for '20 white paper.  Just as we did a year ago, we sat down with another 20 senior executives to get their perspectives on the outlook for the immediate future. Of course, the interviews took place before the coronavirus disrupted our 2020 plans, but the findings tell us a lot about what companies are working on from a technology perspective. As we shall summarize in this post, the industry has experienced a significant year over year shift. 

In our new 2020 paper, we have identified a new set of trends and observations about current projects and priorities, some of which we will highlight on this blog in the coming weeks. But below, we will recap the five big findings from last year and see what's changed in the interim.

1. No more "One Big Project" dynamic

A year ago, we were struck by the number of respondents (a half) who reported having spent 2018 focusing on a single project that had dominated their year, effectively consuming all IT delivery capacity other than business as usual. Seven of the ten had been PMS switches or major upgrades, in itself an anomaly.

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Topics: Multifamily Trends, Multifamily Technology

A Bump in the Road for Short-Term Rentals

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Mar 17, 2020 8:37:11 AM

A couple of weeks ago, before coronavirus took over our attention, we learned some potentially important news about the short-term rental (STR) sector. The story was about Airbnb-backed Lyric's decision to reduce its workforce by 20% as part of a "downsizing and restructuring." We were disappointed to see a rising star in our industry falter on its growth path, but encouraged by the decisiveness of their action and hope that it will leave the company in better shape to capitalize on the opportunity that we know it has.  

The decision may tell us a couple of things about the state of STRs in the multifamily industry. Remember, Lyric was one of several STR platforms funded during a heady 18-month period from 2018 to 2019. With the staggering growth of Airbnb, the might of Booking.com (especially in Europe), and Expedia's commitment to becoming a force in this space, the STR industry and market have been thoroughly validated. So what's holding back the organizations who are trying, like Lyric, to define the STR business model for multifamily?

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Topics: Multifamily Trends

Coronavirus: Catalyst or Catastrophe?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 10, 2020 11:46:06 AM

I’m writing this sitting on an airplane wondering whether this week will be the last week I travel for quite a while. As the level of fear (dare I say panic) continues to rise, we’re bombarded with exhortations to wash our hands frequently (easy to do), stop touching our face (virtually impossible, just try to do so for even 15 minutes) and dispense with handshakes, hugs and even standing within 6 feet of one another. While I keep telling myself (and I fervently believe) “This, too, shall pass,” I can’t help feeling a sense of anxiety driven by the uncertainty of it all.

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Topics: COVID-19

The Coming Dichotomy of Multifamily Leasing

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Mar 2, 2020 2:09:38 PM

Where I come from (the UK), the English language is peppered with curious variations. One of the strangest is the perpetual controversy over the pronunciation of the word "scone." Everybody pronounces the vowel either as "own" or "on." Which side of the divide that people fall on follows no clear regional or socio-economic pattern. People adopt one pronunciation or the other and never change thereafter. And everybody is convinced that people who pronounce it the other way are entirely wrong to do so.

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Topics: Multifamily Technology, Leasing

What Multifamily Gets Wrong About Renovation Pricing

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Feb 20, 2020 9:27:09 AM

(This is the third blog in our current series on amenity pricing)

It’s a classic conversation that will be familiar to every revenue manager who has ever had rehab units in their portfolio:

Property Manager: “I need to lower my one-bedroom prices”

Revenue Manager: “Ok. What, exactly, makes you feel that way?

Property Manager: “I’ve got a few units that have been sitting vacant too long”

Revenue Manager: “Anything those units share in common?

Property Manager: “Yeah, they’re the units we’re doing the rehab on.

Revenue Manager: “Ok. Then we really need to reduce the upcharge for the renovation on those units, not reduce the price on all 1-bedroom units”

Property Manager: “I can’t do that!” “Then I won’t get the ROI I need on those rehabs!!”

We have told that story many times, and every time we tell it to a revenue manager (or group of revenue managers), we get that immediate, knowing smile.  Yet despite this familiarity, this script keeps repeating itself. Why? And what can we do about it?

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Topics: Revenue Management