The Demand Solutions Blog

Thoughts from the NMHC Annual Meeting

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 25, 2013 10:23:00 PM

I just got back from the NMHC Annual meeting. Record attendance.  So many meetings. Lots accomplished. I thought I’d share a few observations from the show.

  1. The build is on. Just counting the number of hospitality suites, no less the record number of blue blazers, shows that investors have money to spare. There may be uncertainty over the government’s handling of our nation’s fiscal issues, but that doesn’t seem to be dampening the enthusiasm for building. It hasn’t all shown up in permitting and starts stats, but it will soon.

  2. Analytics and transparency are gaining traction. Led by the widespread adoption of pricing and revenue management systems, there’s more desire for business intelligence and data-driven analytics than ever; and more stomach for transparency in data. Not only is this not your father’s MFH industry anymore—it’s really not your older brother’s either. The contrast in tone from just five years ago is truly stunning.

So what does this mean for us pricers? The good news is that our services and our analytical expertise has never been more valued by the C-suite and is likely to continue to grow in value. So expand your horizon beyond merely PRM. Are you involved in credit scoring decisions? Do you even use a credit scoring system that is an outcomes based model rather than a rules based model? Are you driving the BI agenda?

Many of you know Chris Brust, finishing his run as VP, BI at Archstone. He was the first Dir, PRM there way back in 2000. He took analysis well beyond PRM and pioneered what is now probably the industry-leading BI platform (personal biased note of sadness it will likely go away come March). But the point is he leveraged his credibility in PRM and the company’s hunger for more analytics into a whole new career.  With the hunger for transparency and BI I heard at this conference, the situation is ripe for anyone else to do the same at their company now.

The not-so-good news is that the days of very little new supply are gone. We’re going to see more same-store communities having to compete with start-ups. So brush up on your pricing tactics to deal with that ‘cuz you don’t really have a choice. Those will be the topic of my next blog. But while you may fear some of the pressure that will come with dealing with pricing against all this new supply, find comfort in one thought—your C-suite needs you to do that well, so it’s not a problem—it’s job security :)

Topics: apartments, apartment pricing, pricing and revenue management