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: Pricing, Revenue Management, Artificial Intelligence

Channel Pricing Conflict and Customer Service

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jun 17, 2013 10:45:00 PM

So this past week was an interesting one for travel. I was attending the Folk Alliance International’s conference in Toronto through Sunday. Nothing to do with multi-family housing—just an organization I’m Treasurer of and a chance listen to a lot of incredible music while getting very little sleep.

I was supposed to fly home Sunday evening, change out clothes and fly the next morning to the NAA Student Housing conference to be on a student housing pricing panel (probably a good topic for a future blog), then on to Rainmaker’s LRO User conference in Palos Verdes, CA. Side note: Bruce and Tammy sure know how to pick resorts—the Terrenea is just a fabulous resort with view of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina that are just spectacular.

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management, property management, apartment operations

JC Penney Proves It’s Hard to Change Pricing Psychology

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 9, 2013 10:41:00 AM

Don’t know how many of you follow retail, but JC Penney just pulled the plug on one of the biggest experiments in pricing history—acknowledging it to be a colossal failure. In short, Ron Johnson, the architect of a move from constant couponing to simple “fair” pricing is out. And expect coupons to be back in.

I was skeptical when he was hired and announced his plans less than 2 years ago on two grounds:  1) Walmart kind of owns the “every day low price” model (plus it’s not clear that “everyday fair pricing” has an authentic ring to it anyway) and 2) more often than not, I find people like to feel they’re getting a deal. In other words, discounting sends a psychological signal that is more powerful than “simple” pricing.

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management, apartment, apartment pricing

Pricing and Dispositions: When 12-1 does not equal 11+0

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 15, 2013 6:00:00 PM

The deal world. Gotta love it. Smart people doing deals worth tens of millions. Even hundreds of millions of dollars. Surely with that much money at stake, processes are wired tightly and there’s really no room for pricing shenanigans, right? Of course if you believe that, you probably thought sub-prime mortgages were a great investment back in 2007 as well.

Here’s something that I’ve wondered about for the 15 or so years I’ve been doing pricing and revenue management in multi-family housing. Two different deal scenarios:

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management, property management, apartment operations

The Magic of Zero

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 1, 2013 9:30:00 PM

Hopefully you’ve already heard of the work of Dan Ariely. If you haven’t, click on this link to his website as every modern-day pricer and/or marketer should become familiar with his studies. Dan has PhDs in cognitive psychology and business administration. He’s currently the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics and teaches at Duke University. He did a lot of his early work at MIT, may alma mater, which only makes him that much dearer to my marketing heart.

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management, apartment, property management

To approve or not approve (or conditionally approve), that is the question

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Dec 2, 2012 9:08:00 PM

Pricing is obviously the biggest lever for maximizing operating revenue—price too high and occupancy suffers; price too low and you’re leaving money on the table.

But there are other levers that affect revenue as well—let’s talk about one of those elements of demand management that is so often misunderstood: credit scoring and acceptance.

How are credit score cutoff decisions made in your organization? Are they made by operations or by the pricing and revenue management organization (if you have one)? Do you manage to a decline rate (i.e. keeping decline rates above or below a certain amount) or are they based on an analysis of the expected default rate or bad debt? Does your credit scoring vendor even know what the expected default or bad debt is expected to be by score? Many systems are rule-based rather than outcome-based, so they don’t really know what to expect.

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Topics: Pricing, property management, multi-family housing

33 cents, 3 for a dollar and other pricing anomalies

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Nov 8, 2012 4:28:00 PM

So are you like me where your mind is always looking at pricing and doing the math? My apologies if you are—drives my wife crazy whenever we’re shopping as I keep looking for pricing anomalies and feel compelled to point them out. Even though I know she doesn’t care.

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management

"Pilot"--a model of pricing maturation

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Nov 3, 2012 9:51:00 PM

Welcome to my first foray into the world of blogging.  As the title of the blog suggests, I’ll talk a lot about pricing…and more. Along with revenue management and pricing psychology, we’ll discuss all sorts of other demand management issues—marketing, credit scoring, sales process, and more. Some of it will be serious and some just amusing. Many ideas will come from me, but many will come from other experts in the field, from clients (with their permission) and from readers (so send your own observations or questions to me at

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Topics: Pricing, Revenue Management