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2009: The Year of Opportunity

I came across the following quote on the blog Customer Experience Matters today. The quote originally came from the Harvard Business Publishing site where they were showcasing a book called "The Forever War"

"One day near Kandahar I came across a minefield, which was hardly
extraordinary in itself, and next to it a man named Juma Khan Gulalai.
The field was bright and green. Gulalai was a butcher and he’d set up
his table there, his apron and knives at the ready. Every day, Gulalai
explained, a goat would wander into the green grassy field to graze for
its meal and step on a land mine and blow apart. Gulalai would walk
into the field and retrieve the carcass–braving the mines himself as he
did–throw the old goat up on the table and carve up its meat for sale."

What will it take to grow revenue in 2009

I tend to think about things from 30,000 feet and many times miss or overestimate the logistics of ripping off a cool new idea. In that respect I tend to do better at visualizing things as opposed to hammering out the details. I say all that to say this. 2009 will be the year of innovation in the multifamily space. I think we will see a number of new and exciting technologies come to fruition one of which will be that our various property management systems will finally talk to each other. Hats off to the MITS initiative. Moreover and really where I am looking to stoke up some conversation is innovation around the various social technologies we employ today and how we can use them to add value and subsequently more revenue.

As it stands each of us are trying to find our way with social technologies. Some of us are doing better than others while many are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right time to participate. I applaud those who have at very least put their toe in the water. Conversation is really the premise of our uses today. We are looking to engage our residents, prospects and vendors in conversations that add value to their experiences and more importantly their lives.

What will tomorrow bring

How do you see the use of social technologies bending the way we lease apartments, serve residents and stay in touch with vendors? I am looking for ideas beyond the conversation. What will each of the aforementioned parties add to the multifamily space or your community specifically? Innovation will be key and it will be collaborative by the nature of the technology we employee. So, what will it yield? Will each of our communities have its' own specific rating structure built into its social mediums? Will we each have our own [communityname] rating link built right in? Will it be video driven and text supported? Will we see instant interaction with the raters? I think the possibilites are endless.

In closing I think 2009 will be an absolute amazing year to be alive and involved in the multifamily space. I look forward to participating with each and every one you. And, like Juma Khan Gulalai, let's find the opportunity in an otherwise bleak circumstance.
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Mike, Great Post
This will be a year of opportunity for some, those who push back the fear and ferret out opportunity.

  Eric Brown

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I've started reading Mike Brewer's Property Management blog and am quickly becoming a fan. He truly understands the need to utilize social networking to attract and retain residents. He's also recruited Eric Brown of Urbane Apartments to guest blog, who is clearly devoted to turning traditional property management on its head. Good luck guys! Here is a recent post by Eric: http://mbrewer.typepad.com/property_management/2008/04/the-long-tail.html [UPDATE:  Mike has decided to blog here on Mu...
First of all, I want you to know that I am all for technology.  I have a cell phone, a laptop computer, voicemail, an email account, and a Facebook account.  I love that I have access to information and can communicate with the touch of a finger.  I love the fact that I can communicate with someone across the country in the middle of the night if I want to.  It is amazing.Now for the reason for my post today - I am so sick of not being able to talk to a live person. &nbs...
A little over a year ago, I was given the chance to interview for a life changing job as a regional director of marketing and training for a national company with an excellent reputation. In my eyes, at the time, I immediately saw it as a chance to sit at the grown-ups table, something I'd been longing to have for the last 2 or 3 years. I wanted that job so much that I prepared for the interview by looking at all the existing marketing for the portfolio of communities that I would have been pu...