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Who Will Lead the Platform Revolution In Multifamily?

NMHC OpTech ConferenceDuring the NMHC OpTech conference this past week, Phil Simon spoke about the “Age of the Platform”, which essentially means businesses building applications on top of other businesses.  The most well-known examples of this platform concept are creating apps on Facebook or the iPhone.  In these cases, Facebook and Apple become the “platform” by which other companies develop add-on services to offer to their customers. From a multifamily perspective, there are two ways to participate in a platform concept:  Either create services on another platform, such as develop your own Facebook app, or become a platform yourself, where businesses create services on your own architecture.  Today, I want to cover the latter, as I really think that is the more interesting of the two right now.  I think the most logical, and potentially evolutionary-inducing option is for property management software to be that option.  In this way, other companies should easily be able to integrate their service with the base property management software without duplicate entry, exporting/importing issues, and other walls between the data.  So for example, a company could develop a package-tracking “app” that works seamlessly within the property management software environment and leverages standardized data, such as resident lists, rather than having it be a separate entity entirely which has to recreate these standard elements. In 2005, my former company was attempting to implement a social media based resident portal, and we got the painful feedback that our service would simply not be useful unless we were integrated with the major p......
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