Trust the fabric

America is a thing of radiance. I am forever drawn to her unfettered opportunity and sheer verve. Mine is a love story. Unapologetic. Undeterred. And magically perceptive. OK, it’s not really magic. It’s coached by history’s lessons and a common sense that confounds pop culture or the rabbit hole of the self-involved. More like simple math and trending fundamentals.


As my darling grandmother, a seamstress by trade would say, a good seamstress trusts the fabric. And I do.

Our best days are ahead, most assuredly, and I am excited by morning’s first light.

Multifamily continues to beat the heart of this great land and remains an uncanny reflection of its every major event, from gas prices to utility costs to immigration within its communities’ sitelines. The tide is high on rentals and the prospects good.

Still, distracting headlines affect us. There’s the sudden infusion of expendable income from lower gas prices and the ongoing national tussle on immigration. Developers must deal with disappearing trades, and our operators must navigate shifts in credit scoring, workforce and the judicial focus on the unbanked.

How we respond, as an industry, on Capitol Hill, but mostly within the trenches of our communities, is the real story.

Our cover on the vanishing tradesmen in America is a growing challenge, especially to our industry across development, but also in the renovation, maintenance and upkeep of our properties. The same gas industry that is feeding the income of our residents, scavenged our labor when the chips were down during the Great Recession, and labor doesn’t seem to have the appetite to return to the job site for concern of a repeat downturn.

Let’s face it. The trades and their blue collar buddies have had a tough run in general. Unemployment hit them hardest, while the availability of government benefits made even looking for a job a morale dilemma, in many cases.

As the confluence of labor scarcity, immigration and ever-changing life events seem to surface by the hour, I am resolved and I invite you to be resolved, as well.

Measure twice before cutting, and then trust the fabric.

The truth is that such framework requires a little faith, but mostly knowledge. After all, that upon which we focus, increases (as Condoleeza Rice told us at NAA a few years back).

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. You are the story we long to write. May it be our best yet.