Facts don’t care

Bullewijk Apartments
Bullewijk Apartments in Amsterdam (Ján Jakub Naništa)

I was raised in a multi-generational family business. There I learned classic principles of market economics long before I learned what it was called. It was a great Midwestern foundation because certain universal principles never change, like, say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

A couple of others: never mix politics with business and the customer is always right.

These are simple truths woven through good business operations and through the law of our land. Here’s another. Don’t do things just because someone else is doing them (otherwise known as the parable of the cliff jumper).

Peer pressure is a bear. Don’t we know it. At least half of us are tormented by it’s incessant drumbeat.

But loud or repetitious doesn’t make it right or virtuous. It does make it annoying.

Explaining irrational, economically counterproductive behavior doesn’t fit in a headline, but the behavior will, nevertheless culminate in a poor result.

Place it on par with a business going under for chronically poor service or for being tone deaf to a market or, even simpler, for insulting residents.

The principles of economics and free markets will not change.

Providing a good product and service, according to the lease, is the deal we offer.

Owners and operators know the truths that transcend the spoken word. Operational truths. Boots on the ground, problem solving, finding good staff, fixing leaky toilets, locating lost packages, renting and retaining with every day’s breath. That is the work before us. Doing it to the best of our ability is what makes our properties great and residents, happy.

And so we stick to our knitting. Time is money and distractions are waste.

Still, the clouds of change have rolled in and businesses of all classes and sizes see looming threats to operations and profitability. Now’s the time to seek safe harbor.

If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest checking out the National Association of Home Builders. They are pro-business, pro-multifamily, pro-profit and have been strong advocates for multifamily through thick and thin. NAHB runs in lockstep with members and, like any good business, follows the needs of their constituency. They’re well practiced as one of the oldest associations in the country, tipping 80 years.

Mostly, they deliver results.

Exhibit 1: our cover story, The endless fight against government overreach. NAHB’s members were exempted from the CDC’s eviction moratorium through the association’s case brought before the courts along with Pacific Legal Foundation.

But it all leads back to the main point. Truth transcends the spoken word. In multifamily housing, we call it action.