The case for optimism


Clarity of purpose guides the path forward in every time and every place. Whether in life, business or country, we will be neither the first, nor the last, to face adversity. Whether we despair or prosper is always our choice.

As apartment operators, aided by the massive ecosystem of enterprises that supports us, we have built the nation’s housing based on the freedoms and liberties afforded us by our prescient founders—men who knew the shortcomings of men and designed our governing system with those shortcomings in mind.

Much like the designers of today’s automation and AI.

And as with automation, the system’s success and endurance are revealed by outcomes.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It’s not lost on this crowd, my gentle readers, that Thomas Jefferson made a last-minute change to John Locke’s trinity, “life, liberty, and property,” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” No one understands better than housing providers that property and happiness might be equivalent.

This providential document goes on to set forth that governments are instituted for the purpose of securing those rights, and that governments derive their just powers “from the consent of the governed.”

Multifamily business rests on an adherence to the rule of law, especially as related to property rights. It’s the oxygen of free enterprise. Yet, we are not without our challenges.

Landlords and renters alike, have experienced poor outcomes through the faulty logic that often begins with decoupling from the rule of law.

In their own operations, businesses are confronted with the hard truths revealed by outcomes every day. Bad data and bad assumptions break success.

Years ago, a good friend of mine predicted at an industry event that one day leasing offices would become obsolete. Leasing would be done online, he asserted. The audience laughed.

He was obviously years ahead of his time, but we may finally be at the threshold. Two things have made it so.

Landlords have embraced the complete lifecycle of a renter. And today’s high-speed, networked world connects the dots.

The positive outcomes of convenience and efficiency improve both the marketing and operations sides, win-win.

Outcomes are rarely neutral. They guide the human experience, and vote with truth.

Today, we are finding clarity of purpose in our businesses through data analytics and automation. Good data, good decisions. It’s a reason-based principle that has guided us through the ages. And it will guide us, still.