MHP Reflections

Birth of a builder

Christmas makes me think of builders. It celebrates, among other supernatural events, the birth of a carpenter who apprenticed in the family business. Once grounded in the principles of earthly construction he went on...

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...

A great deal of ruin in a nation

Asked if the loss of the American colonies would mean ruin for Britain, Adam Smith replied, “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” Even after the loss, Britain went on to...

Only dead fish swim with the current

It’s a glorious day in the rental business. I would say apartments, but the industry has been transitioning—again—to include single-family rentals (Demand drives pricing and Blackstone buys SFR portfolio). Moving with the market is our...
Bullewijk Apartments

Facts don’t care

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...

The heart of a multifamily housing professional

And the winner is I love that line. It’s that time of year when we recognize the best in class within our great industry. NAHB’s coveted Pillars of the Industry winners are in and, man,...

The weary world rejoices

And in despair I bowed my head: There is no peace on earth, I said, For hate is strong, and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864 written during the Civil...

That upon which you focus, becomes your reality

A ship once found itself lost at sea. After a time, the crew’s drinking water ran seriously low. The parched sailors were certain they would die until, miraculously, another ship came within view. The distressed...

The fable of the bees

The fable of bees (or private vices, public benefits) was written in 1714 by Bernard Mandeville, who is today considered one of the first purveyors of economic theory. At the time of his writing...

Let business go: regulations

It was just months ago that economic indicators marked the most welcome creation of wealth and growth, and the nation made record gains in prosperity fueled by optimism and ability. How do we get the...

This corona moment

It is said that giving a man power is the truest test of character. Those I know, especially in real estate, were nearly all formed, not by the hand of power, but by the...

Regaining our power of persuasion

I’m just back from the Balkans. It takes traveling to the genesis of the word balkanize to understand true division. To the naked eye, these people appear quite similar. Looks can be deceiving and...

The enduring strength of truth

Webster defines it as “the property of being in accord with fact or reality.” Truth is a beautiful, most reliable thing. The truth of Christmas and the holidays is sometimes muffled by the hustle and...

He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass.

In times such as these who needs prognostication? Truth alone is a wonder if you’re working from facts. Here are just a few. “We are in a very favorable place, the economy is strong,” said...

Unintended consequences of public housing

My grandfather was the first landlord I ever met. It was he who taught me about the business of rental housing, starting and running companies, and the intrinsic value of hard work—all without ever...
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