Moving Forward

It seems a little strange to be talking about anything other than coronavirus. But the multifamily industry will persevere.
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor
Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

It seems frivolous to talk about anything other than the coronavirus now. Many of us in the country are required to shelter in place. Non-essential businesses are closed. Schools are shut down. And working from home, when possible, appears to be the new normal. How could you think about anything else at a time like this?

But, of course, the show must go on, especially for those in multifamily. And, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of communication. We need to listen to public officials to flatten the curve. We need to communicate with our residents about what measures are being taken around the community to ensure their safety. And we need to communicate with our coworkers—which is even more difficult now that most of it is done via email and conference calls (and trying to get everyone to call in at the right time and get the audio working and repeating things that are said when someone’s call drops is a tale that will be best put together over a pint, when we’re once again allowed to gather together).

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Before “all this,” communication in multifamily was important as well. Email marketing was, and remains, a valuable aspect of apartment leasing. However, California launched new regulations to control what consumer data could be released and collected. As IvyLee Rosario reports, these new rules “shook the industry.” At a time when there might be fewer people looking to change apartments because of self-quarantining, it is crucial for marketers to be up to date on all the important information.    

Affordable housing is also important to consider, especially now. As recently as a few months ago, funding for LIHTC was increasing, Joe Gose reports that the industry is “at best treading water,” and the Trump administration was considering cutting and/or eliminating some HUD programs. How we’ll face these challenges will show how we, as an industry, always look to overcome the biggest obstacles that are put in front of us.

And we will overcome. Whether it be changes in marketing regulations, affordable housing obstacles or even a global pandemic, we will get through it together. Until then, I’ll be sitting in my home office, checking in with my coworkers and loved ones and raising a pint on my own in solidarity. Won’t you join me?

Stay safe, everyone.