The To-Do List

A few ideas to help jump-start your agenda for 2018.

Executive Editor Paul Rosta
Executive Editor Paul Rosta

This year I’m determined to get a jump on my New Year’s resolutions, so to get in the right mindset, I thought I’d try a little warm-up exercise. For starters, I’ll offer a few 2018 resolutions for the multifamily sector. It’s a rather presumptuous exercise, even in an editorial, so maybe I’d better dial it back a notch and call it a to-do list instead.

With that caveat, here are a few items you might wish to consider.

Stay engaged. No matter your sector, geographic location or company size, something is happening on the policy front today that is affecting your business. These issues can crop up at any level of government and take the form of lawmaking, judicial decisions or regulations. Whatever the specifics, the rule of thumb is that policy is not a spectator sport. Make sure your voice is heard, whether as an individual, through an industry organization or, preferably, both.

Be prepared. Thousands of multifamily communities felt the wrath of floods, hurricane winds or fires this year. If your company, residents and clients were lucky enough to escape unscathed, count your blessings and then make plans for a top-to-bottom review of your emergency preparation and response strategy. Watch for the in-depth report coming early next year in the CPE-MHN Guide to 2018.

Stay connected. As my younger colleagues can tell you, I’m the last person on our team who should be lecturing others about staying on top of the latest developments in the digital world. But given the rapid pace of change, the competitive necessity of well-applied technology and the real estate industry’s reputation as a slow adopter, a friendly reminder is in order.

Raise the bar. If the past few months are any indication, American society is starting a long-overdue reckoning with how women are treated in the workplace. Considering the centrality of this concern to every industry, it seems impossible to overlook in this short list. If you haven’t done so lately, make it clear that harassment will not be tolerated in your shop. If your company lacks a safe, confidential and fair policy to handle problems, get to work on one today.

And speaking specifically to the gentlemen, let’s be reliable allies with our female colleagues on this issue—and resolve to earn the privilege of being considered gentlemen, every day. In fact, how’s this for a rule of thumb: Never treat a female colleague in a way that you’d be embarrassed to tell your grandmother about later. Workplace harassment is a vexed issue, all right, but some parts of the answer really don’t seem all that hard to figure out.

Originally appearing in the December 2017 issue of MHN.