20 for 20—2023 Edition: Centralization in the Spotlight!

20 for 20 - The Centralization Puzzle

This week I am excited to launch the fifth annual edition of 20 for 20. For those unfamiliar, the white paper summarizes 20 in-depth interviews with ten heads of technology and ten COOs from multifamily organizations, which took place at the end of 2022. 

This year, the format of the questions changed somewhat because I wanted to get to the bottom of centralization. The new edition prioritizes process and property roles to understand the implications for technology. 

Unsurprisingly, the results demonstrate that it is a big industry topic in 2023. But the extent to which people are centralizing it and how they are approaching it are perhaps the most interesting part. 

Understanding Choices

20 for 20 provides a unique perspective on the industry for a couple of reasons. One, it's structured around conversations. In an industry as fragmented and as varied as multifamily, it is hard to gain insight into what is changing using traditional surveys. To understand the choices that companies make, you have to understand the context of their decisions. That is easier to do through conversation, where participants can elaborate on what they did and—critically—why they did it. 

The other important thing about 20 for 20 is that it is anonymous. Although the participants are senior leaders from some of the leading companies in the industry and are doubtless familiar to most people reading this blog, we purposefully avoid mentioning the names of the companies or the specific interviewees. It's a critical ingredient because it yields very different answers from those we would expect from on-the-record interviews. 

20 for 20 - 2023 Edition_2New

Candor is key to developing insight, so in researching 20 for 20, it's my objective to find out the things that worked and also the things that didn't work. I want to know what leaders are, for example, skeptical of or concerned about and what their reasons are for feeling that way. Those are not always perspectives that professionals want to share in a public format. In taking this approach, we provide the industry with something quite different from, for example, a panel at an industry conference or a public webinar. 

A Word From Our Sponsors

This year 20 for 20 welcomes six sponsors to the edition, each contributing a unique and compelling viewpoint about how the industry is changing. 

  • Domuso considers how a more contemporary approach to payments supports site teams and, ultimately, centralization. 
  • Grace Hill considers the evolution of property management roles and the skills organizations need to nurture them. 
  • REBA (Real Estate Business Analytics) discusses the nature of insight and how it can change companies in 2023 and beyond. 
  • Dwelo reflects on a turbulent couple of years in multifamily technology and discusses the maturing of the smart technology sector. 
  • AppFolio considers the role of technology in the "pivot to profitability" in multifamily in 2023. 
  • EliseAI (formerly known as "MeetElise") grasps the intriguing question of the role AI should play in property management and introduces the concept of being "AI first." 

A Feast of Insight

Over the coming weeks, we will share some of the findings from the paper on this blog. Major themes will include:

  • The state of centralization
  • The curious adoption pattern of AI and why the industry may why much of the industry might be thinking about this the wrong way
  • How BI adoption and capabilities appear to be maturing
  • Why maintenance is a bigger centralization opportunity than most people realize
  • How different companies think about important industry issues like the connected community and ESG.

But to read the detailed findings and conclusions from this year's interview, please download this year's edition. And, of course, be generous with feedback. As with every year, I expect the release of this year's 20 for 20 to be the start of a long and productive conversation with the more curious elements of our industry. Enjoy!  

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