In 2020, 70 to 80 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) experienced a drop in revenue of between 30 and 50 percent, according to recent research by OECD. Well-capitalized giants performed better than cash-strapped SMBs.

This is important for two reasons. First, the multifamily housing sector is primarily SMBs—family, multi-generational, small to medium-sized businesses—making up over 94 percent of all apartment ownership and operations.

Second, it’s important to note what made the difference in the SMBs that continued to perform.

Those higher-performing SMBs did so by mirroring business processes used in large companies, albeit on a smaller scale.

Higher-performing companies, regardless of size, had built financial resilience, organizational structure and strategic focus to not only adapt, but to advance through the crisis.

Digitization, automation and operational efficiencies gave these businesses the agility needed to accommodate the shifting needs of their market and the required processes to maintain business continuity.

The top three indicators found in the best-performing businesses: Deep digital capability, remote/real life balance, and operational agility and resilience.

How do businesses accomplish this? By following success, emulating the processes of larger companies, and engaging providers who have perfected the needed craft.

Real estate is historically cyclical and the networked age has only accelerated market movement.

The networked age has also essentially leveled the playing field. Digitization, automation and remote operation are not just for mega-businesses anymore.

Suppliers abound and technology is maturing by the day. It’s only good business practice to connect to a pipeline of knowledge and field experience.

The Utility Management Advisory is one such group that brings together the brain trust of the industry, sharing best practices, case studies and actionable ways to move businesses, of any size, toward greater profitability. This Journal is one by-product of the group’s dedication to elevating multifamily businesses with information.

We’re delighted to bring you the latest information to elevate utility management performance.

Lori Hanson Manager of Client Services for Greystar and Journal Guest Editor

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