Conference season is in full swing for multifamily! As we prepare to head out to AIM next week, we are also looking back, yes all the way back to last month, when we attended MTEC in San Francisco, a multifamily technology conference. This was our first time attending MTEC and although this conference wasn’t on our radar until this year, we were pleasantly surprised and look forward to attending for years to come. We were honored to come away as 1 of the 3 startup showcase winners, and are sharing our thoughts on what we learned from the startup-studded event.
1.) Big Data is Taking Over
From marketing to underwriting, to loans and even water management, big data was everywhere at MTEC last month, and rightfully so. It’s been talked about for years, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that big data is now making inroads in multifamily. With new startups coming into the space, it is imminent that data will change the way that multifamily companies operate for the better. With big data, we can be more efficient and make better informed decisions that will ultimately result in higher occupancies and NOI.
2.) Short Term Rentals Are Here to Stay
Rather than being seen as a thing of the future, it was very clear that short terms rentals have arrived. This was one of the more active sessions. With big players like AirBnB, VRBO, Pillow, and Stay Alfred, residents will continue to lease out their apartments, with or without consent from their property managers. In order to make sure this is done safely and effectively, management companies are getting onboard. The panel also discussed utilized STRs as a way to take advantage of the 12-month lease up period for new builds. Why not maximize revenue during the time it takes to stabilize?
3.) The Audience is Unique & The Content Is Relevant
What makes this conference unique is by far the attendee list. Investors, brokers, marketers, and operators all come together, with far fewer vendors than you see at other conferences. Most of the audience were active attendees, which created a much more engaging environment and left room for collaboration.
One of our favorite sessions was the “Harvard B-School Business Plans” session moderated by Dana Dunford, CEO, Hemlane. Dana was extremely knowledgeable in the subject matter, and engaged the panel in a way that fostered a genuine transparency in the room. As an early stage startup, this content may have spoken to us differently, but we found the honest advice on funding, valuations, and ever-changing business plans extremely valuable. Especially the notion that not everyone has it all figured out 😉
All in all, MTEC definitely makes our list of conferences we will attend yearly!
To read more about Fiona winning at MTECH, check out our press release.