NMHC OpTech to Cast Texas-Sized Look at Multifamily Technology

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A fall multifamily technology ritual will saddle up with thought-provoking content, high-level networking and a trade show featuring more than 100 of the industry’s top suppliers – with a little blue jeans and salsa.

Rachel Botsman, known around the world for her visionary thinking on how the power of collaboration and trust enabled technologies will change our day-to-day lives, headlines the National Multifamily Housing Council’s OpTech Conference & Exposition Nov. 14-16 in Dallas. Botsman, a visiting academic at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School, is the featured speaker at the opening general session at the Hilton Anatole on Nov. 14.

Well-published, Botsman studies and teaches how technology is transforming trust between people. She is currently writing a book on the future of trust, and has been quoted in several major news and academic publications.

The conference, sponsored by some of the top companies in the industry, is a key convergence of senior practice leaders of business operations and technology. OpTech will feature a number of educational sessions examining critical topics in the multifamily housing industry.

Attendees can also get small doses of hot topics during any one of several 15-minute Snap Sessions over the two-day conference.

Among the noteworthy sessions on tap:

Short-Term Rentals Roundtable

Owners, developers and managers will share their thoughts on the impact of short-term rental business led by companies such as Airbnb, Flipkey and HomeAway, which have proven popular across the globe both with homeowners and travelers. Margette Hepfner, senior vice president of client services at Lincoln Property Co., facilitates a discussion that will explore the challenges residents, owners and managers face with short-term rentals and if there is a win/win/win solution for all.

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How I Imagine the Apartment of the Future

The vision for the apartment of the future will be explored, but you’ve got to look quickly. Industry specialists will use the globally recognized storytelling platform PechaKucha 20×20 for a fast-paced series of Snap Sessions on what’s next for multifamily. Six speakers will present 20 images, each for 20 seconds, in free-wheeling sessions that will leave attendees with something to think about long and hard as technologically-driven creature comforts continue to work their way into multifamily.

The Internet of Things: A Smart Home Reality Check

RealPage Vice President, Product Management, Howard Behr moderates a panel that will discuss the best practices and lessons learned thus far in the race for smart home technology. The promise of the the IoT and the smart home technology available is attractive but the reality is that it’s pretty complicated. Some will argue that the technology is ready, but others say we’re a couple of years away from having a manageable solution that appeases both residents and property management. The session will provide the audience with a look at where smart home technology has been, where it may be going and how it gets there.

The Longest 7th Inning in History

That so-often used analogy of the multifamily industry’s latest run to the great game has stretched into the seventh inning and seems to be lingering. Some of the industry’s top analysts will crunch the numbers and give you their best predictions about where the multifamily industry is now, where it’s going and what it all means for apartment owners and operators. On the heels of a record-breaking World Series, this session should help keep the ball rolling. And don’t expect to see any goats.

Cars and Parking: Forget Everything You Thought You Knew

In October, a hot topic at the Urban Land Institute’s annual fall conference in Dallas was how autonomous cars and ride sharing would impact the urban landscape – particularly parking spaces. Multifamily housing leaders will get their shot to discuss how transportation is changing with self-driving cars, fully electric cars and on-site car chargers, car-sharing services, mixed using parking garages, fewer drivers, expanded on-demand deliveries and disruptive new parking technologies. The forward-looking session should be Sunday driving on steroids and share opportunities on how multifamily can capitalize on these trends and create ancillary income opportunities.

Other educational sessions will discuss much, much more, including the latest in apartment design, music licensing, telecom, integrating pricing and marketing, communication technology and marketing automation.

You can bet your boots.


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

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Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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