My Thanksgiving Dish: What Multifamily Means to Me


The insurance company slogan goes, “you’re in good hands with Allstate.” You know who else is in good hands? The multifamily industry.

I’ve been in the apartment and rental housing industry on the vendor side for more than 13 years. It’s been a wonderful ride with all of the ups and downs that any industry experiences. And this year, thanks to my work on Property Management Insider (PMI), I’ve had the honor and pleasure to attend some industry events where I’ve listened to and even met some really smart and passionate people.

People who have me thinking that this industry is in very good hands.

So rather than turning this into a “things I’m thankful for” post, I would like to “carve” a little deeper and share a few reasons why I’m thankful for the multifamily industry and a few of the “good hands” people who make it so wonderful:

The Awesome Apartment Associations

I attended my first Texas Apartment Association (TAA) annual conference this year. From what I understand, this conference is the second most attended event behind only NAA’s annual education conference & exposition.

And let me tell you, being around a few thousand managers and operators is akin to a revival. The entire event crackled with positive energy. And if you’ve never attended a Jackie Ramstedt or Anne Sadovsky session, you’re missing out on the most fun you can have while learning really important stuff.

The event also celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the association and there was plenty of information about the influence this group has had on the multifamily industry, such as creating the first standardized lease.

But what impacted me the most was when the association presidents from the past 50 years were called on stage and honored with a standing ovation:

Fifty years of TAA leadership takes that stage at the annual confernece.

Photo Credit: Michael Cunningham


The moment was inspirational to say the least. So to TAA and all the apartment associations across the country (including the national organizations like NAA and NMHC), I’m thankful for all the services you provide and all the work you do on behalf of property managers and management companies across the country.

Because of you, the industry is indeed in good hands.

The Passionate People in Property Management

Not sure if you noticed, but the multifamily industry is full of passionate people who have a genuine love and passion for the industry. I know many of them through social media and one of my favorites is Mike Brewer, Vice President of Operations with Mills Properties and (in)frequent guest contributor on PMI. Here is a man so passionate about his work that he posts pictures of the budgeting process on his social media accounts:


Another favorite, and one I’ve had the pleasure to meet in real life when he presented at RealWorld, is Mark Juleen, Vice President of Marketing for J.C. Hart Apartment Communities, AKA The Apartment Nerd.

One time I called him asking for nothing but a quote for an article about appliance tracking and he still managed to fit in a nickel’s worth of free advice about how RealPage could improve its property management software. I smiled the whole time while taking notes to pass along to the product development team.

So to all the people working in the multifamily industry, I’m thankful for all passion, compassion, knowledge, and service you provide every day to the industry, coworkers, and your residents.

Because of you, the industry is indeed in good hands.

The Privilege to Change Lives

Finally, I simply have to share a quote from Julie Smith, President of Bozzuto Management Company, that summarizes why I think the multifamily industry is so special and why it is in very good hands. During her acceptance speech at the MFE Conference after being named the 2013 Executive of the Year by Multifamily Executive magazine, she said this:

“We may not be saving lives but we are housing lives and that is a huge privilege.”

Good hands, indeed.

What Are You Thankful For?

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the valuable contributions from the many writers, editors, and behind the scenes magicians who make PMI successful. But if not for you, the reader, I couldn’t be here today gushing about our wonderful industry.

Because of you, PMI is indeed in good hands.

Now it’s your turn. Do you think the multifamily industry is in good hands? Share who, what, and where you’re thankful for in the comments below.

And if you celebrate it, have a Happy Thanksgiving.



Contributor, Property Management Insider

author photo two

Michael Cunningham is Content Marketing Manager at ProofHQ, and the former Managing Editor of He worked as a social media manager for RealPage, Inc., a provider of on-demand software solutions that integrate and streamline single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property management business functions. He is responsible for promoting the company through various media channels, including editorial, print and online advertising, and social media. Michael received his education at Indiana University where he majored in English.

Follow PMI  

Property Management Insider is brought to you by RealPage. Learn more.


© RealPage, Inc. All trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. 1-877-325-7243 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | DMCA Notice | Sitemap