State of the Industry: Unpredictable

AATC and AAGD annually host a State of the Industry (SOI)—an economic forecast event held over lunch—scheduled for Thursday, September 26th, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Galleria (13340 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75240).

Once again, please plan on joining your DFW multifamily colleagues for a look into the future. Per usual, it is $50 to attend the SOI. To register yourself and your team, go to

This year’s event features the Bowtie Economist Elliot Eisenberg and CoStar Analyst Paul Hendershot. Dr. Eisenberg will present a report on national economic trends, and Paul will discuss the DFW multifamily market.

Dr. Eisenberg is an internationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making the arcana and minutia of economics fun, relevant, and educational.

He earned a B.A. in economics with first-class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as, Master’s and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg is also a former Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.

More importantly, Eisenberg is the creator of the multifamily stock index—the first nationally recognized index to track the total return of public firms principally involved in the ownership and management of apartments!

Hendershot is the Market Economist for CoStar, covering the DFW market and the founder and Chief Economist of Hendershot Economics. He has completed over one hundred unique economic development projects, including Comerica, AT&T, Gulfstream, Arbitron, Capital One, and Research in Motion.

Mr. Hendershot served in the United States Air Force and has a B.A in Sociology and M.S. in Applied Economics from the University of North Texas.

Given our industry’s budget-cycle, it just makes sense to host this event in the fall. For you econometric nerds out there, that means the presentations will are going to be based on second-quarter numbers, but those should suffice for budget planning purposes.

As to planning and forecasting, I don’t know about you, but my crystal ball has not been working very well lately (other than predicting that my property taxes will continue to increase way, way too much!).  As proof, I offer mine and my AATC’s peer’s predictions for 2019:

RENT & OCCUPANCY: Rent increases between 3.0% and 3.5% and occupancy between 92% – 95% depending on the DFW submarket.

OPERATIONAL EXPENSE INCREASE:  Other than the big three (personnel, mortgage/debt, and utilities), your peers predicted property taxes; make-ready/turn; marketing/promotion; as the areas in 2019 for the most potential cost increases.

NEW AMENITIES: Package lockers, outdoor kitchens, and living spaces, pet-related products, and enhanced concierge services.

 HOT DFW SUBMARKETS:  The consensus was: Downtown Fort Worth and Near Southside Fort Worth in Tarrant County. Your peers were cautious about Frisco/Allen/Plano – too much new product in the pipeline.

CHALLENGES: Three words: quality maintenance professionals.

How did we do? I’m confident that my colleagues factored in trade-policy, quantitative easing, LIBOR fluctuation, Fungible money, and the Laffer Curve. I’m also sure that Michael Payne with Allmark daily tracks bond-market yield spreads, but for the rest of us, our only economic indicator is whether our residents pay their rent on time!

We probably should leave economic forecasting to the experts.

My final prediction is that the State of the Industry luncheon will be an excellent opportunity to network with your DFW multifamily industry friends, and, if we’re not careful, learn something!

 For more information on any of AATC’s economic information sessions or seminars, contact Perry Pillow at or call him at 817-616-0354.