OpTech 2017 – Here’s What I’m Looking Forward To

While some may have trepidation about heading to Mandalay Bay this week for OpTech 2017 (I do share some of that hesitation), I am excited to jump on AA Wednesday morning and put my 2.7mm miles to work.  Even though the world is a tough and wild place right now, it is important for me to reconnect with some of favorite people in the world and discuss my favorite thing, this crazy multifamily industry we are all part of.

This year’s event already looks to be one for the record books with cutting edge content on just where the future of the apartment industry is heading. Industry executives will tackle everything from the Internet of Things and Smart Homes to true-to-life stories about the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Maria and even more new marketing practices. And for this multifamily loving guy, I simple can’t wait!

Here are the top four sessions you can be sure I won’t miss!

Wednesday, October 25th


Corporate Social Responsibility Town Hall

Moderated by Dennis Smillie, president, Multifamily Solutions, Esther Bonardi, Vice President of Marketing for Yardi; Mark Delisi, Sr. Director of Corporate Responsibility for AvalonBay Communities and Jennifer Piccotti, Chief Operating Officer for Managinc will get into the nitty gritty of what it means to actually walk the CSR talk. A lot of companies claim to be socially responsible but I will venture to guess this group of industry execs will really make us think about how we can all do so much more. And I for one am excited for the challenge.

Thursday October 26th


Dialing Back Screening Thresholds in a Soft Market: How Far is too Far?

Moderated by Erik Brue, Vice President, Experian RentBureau and joined by panelists Rachel Davidson, SVP Performance, Alliance Residential; Nicole Jamie, Analyst Ancillary Services, Pinnacle and Jim Kjolhede… oh, wait that’s yours truly….this session will venture to provide an answer to some new and interesting waters surrounding the world of credit screening. Can we truly dial it back too far that it can negatively impact a business? From the calls with the rest of the group, we each have some unique perspectives on this very important, yet often overlooked, subject.  Join us to find out!


Data-Driven Marketing: Separating the Signal from the Noise

Moderator John Thornton, Senior Director, Performance Marketing for RentPath and speakers Elaine DeLude, Vice President at LIVEBe and Ryan Perez, Vice President of Marketing for CF Real Estate Services will give insights into just how they are gathering, digging into and crafting actionable tactics from all the data currently available on our marketing practices. Are they bringing marketing and revenue management data together? What are their key performance indicators for success?  Earlier at the MAXIMIZE Conference in Austin, I led a panel on B.I., it will be interesting to see this perspective.  I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to find out!


Is Voice Activated Smart Home Living the Next Big Thing?

Entrata’s COO Chase Harrington; Mary Herrold, Principal of Multifamily Partnerships iOTAS, Inc; Marcus Huffer, IT Director, Applications & Solutions Architecture for Mill Creek Residential; and Nicole McLemore, National Special Projects Manager for Lincoln Property Management will discuss the next big tech-convenience amenity that our renters are craving. Voice activation will be the leading topic in what I am sure will be a conversation that will evoke memories of The Jetsons. I have been implementing some of these devices in my home to see how they work, so I have first-hand knowledge and experience with the associated benefits.

Whatever your appetite is for content at OpTech 2017, I am positive conference planners and speakers will deliver the goods. Let me know what sessions you are looking forward to or what you think is missing from this year’s conference. And let’s not forget to catch up while at the conference and continue to share the love for this great industry!

Safe travels ~ Coach Jim!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *