The Controversy Kid – 5 Years Later

The Controversy Kid – 5 Years Later
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap

Five years ago, I became a published author and an amateur economist. Yes, a self-proclaimed amateur economist. It’s funny to look back at my first article and realize the obvious improvement in my writing, but it’s rather disheartening to see that after five years, we are more or less in the same economic rut. I remember the article quite well and that’s because I made several recommendations to apartment owners in Southern California, three to be exact and perhaps the most controversial suggestion was that rather than sit with vacant apartments, losing rental income and spending money to make these units ready, you respond to the market and adjust your rental rates accordingly. Simple supply and demand – what a concept!

Here I was, writing just to share my outlook and opinion based on what I saw and experienced in my portfolio and I started to receive call after call from local apartment owners in response to my outlook. Some people shared my viewpoint and applauded my proactivity. Others stated that what I was doing was wrong in principle, wrong for our industry and was going to hurt apartment owners. Hurt apartment owners? Yes. I had shareholders of large, private real estate organizations sharing with me their opinion that we should not adjust our rates in spite of an increase in unemployment, a tremendous slowdown in overall retail activity, an increase in market vacancy rates and the realization that “things were about to get real”.

Yes, we should’ve banded together as though we in Orange and Los Angeles County could beat the economy. Sorry, an amateur I might be but where I’m from, it’s better to be full and collect some money than empty and collect none. Simple concept, right? I thought so. So, in honor of my 5th year as a published author, please revisit my first ever published article. Click here to view it.