If the apartment industry was a gambler, he (or she) wouldn't want to move from the table where he's playing at the moment–he's on a roll. After several tough years, public multifamily companies this spring reported rising rents, falling concessions, and condo-related gains in 2006's first quarter.

Obviously, the odds look good for the apartment industry this year.

Alison Rice
Katherine Lambert Alison Rice

But there's a way to improve your company's winning chances even more in '06: Attend the Multifamily Executive Conference this fall in Las Vegas, where you'll hear the latest ideas and strategies from top apartment leaders on crucial issues affecting your business: rising interest rates, investing in technology, foreign capital, and more. Whether you own, manage, or build apartments (and even a few condos), you'll find a host of sessions designed with your questions and concerns in mind.

Here are a few highlights from the program, which can be viewed at www.mfeconference.com.

Nearly one year ago, Hurricane Katrina and the resulting floods destroyed much of the Gulf Coast. In "After the Storm: Rebuilding the Big Easy," we'll hear what's been rebuilt–and what hasn't–from New Orleans apartment executives and experts in a session moderated by NMHC President Doug Bibby.

If you're interested in growing your property management business, you'll want to make time for "Scaling Up." This session will be moderated by Steve Heimler, CEO of Stratus Real Estate, a third-party management firm in Woodland Hills, Calif. Steve is not only one of the best moderators and most articulate executives in the industry, he's also a successful businessman who's taken his company's management portfolio from 3,200 units in 1999 to 22,000 units today.

Talk to any apartment executive about his or her challenges, and the topic of Generation Y invariably comes up. The two top concerns? How to attract these echo boomers as renters and how to manage these young workers as employees. To accomplish either of these objectives, you'll need insight into the minds of twenty-somethings, whose priorities for their workplaces and their living spaces are very different from those of previous generations. In "Generation Next: Meet Your Newest Renters," a session moderated by Village Green Cos. COO George Quay, you'll discover how to make your properties irresistible to these young residents. If you're more focused on the echo boomers in your office, you'll want to attend "Hard to Handle: Managing Generation Y," which will be moderated by Julie Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Co.

As you can see, we've put together a wonderfully diverse program for this year's MFE conference, which is known for its sessions and its high-level networking. I'm looking forward to the chance to hear all these new ideas while connecting with top apartment leaders from around the country–aren't you?

Plan Ahead

Aug. 4 is the deadline for MFEC early-bird registration.

Before you leave for the beach this summer, you'll want to make plans to visit Venice–or rather, the Vegas version of Venice. This fall, we'll hold the Multifamily Executive Conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas Oct. 4-6, 2006. For a schedule of sessions and registration information, visit www.mfeconference.com. Don't wait until after your summer vacation: Friday, Aug. 4 is the last day for early-bird conference registration. To reserve a hotel room, call The Venetian at 1-877-283-6423 or visit www.venetian.com/group/rmfec no later than Sunday, Sept. 10. (Book early to ensure a room at the discounted conference rate.) See you in Vegas!