A historic seven-year surge has lavished focus on multifamily’s big, scaled enterprises as they’ve resculpted the for-rent landscape. That’s as it should be; they’re the ones with access to capital, land positions, talent pools, and tech infrastructure. That’s where most of the drama’s been, as these multiregional public and private companies jockey for dominance across America’s fastest-growing local economies.
Still, as market momentum starts to shift, we’re curious about whether smaller operators—the ones full of the entrepreneurial fire that prompted them to start up against some stiff odds—have what it takes to scale up. Common among these firms, we note the critical importance of a range of skill sets that enable even less well-resourced players to spring opportunistically on cue.
Yet, apart from the business and technical proficiencies we came across as we looked under the hoods of three small to medium-sized firms—Pensam Capital, Avesta, and Trion Properties—we also struck upon something else in their DNA. Each—a classic entrepreneurial outfit composed of two parts bootstraps determination and agility and one part financial shrewdness—operates with nimbleness as an essential strategic ingredient, enabling each to outmaneuver larger, more powerful competitors.