Everyone Deserves a place to Dwell in the City

Landlords and property managers spend $4.5 Billion each year on evictions in the United States. A 2016 Harvard study on eviction showed alarming results when it comes to eviction. For example, tenants who live in gentrifying neighborhoods are more likely to be evicted, renters embedded in disadvantaged social networks are more likely to be evicted, while those from advantaged social networks are less likely to be evicted. Also, a tenant’s likelihood of eviction is positively associated with his or her neighborhood’s eviction rate… not the other way around.

Many landlords are under the assumption that if they screen tenants well enough, tighten up on front-end policies, and are strict enough, they will never see their day in landlord-tenant eviction court. That is not the case.

Dwell City Solutions is taking this costly problem head on to mitigate the risk so that landlords and property managers can rent to low- and middle- income tenants with confidence.

We are a web based application that uses predictive analytics to pinpoint the point in time where a tenant will need assistance with paying rent, and send push notifications with resources from community organizations, the gig economy, and re-training resources that match the profile of the tenant so that the they will always have someone supporting them to find a way to pay their rent.

We do this by:

1) we survey the tenant by getting career planning information from the tenant in the beginning of the lease agreement,

2) we use our database to predict when a tenant may desire or need a change in vocation, and

3) we match them with career resources in their neighborhood.

The great part is that this entire process is automated.

We then send de-identified aggregate reporting data back to the landlord to let them know how they compare to other landlords and offer ways that they can improve if necessary.

Based on the surveys that we have conducted with landlords in the City of Philadelphia, we feel that an anonymous third party can gain the needed information to enhance the experience that tenants have with their landlords; therefore, freeing landlords to perform the core duties that they are contracted to perform under the lease agreement.

Our goal is to help landlords realize the potential that low- and middle- income tenants bring to the table. We do this because everyone deserves a place to dwell in the city.

How to Make Change Happen at Scale

In reading through an article sent to me by a fiercely successful mentor of mine, Ellen Marshall, I have the following reflections:

The article begins by detailing how Nevile Isdell was tasked with turning the tides at Coca-Cola from a spiraling loss into a heroic win. Almost every business case in my undergraduate and graduate education began the same way. [Insert White Male- rarely Female Hero]… {explain daunting situation}… This one sums it up by stating: “There were so many problems at Coke, a turnaround was risky at best.”- Cool. What else?

Isdell’s main differentiator was that he gave employees ownership of making the process that would change their culture for the better. Instead of being the one genius who hands down a mandate or slogan, he motivated the top 150 managers to get input from the top 400 to create a manifesto that put processes and plans in place to motivate employees all across the global organization.

As a result, Coke went from the red into a 20% positive position within 3 years. Sales improved, and acquisitions were off the charts.

The article goes on to say that “Isdell explained the turnaround’s success by pointing out that he had “taken the ‘how’ as seriously as the ‘what.’”5 Another way to explain it is that he put equal emphasis on the hard and the soft stuff: performance and health.”

Performance is what an enterprise does to deliver improved financial and operational results for its stakeholders. By contrast, health describes how effectively people work together to pursue a common goal.

Read the rest of the article to see their extensive research on The Five Frames of Performance and Health and how Health and Performance are equally important to your organization.