You choose a job. A calling chooses you.

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Louis de Silvestre, Alexander and Diogenes, about 1750

Multifamily has called many hearts over the generations. It’s a passion. Whether we’re drawn in by its core importance to our communities and our nation, addicted to the energy and pace of operations or you just like the people, this industry is a hard habit to shake.

The attraction is simple. The business of apartments makes us believe, if even in scattered moments, that we can improve the lives we serve and make a living while doing it. How many lives? Forty-three million renter households and growing by the day.

Within this band of merry developers, owners, managers, site staff, and yes, even suppliers, you’ll recognize others who have heard the call. Some say it gets in your blood. Veterans in the business know that its anguish and joy are often intertwined.

Truth be told, this industry of ours is packed with more than its share of true believers. Each passionate. All focused. Most driven to make a difference in our world and in our lifetimes. How fortuitous because the nation needs us, now more than ever.

As we continue the march toward this ever-evolving renter nation, the drumbeat for affordable housing grows stronger. As Ron Terwilliger asks in The Closer, exactly what is our national housing policy? It’s time we know.

Good news. We have the voice, experience and knowledge to not only set policy, but to build vision into reality. Guaranteed, the process will be messy, uncomfortable and at times disagreeable. That’s life. We must now find the will. And the answer is not a single voice, but a harmony. Getting there is the biggest challenge of all. Yet the details are clear.

It’s government and the private sector. It’s communities and strong families. It’s mental health and dignity and cultivating productive members of society. Mostly, it’s abandoning the sound bite for a far more complex answer that leaves no one to suffer.

We have everything to gain and everything to lose. It’s time to channel our Jack Kemp-Henry Cisneros and take a seat at the nation’s head table. It’s time to make hay while the sun is shining. And the sun is shining.

We’re no longer chasing labor numbers to chase low household formation or rental demand. The U.S. added 228,000 jobs in November.

The economy is growing at an annual rate of 3-plus percent. Consumer confidence rose for a fifth straight month. Profits from U.S. companies (that’s you) are at the second highest level in 70 years. The stock market is blazing. Fourteen out of 18 manufacturing sectors report an increase in sales. And finally, the demand for housing is outrunning builders’ ability to build.

The economy is firing on all cylinders and the future is bright.

According to legend, Alexander the Great offered Diogenes anything in the world he might want. To this Diogenes replied: Please stop blocking my sunlight.

Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Here’s to a year of prosperity and joy. And may the sun shine brightly in full measure upon you and yours.