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How Property Developers Can Harness the Power of Data

How Property Developers Can Harness the Power of Data
Big data has become ubiquitous, and it's informing decisions across almost every industry. That doesn't mean using it is easier. In commercial property development, like many other spheres, business leaders are coming to the same realization: Collecting big data is far easier than analyzing and using it to fuel progress.   Developers are right to aggressively pursue the insights offered by big data. They can identify and capitalize on trends or leave money on the table. However, the competitive nature of commercial development would suggest against the latter. The good news is that advancements in technology make analyzing big data easier than ever before.   Demystifying Big Data   Artificial intelligence, in particular, is helping developers analyze millions of data points that inform how well a location will do over time. With sophisticated software weighing risks and calculating potential returns, developers can spot investment opportunities with a higher degree of accuracy than ever before.   By relying on relatively affordable software instead of expensive third-party data analysts, developers can bring formerly outsourced roles in-house. With this change, leaders gain additional control over the data analysis process while saving large amounts of capital for reinvestment.   One of our clients recently approached SharePoint with a similar set of goals in mind. It was looking to increase employee productivity, secure and organize decades' worth of on-premise data, and improve collaboration with clients. By incorporating smart data management tactics with intranet sites, we were able to help the client keep valuable data in one......
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Distinguishing between survey data and behavioral data can be tricky

b2ap3_thumbnail_infographic-top.jpgYou’ve had a friend who insists he is going to quit his job the next time his boss reprimands him. Three years later, the boss still gets on him, but he still works there. Or the girl who maintains that her boyfriend will be out the door the next time he stays out too late with his friends. The boyfriend continues to do so, but they’re still happily together. What people say they’ll do and what they actually do are often worlds apart. Prospective renters are no different. That’s why survey data should be viewed differently when compared to behavioral data. Survey data is what prospective renters say they’ll do, whereas behavioral data is what they actually do. This is not to say that survey data should be taken with a grain of salt or lacks value, but behavioral data is the nugget that is truly vital to understanding prospective renters. For instance, some might indicate that they are seeking an apartment in the $1,000 range, but will actually pay $1,500 when it comes down to it. The opposite is often the case as well, where some will indicate a price much more than they can afford.  We have made the effort to garner both types of data from our network of sites in our quest to understand prospective renters better than anyone else in the industry. The idea is to be able to distinguish the sets, viewing the survey data as something of a “want” list and behavioral data as a “need” list. Alo......
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Using Data to Maximize the Resident Experience

Do you have a way to measure your residents' use of your property and your amenities?  Francis Chow, of Ellis Partners, who spoke at this year's National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition, showed the audience why understanding touch points with your residents can be so critical to understanding your resident's needs and how to impact their decision to renew.  His panel was speaking on the topic of using "Big Data", and he shared some great information: 3 months after move-in, engagement and loyalty drops Loyalty decreases when rents increase or even when residents anticipate a rent increase It is pretty common for residents to get "lost" during that period between 3 months, where they are active with the move-in process and move-in related maintenance requests, and the later renewal period.  Francis noted that the primary reasons for this lull is "staff engagement, resolving of issues and the ongoing 'connection with the resident' ".  So while we may be blissfully ignorant of their state of mind, thinking they are completely happy with their experience, they are actually trending downward in their connection with their community.  What I love about going the NAA Conference is that not only do I get great factual data, but it also spurs me on to analyze different elements of multifamily operations to see if there are improvements possible.  For example, if we are discussing the idea of using resident touch point data to adjust our operations to impact their experience, then there are two challenges I......
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Big Data Rule No. 1: Use the Data You’ve Got

Big Data Rule No. 1: Use the Data You’ve Got
You can hardly open a trade magazine, read an online article or go to a conference in the multifamily industry these days without hearing something about data. “Big Data” has become the buzz phrase in the industry, promising benefits of using data to improve customer experiences and increase revenue as it has in many other industries. While Big Data does have to be analyzed and transformed into real business intelligence, there’s no questioning the importance of data to marketers in all industries, including multifamily. If you’re not using accurate data to market your apartment communities, you’re missing out on a number of important benefits: Improved channel selection. Selecting the right channels for your integrated marketing communications is vital to its success. Unfortunately, a lot of the data being distributed to apartment marketers is skewed or just plain inaccurate. Data accuracy is of the utmost importance to any apartment marketing program to ensure you’re spending your money on the sources that produce results. Because data can be manipulated so easily by making inappropriate comparisons and changing the definition of a metric, it’s important to dig deeper about any number you’re given – especially leads and unique visitors. Leads should only be counted if they result in connected phone calls and delivered emails, and visits are not the same as unique visitors. The key is to do your homework about marketing channels and ask a lot of questions, especially about those bold-print numbers being shared with you. Just because a channel is receiving a lot of unique vis......
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In search of that shiny new penny

Over the years, I’ve always felt that industry marketers have always been on the lookout for the shiny new penny. They lift rocks, scrape off the moss, roll it around in their hand, stare at it and hope it’s the next thing that will bring the new residents in. If you think I’m just being curmudgeonly by saying these things, think about the new concepts that have been discussed over the years: Should you go all in on the ILS’s? What about SEO? Are there any more acronyms we can make up? How do you utilize email drip campaigns? Is posting to Social Media the answer? Will I rent more apartments by using Facebook? What about reviews? Do they matter? Will Mr. Craiglist change his service again? Can we stop using it and survive? Should I use a posting tool? How can I get my agents to answer the phone? … and on and on and on. The fact is these are merely more tools in the marketing tool belt. Some are way more useful than others, while some have very little usefulness at all. The conversations in this space over the years have been amazing, educational and fun but there’s a sad truth to face. They’ve stopped. I tweeted the other day to everyone, just on that off chance that people were around – maybe to say hi or discuss their shiny new penny. Hello Twitter peeps. What’s new? — BSitko (@BSitko) October 8, 2014 Silence. This post isn’t about my lack of retweets, I d......
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