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Decisions and Data

Decisions and Data
Throughout the course of your career, no matter what industry you work in, you are likely to find yourself in a situation where you must make an important decision.  How will you make the decision?  Will you trust your gut?  Will you make your decision based off of how you "feel"?  We have all been in those discussions that border on arguments about decisions that need to be made where ultimately one or both parties will just start saying, "I really feel that we should ..."  It is sometimes hard to hitch my wagon to a decision that someone is making simply because they feel like it is the right decision.  As people we have a lot of experience in life and tend to make many decisions off of isolated feelings, experiences, or our gut.  While I don't want to downplay that sometimes trusting our gut is the right thing to do, it doesn't always work in the workplace because other stakeholders may not have that same gut feeling we do. Enter Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM).  This is the process of approaching difficult decisions in business from the standpoint of "what can I learn from the data to help me make a decision?"  In our technological times, essentially all industries are being managed online, in databases.  It has opened up the ability for stakeholders in companies to do a lot more to learn about their customers.  I am learning in my career that when I approach a difficult decision prepared with some data that helps prove......
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European Student Housing Market at a Glance

European Student Housing Market at a Glance
Over the next decade, the European student population is set to grow exponentially, with an estimated 8 million students to be enrolled in post-secondary institutions across the continent by 2025. This increase in enrollment has created a higher demand for student housing in many countries in Europe.   Currently the United Kingdom is the leading country in terms of student housing accommodations and investment, followed by Germany and France. As the student housing market continues to mature, investors are starting to look at new countries in which investment opportunity lies. This begs the question, what countries in Europe hold the most investment potential for student housing?   Two good indicators of the demand for student housing are the student population and the student housing provision rate. The provision rate is calculated by taking the number of student registrations and dividing it by the total number of places in student halls (purpose-built student housing). Here’s a snapshot of the top 10 European countries, according to highest student enrollment rates in 2013 (Savills, European Student Housing).   1.     United Kingdom:  2,500,000 students, 21% student housing provision rate. 2.     Germany:  2,400,000 students, 11% student housing provision rate. 3.     France:  2,300,000 students, 11% student housing provision rate. 4.     Spain:  1,900,000 students, 8% student housing provision rate. 5.     Italy:  1,800,000 students, 2% student housing provision rate. 6.     The Netherlands:  670,000 students, 17% student housing provision rate. 7.     Sweden:  460,000 students, 23% student housing provision rate. 8.     Belgium:  450,000 students, 11% student housing provision rate. 9.     Austria:  360,000 students, 16% student housing provision rate. 10.   Switzerland:  250,000 s......
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University Students Researching Multifamily Energy Efficiency

University Students Researching Multifamily Energy Efficiency
Thanks in part to Nationwide Energy Partners, who service several mid-western and eastern US markets, college students from the University of Dayton have begun to study energy usage as it relates to multifamily buildings. Dr. Kevin Hallinan’s “Building Energy Informatics” study is rooted in the professor’s knowledge of mechanical and aeronautical engineering and the initial class of 35 students partaking in the summer program comprises mainly mathematics, engineering, computer science and economics majors looking to analyze the current data being produced from real world partner, Nationwide Energy. The hope is that through these studies, the students may discover untapped opportunities that can be leveraged to reduce both energy and water costs associated with multifamily dwelling. According to Dr. Hallinan, his program is on the ground floor of collecting and trending the current energy data being harvested. From the analysis of this data, there are a lot of hopes of discovering new and innovative ideas that can help to lower the costs for both multifamily building owners and their tenants. In addition to the cost factors, the study looks to provide some insights into supplies with the final goal of making green transitions easier to adopt. With five years’ worth of anonymous data to study, covering the electrical and water usage of 220 apartment units in Ohio, the Dayton students are now looking to identify patterns in the individual units with hopes that they can identify differences among diverse unit types. The program is currently studying whether shifting usage and other similar strategies can help to minimize ......
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Use Reviews as Research

If you are reading only your own reviews, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.  There is much more to a review than you might initially think.  Review sites are an overlooked source of research. Research about you AND your competitors.    “The office closes at 6pm during the week. It’s almost impossible to make it home by then to get packages when you work full time.” “I wish the community was cleaner. The trash cans are always overflowing.” “I wish there was better equipment in the fitness center.” “The office staff was pretty consistent when I moved in, but in the last six months I see a new face every time. It’s really difficult to have a relationship with a staff that's constantly changing.”   Wow, that last quote was pretty powerful, right?  These are all statements from real reviews.  Residents are sharing more than just their opinions.  They are telling us what they need and desire.  And, they are doing it publicly.  Because they are giving us so much information, it is easy to understand not only where you are lacking, but also where your competitors are lacking. Reading and understanding reviews for comps in your submarket is how you find out what real prospects and residents want and what they value right now.  This is how you learn about amenities and services they wish they had.  As you can see above, the wish lists are pretty achievable.  We are learning that it is the little things that make the difference......
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Student Housing Preferences - What Do Students Really Want?

Student Housing Preferences - What Do Students Really Want?
Have you ever wondered what amenities and features students are most interested in for their housing accommodations? We have compiled some valuable information for landlords and property managers of student housing, to answer this question.J. Turner research surveyed 7,095 students across the United States regarding their housing preferences and produced an insightful report titled, What Millennials Want – Residential Preferences in Student Housing Design and Amenities. We’ve compiled some key statistics and findings from this report, to shine a light on what student renters are most interested in.   Key Findings: 69% of students reported it's more expensive to live on-campus at their school, than it is to live off-campus. If everything was equal between on and off-campus housing expenses, respondents indicated they would be willing to pay an average of $85.01 more per month to live off-campus.   Most Important Amenities: Students were asked to rank the most important amenities with their housing accommodations. In-unit washer & dryer = 79% Each roommate has their own bathroom = 68% Extended cable / Wi-Fi included = 54% Parking included = 42% Big refrigerator = 27%   Distance to Campus: Students were asked how far they would be willing to live from campus and their ideal means of transportation. More than half of students surveyed indicated they would rather live close to campus. - 15% = a few blocks from campus - 16% = no more than one mile from campus - 16% = no more than two miles from campus - 14% = no ......
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