Will multifamily eventually become a big data industry? With millions of units in play and terabytes of prospect, lease and resident information lodged in our disparate systems, the promise of big data and actionable analytics seems to be a real one, even if our transaction velocity of 12-15 months pales compared to the airline, rental car, restaurant and hotel industries that close thousands of deals daily.
“Credit screening and revenue management are two examples of where multifamily is already doing a great job with big data analytics,” says Amar Duggasani, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Rainmaker LRO, who will present on Data Analytics Strategies along with WegoWise Director of Business Development Dan Teague and Elaine Williams Consulting Owner and President, Elaine Williams Consulting at the MAXIMIZE: 2014 Multifamily Asset Management Conference.
Even given revenue management and screening aptitude, Duggasani rightly says that our industry can still be more backward rather than forward looking when it comes to data analysis. Part of the reason is the lack of in-house data scientists and analytical experts at the vast majority of multifamily firms.
“Once you’ve identified and collected data, the science to build recommendations around it is an incredibly specialized skill,” says Teague. “A data scientist is a luxury in multifamily and trying to develop that discipline in-house is probably cost prohibitive for even the biggest owners and managers.”
Apartment operators are consequently—and perhaps not coincidentally—looking for so-called “little data” initiatives that can crunch simpler sets of numbers and still provide tangible bottom-line impact. As our industry capabilities improve in that regard, another big data possibility may lie in leveraging larger public data sets (think population statistics, job numbers, even weather records) for making more reliable investment and operations decisions.
Has your firm made any big data headway or formed a business intelligence opinion on the prospect of analytics? Register to join Amar, Dan, and the country’s top multifamily asset managers at Maximize, Oct. 13-15 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, for the discussion on where and when big data matters. We promise you’ll leave with actionable strategies to execute on your own data sets, regardless if they’re big or small.