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Yardi Elevate Gives Your Data Brains and Brawn

Yardi Elevate

By Joe Bousquin

For Dhar Sawh, the time has come for the multifamily industry to get data smart. 

As industry principal at Santa Barbara, Calif.-based real estate software solutions provider Yardi Systems, Sawh knows that multifamily firms have oceans of data within their reach. Yet, he also knows multifamily professionals still struggle to harness the power of that information. 

That is why the real estate technology firm developed Yardi Elevate, a comprehensive portfolio, asset and property management tool that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to turn all that data into meaningful analytical insights, while recommending actions for meeting financial and operational goals. The system takes the myriad data floating in the multifamily ocean and feeds it into the scores of connected technology applications common in the industry today. 

“Yardi Elevate brings data and technology together to help organizations see where they need to take action, and then makes recommendations for which actions to take,” Sawh says. “It can identify opportunities for improving revenue, reducing costs or even taking specific marketing actions to run your property and portfolio more efficiently.”

One simple example would be leveraging data from a utility metering application and a property management system to make sure thermostats in vacant units are set accordingly. “If we know a unit is vacant, but someone walked out the door and left the AC on 65°, we can teach the system to automatically recognize that situation and adjust the thermostat accordingly,” Sawh says. “That’s an area where we’re putting artificial intelligence to work.”  

Sawh points to another familiar scenario: sending out renewal letters for residents whose leases are expiring. In years past, a property manager may have identified all expiring leases in the next 60 days, and sent out boiler plate renewal letters to each resident.  

But Yardi Elevate, by drawing on data from both the leasing and maintenance portions of a property management system, can look at specific residents to see how likely that individual is to renew his or her lease. 

“We can now use machine learning to determine the probability of whether Joe in apartment 303 will renew or not,” Sawh says. “The system will look at how long Joe’s been at the property, what his current payments are compared to his debt-to-income ratio, and how many work orders he’s submitted in the last year.”

If that last piece of the puzzle – work orders – stands out, the system might recommend that Joe get a concession in that area. 

“So now, maybe the recommended action is to offer Joe new carpet, because we’ve been back six times to redo the tack strip,” Sawh says. “Now, Joe might have a reason to stay, rather than just saying no to the form letter we would have sent out before.”

Yardi Elevate also applies machine learning at the property level. Take another common scenario – estimating vacancies and potential leases at a property over the next 90 days. For example, after looking at your pending move outs and prospects in your pipeline, the system may estimate that you’re going to come up 10 leases short of hitting your occupancy target. 

Yardi Elevate could then look across your marketing sources to recommend actions to make up for the shortfall, by determining which sources, such as a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign, might best fill those vacancies and the right amount of spend to dedicate to it. 

At the same time, the system would also communicate that action to the revenue management component of the system, so that it can compensate in real time. “Your revenue management system also picked up on that 10 lease shortfall, and it was about to adjust accordingly,” says Sawh. “But because all the components and data are integrated, now the revenue management portion is aware of the new SEM campaign you’re running, and it can take another course. So, it was going to react with the only lever it had – by lowering price – but perhaps now it says, ‘Maybe I won’t lower price  yet, or maybe I won’t lower it as much, and we’ll see what new data comes in and react in time.’”

By tying together the ocean of data that’s available in the apartment industry today with the raft of technology applications used by industry professionals, Yardi Elevate can now help you not only know what your numbers are, but recommend the best actions to take to make them even better.