Brent Steiner | March 4, 2020
As the technology revolution reshapes the multifamily landscape—and that of virtually every other industry, as well—one old-school concept remains intact: Information is power.
Twenty years into the new decade, that concept contains a bit of a twist. The majority of relevant and potentially game-changing information comes in the form of data, so it’s not only a matter of having it. It’s also a matter of properly analyzing it and converting the metrics into something actionable for your teams to utilize.
In the past, it wasn’t a common practice for interdepartmental teams to share data-related information. It was essentially kept in silos for each team to utilize on its own. That shortsighted approach is beginning to shift. Here’s a look at a few of the ways teams can utilize information for the greater good of the organization.
Use data to provide context for certain metrics
Marketing teams can provide a cost per lead, cost per click and other similar metrics, but it doesn’t tell the entire story or how effective those channels have been. For context, imagine learning that an athlete is paid $2 million per year, which sounds hefty. But when metrics are introduced that show the average salary for his or her position is $8.4 million, the context shifts. Likewise, when marketing teams also provide benchmark data points, month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons to accompany their cost metrics, it gives a true indication of how the channels are performing.
Establish KPIs from the beginning for all departments
Key performance indicators—most often referenced as KPIs in the industry—can sometimes be ambiguous. Without tangible data points to strive for, it’s difficult to determine whether you’ve achieved your ambitions. For each year, or perhaps each quarter, organizations should define the goals each department is trying to achieve and determine how are they measuring them. This will help team leaders diagnose how to approach conversations and address performance in all areas.
Provide a visualization of data
Visualization is the best way to communicate metrics, and this doesn’t apply to a simple graph or pie chart. Multifamily organizations should think outside the box when it comes to their apartment communities. With the clear objective to attract prospects and streamline interdepartmental efficiencies, apartment operators should always be exploring ways to offer the best context for each unit. Leveraging an interactive map of a community could be the most impactful way to keep track of each unit, price effectively and identify areas of improvement. Data is power, and it is even more powerful when it’s visual and easy to digest.
Many organizations have stockpiled data, but haven’t yet applied their datasets into concepts that genuinely make an impact. When data can provide context for financial metrics, set benchmarks for interdepartmental performance and offer a visual look into previously abstract concepts, that’s when it becomes truly powerful.