What’s New: How Analytics Offer a View of Apartment Operational Performance


The apartment industry is getting more savvy about using big data to better evaluate operating performance. New technology is making better sense of the abundance of information that is emerging every day from multifamily housing portfolios small and large.

Software solutions that integrate with apartment management platforms are capable of analyzing more information so that property owners and operators can better understand how their portfolios are doing well beyond an evaluation that until recently has been based on asking rents.

In June, RealPage, Inc., released a new software solution – RPI Analytics – which offers a real-time, transparent look into primary performance drivers across portfolios via lease transaction-based benchmarking. Evaluations are based on revenue, rent roll, occupancy, rent trade-out, renewal conversion, vacant days between leases, rent-to-income ratios and other key performance indicators to show a more in-depth look at overall portfolio performance.

Information is most valuable ‘when it’s put into context’

The software offers a side of analytics that the industry hasn’t seen before, company officials say, and is an example of how businesses can better utilize data that is harvested in business today. Yieldstar Senior Vice President Keith Dunkin says the expanded performance view helps users make current and future investment and operational decisions with greater ease.

The technology is a sign of the times

Analytics and Technology

“Information is most valuable when it’s put into context,” he said “It happens everywhere in society today, how people are using benchmarking when working out and comparing notes with friends through fitness apps or benchmarking the quality of hotels on hotel sites. When you look at performance, it’s important to understand what the market is doing at the same time.”

Until now, other analytic platforms have been limited to assessments based on rent-rate information that’s been available through apartment market research and reports.

RPI Analytics allows visibility and comparisons of performances

For portfolios to be successful, operators need to not only be able to quickly identify opportunities to improve profitability via increased revenues or reduced expense, but also view a broader look at the engagement of the organization, Dunkin says.

RPI Analytics and the addition of benchmarking allows visibility and comparisons of property performance within a market or sub-market based on established metrics. The software accesses RealPage’s database of tens of million online lease transaction-level details to provide real-time benchmarking for any portfolio, regardless of the operating system used to manage the portfolio.

“RPI Analytics provides 360-degree insight across the portfolio through customizable dashboards and performance scorecards,” said Alison Stump, RealPage’s vice president of business intelligence. “It’s real-time transparency to drive outperformance.“

Analytics can become a collaboration platform

Dunkin, in an interview with the National Apartment Association recently in Las Vegas, said analytics will continue to drive change and performance. But to get the most out of available data, companies have to consider the change management required and be able to view data that reaches beyond the current industry norm of asking rents in a concise, timely manner.

“We want to get down to a point of being more effective and more efficient in our operations and investment decisions,” he told NAA TV. “Analytics can become a collaboration platform as much as it is just focused on reporting and getting the right data.”

Dunkin and Stump will discuss the importance of harnessing additional detailed apartment industry data to aid portfolio operations July 26-28 at RealWorld in San Diego.


Contributing Editor, Property Management Insider
President, Ballpark Impressions, LLC

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Tim Blackwell is a long-time publishing and printing executive in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who writes about the multifamily housing and transportation industries. He has contributed numerous articles to Property Management Insider, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the D/FW area. Blackwell is president of Ballpark Impressions, and publishes the Cowcatcher Magazine. He is a member of the Fort Worth Chapter/Society of Professional Journalists.

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