The Demand Solutions Blog

Bridging the Business Intelligence Divide

Posted by Dom Beveridge on Aug 26, 2019 11:24:49 AM

Lately, I’ve been talking to a lot of companies about business intelligence, and the ways that organizations attempt to deliver this key capability.  While there is a broad understanding of the need to bridge the gap between the business and IT organizations, the evidence suggests that the gap remains unbridged at many companies.

A recent article on the subject from McKinsey: “Analytics Translator: The new must-have role” suggests that the rewards are getting bigger, rather than smaller for companies who succeed in providing business leadership for increasingly critical IT-enabled analytics projects.  The logic goes that as data sets get bigger and data mining resources more sophisticated, firms will require a level of leadership that will ensure the maximum impact from their analytics.  

The point of the article is persuasive; however, we have argued for a long time that this requirement already exists.  In fact, it’s probably the biggest single reason why multifamily companies fail to reap the benefits of their business intelligence projects.  As we explained in our own white paper: “Creating an Analytically-Driven leadership Culture,” if business people are blue and IT people are red, then the best business intelligence resources are purple.  As both articles strongly suggest, purple people are among an organization’s most prized associates.

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Topics: business intelligence, Multifamily Trends, Technology

The 5 Top Attributes for Successful Revenue Managers

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Aug 6, 2019 8:18:00 AM

Pricing and Revenue Management (PRM) has been in mass-adoption in multifamily for more than a decade.  During that time, an industry talent pool has developed around the core technologies that companies use to manage pricing.  The systems are sophisticated, enabling better decision-making and returns at companies that have been successful in incorporating them into their business processes.

Yet our experience tells us that some companies integrate PRM systems and processes into their businesses more effectively than others. While companies may use the same PRM software, many don't get the same returns as other companies that use it. Much depends on the human skills that companies deploy to ensure that the system is configured and operating in the way that it should be.

Given our depth of talent and experience in PRM, clients frequently ask us what they should look for in a good pricing and revenue manager.  Our industry often places a heavy emphasis on multifamily experience when recruiting new associates, often for reasons.  However, there are compelling reasons to apply different rules to PRM recruits (the discipline of PRM came from different industries, like hospitality and airlines, after all). While awareness of multifamily operations can undoubtedly be helpful, it honestly is not the most important qualification for a successful revenue manager.

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Topics: multi-family housing, pricing and revenue management, business intelligence, Multifamily Trends

My New Year’s Resolution: Get Systematic About Team Development

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jan 4, 2019 10:08:30 AM

For my New Year’s resolution, I want to focus on how to better develop associates and create environments in which they will be successful. In short, for my own company, “make it less about me,” which I can’t help but notice is also critical for our clients. The more success is based on a single leader’s energy and knowledge, the less stable that success will be—whether just for one department or for an entire company. 

So how can we make success something permanent and less dependent on us individually? It’s definitely not easy, but I think it’s clear. It rests on 3 inter-related tasks: 

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Topics: business intelligence, leasing associates, New Year's Resolutions

3 Ways Leading Multifamily Operators Are Using Business Intelligence (BI)

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Nov 28, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Most multifamily operators know they should put “gut feelings” aside in exchange for technologies that can turn raw data into meaningful information for better decision making. And while on an intellectual level they know that a data-driven business is more effective strategically, tactically and operationally, the exact way to go about it can be daunting.

Not so for leading multifamily operators. They know exactly how to accomplish this through the use of business intelligence (BI). Continue reading for 3 ways leading multifamily operators use BI to improve decision making.

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Topics: business intelligence

Multifamily Technology: Are Marketing & Sales Human Anymore?

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Aug 25, 2017 2:00:00 PM

As we come upon the fall conference season and many panels (and one whole conference) dedicated to technology in multifamily housing, it got me thinking. When I first started working in this industry, it was very clear that we were real estate companies using technology; but now I wonder if we’re becoming technology companies running real estate?

Give the importance of buy/sell decisions and the amount of human resources dedicated to operating individual properties, the answer is probably that we’re still the former; but it may not be so clear cut…and the pendulum may swing dramatically over the next decade. Consider the following:

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Topics: business intelligence, Technology, Artificial Intelligence

The Role of Business Intelligence in Multifamily

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Jul 7, 2017 1:00:00 PM

As more apartment operators are embracing data and analytics, and desire making data-backed decisions, (rather than by mere observation or gut) the focus and discussion on Business Intelligence in general and BI software specifically is continually increasing. 

Having moved past the hype of “Big Data” and more to the realities of how much we can accomplish in our industry, I’ve seen that by focusing more on “little data,” operators are now benefitting from their investments. Unfortunately, we have also seen the road littered with BI projects that have failed—with hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars wasted on projects with disappointing results.

So what truly separates successful BI projects from mediocre ones (or, worse, from those that end up in the scrap bin)?

As the interest and importance of this question has gained increasing relevance, the search for answers has grown as well. I recently provided a perspective on this topic in a three-part series that appeared in Multifamily Executive.

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Topics: business intelligence

Winter is Coming - 6 Areas for Multifamily Operators to Review

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Apr 21, 2016 3:00:00 PM

With HBO about to premier my favorite currently running series, Game of ThronesI couldn’t help but see many signs of that show's catchphrase in recent pronouncements from various media, that absorption rates are now below new delivery rates, thus likely driving moderation in occupancy and rent growth in many markets.

Winter is indeed coming.

Unlike the never-ending contest between the Lannisters and the Starks, we in multifamily can step away from the battle and prepare to face the Windwalkers of the next recession. Here’s my checklist for just a few areas in demand management to review for any sophisticated multifamily operator: 

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Topics: Revenue Management, pricing and revenue management, apartment marketing, multifamily sales, business intelligence

4 Key Functions of Business Intelligence

Posted by Donald Davidoff on Mar 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Information is power. And power is finally starting to come to multi-family housing. One of the trends I’ve seen in my practice the past few quarters is increased interest, and investment, in access to data. It largely comes in two forms: purpose-built tools aimed at providing deep insights into specific dimensions (think Rainmaker’s Slopejet, now called Intelligent Lead Management) and more general purpose overall business intelligence (BI) systems (think Rentlytics for an “off the shelf” tool or ReLuminous for more custom-designed solutions).

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Topics: business intelligence