Big data was all the buzz on the conference floor this year in Vegas for OPTECH 2017. Exponential growth with technology has led to an explosion of data available to us in Multifamily; however, this surge in data comes with growing pains. Some pain points discussed were multi-touch attribution, reporting, and integrations.
It seems that multifamily as a whole is still struggling with solving multi-touch attribution and is really just scraping the surface on understanding singular data points. Furthermore, reporting on these customer touch points has led to an inundation of data with marketing experts struggling to collect clean data. A panelist suggested when looking at reports, begin with a hypothesis in mind and conclude with actionable objectives.
All this data talking and playing nice together leads to our next topic: integrations. A lot of vendor conversations usually start with the proverbial question, “do you integrate with…” or the statement, “I need this to integrate with this to get a full picture of X.” Panelists suggested that client origination is the best way to get vendors collaborating together. Clients should be involved in the conversation between vendors every step of the way to achieve end goals collectively.
Even with client involvement, the true struggle lies in the non-standardization of data throughout the industry. Database fields in one system are named something entirely different in another, often leading to collisions of data. That being said, the NMHC has decided to resuscitate MITS (Multifamily Information and Transactions Standard) by rallying a committee dedicated to building standards within multifamily. This working group is comprised of vendor and client representatives within multifamily as well as the hospitality sector. Naturally, with Resite as a vendor, this was exciting news to hear!
With all of these concerns, it was still reassuring to know that big data is helping property management companies make better business and marketing decisions. Without data points like resident screening and surveys, it would be difficult to understand the true demographic of a new development. Nor would you have the ability to change course when managing a new acquisition.
In conclusion, big data has recently provided multifamily with an abundance of resources which have helped property management companies make more informed decisions when it comes to operations. There are still several kinks like multi-touch attribution, reporting, and integrations to be worked through. I am hopeful the introduction of standardization and true collaboration amongst vendors will help our industry overcome these growing pains.