NMHC OpTech 2018: Getting to the BI Metrics that Matter


A treat each year at the National Multifamily Housing Council’s OpTech Conference & Exposition is unveiling or examining apartment industry trends. Every other year, the NMHC/Kingsley Resident Preferences Report forces a few subtle realities of what residents really want.

Last November, the report drew oohs and aahs from those who filled the Islander Ballroom at the Mandalay Bay conference center in Las Vegas when it was revealed that San Jose renters really wanted covered bike storage, not so much of the techie apartment things. Also, a few eyebrows raised after learning that residents in Orlando, the site of this year’s technology conference, much prefer a place to live that offers recycling and package storage than one that encourages playing in the Florida sunshine.

NMHC OpTech 2018, held Nov. 14-16 at Rosen Shingle Creek, will again look at what motivates apartment renters, although the Renter Preferences Report takes a year off. A pair of back-to-back conference-opening general sessions on Wednesday is loaded with insight on what’s on the minds of renters.

Taking a deep dive into last year’s renter survey

First, NMHC will report on a dive deep into the findings of last year’s survey in an effort to better understand the lifestyle dynamics affecting renter decisions. The organization commissioned RE Tech Advisors to get into the minds of renters and learn what they think about smart technology and other features the industry offers to drive occupancy and retention.

Right behind, conference attendees will get a special delivery: The 2018 NMHC Kingsley Package Delivery Survey results. A host of apartment leaders will discuss what thousands of property managers surveyed across the U.S. said about managing parcels for residents and what has changed since the last survey four years ago.

The new information is sure to intrigue and will, no doubt, evoke a few whispers or curious glances at the overhead monitors. But what does all that information, those trends – that data and more about the industry – really mean? And is all data good data?

Outside the ballrooms, operators and analytics providers will discuss the importance of business intelligence and how the very details of renters and their habits offer an opportunity to drive operational efficiencies.

Big data is getting bigger

Sounds simple enough, but to get there requires sifting through Big and Bigger Data. When talking of big data today, the operative measurement is zettabytes, which has a lot of zeros (21 to be exact) behind it. By 2025, according to research company IDC, global data will reach 163 zettabytes.

How much data between now and then that the apartment industry will generate is an unknown, but just figure it’s going to be a lot.

Apartment operators and investors are already learning that it’s time to drill down into the data that truly matters.

Exploring how much data is too much

A diverse group of data and business intelligence experts − RealPage Deputy Chief Economist Jay Parsons will moderate the session that includes insights from BH Management Services Business Intelligence Systems Vice President Brandy Daniel and Hamilton Zane Senior Director Tim Bruss – will discuss whether more is better. Determining the kind of actionable intelligence that is actually beneficial to property operations has become more challenging.

Simply, no one-size-fits-all solution exists.

“Getting to the BI Metrics That Matters” on Nov. 15 discusses key metrics that can be applied across portfolios as well as how data can be used strategically and operational adjustments be made based on movement of those indicators.

Based on the lineup, this session is sure to cut to the chase.

Parsons leads RealPage’s market research and analytics teams on multifamily housing research and forecasting, as well as overseeing RealPage’s Asset Optimization division that focuses on revenue management, business intelligence, performance analytics benchmarking and underwriting. He is a frequent speaker at multifamily and commercial real estate industry events.

Since February 2017, Daniel has led BH Management’s revenue management, business intelligence, budgeting and asset management reporting. Bruss specializes in real estate marketing research, acquisitions and asset management.

NMHC OpTech seldom disappoints with the trends behind the walls of today’s apartments. This year doesn’t appear to be an exception.

Learn more about what to expect at the conference.

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